BLACKBERRY BANQUET Update: Three Months and Counting…

I thought I’d give an update on what’s going on with Blackberry Banquet. Not as blatant book promoting (well, maybe a tiny little bit), but more so to give yet-to-be-published folks an idea of what to expect after they sell that first manuscript.

The publication date is July 10, so I’m right at the three-month mark. Prior to this, I made a book trailer, designed and purchased bookmarks, and wrote articles for regional parenting magazines. And of course, I casually try to mention the book whenever I can (yes, I’m as subtle as one of those people you see on a traffic corner waving a sign over their head).

This week I compiled a list of State Awards and Adult-Given Awards for which my book is eligible to enter. I checked with the publicist at Sylvan Dell (she’s a marketing marvel, I might add) to find out which awards they were subbing to, and together we’ve coordinated a nice list. In addition to the awards, I’ve also checked with “said publicist extraordinaire” about reviewers and we coordinated that list (she really did do most of the work–I simply gave additional input). And yes, this is all BEFORE the book is out. A lot of the award submissions and reviews are handled before the pub-date to help create buzz about the book.

I’m currently in the process of scheduling my book launch (which I know will be held at Adventure for Kids Bookstore in Ventura, CA), along with other signings in California, Oregon and maybe even Rhode Island (wow—talk about a national tour ;-). Once I confirm dates, I’ll add them to my online calendars and start thinking about what I’d like to do at each event.

This has been a terrific pre-publication experience so far. I’ll admit that with my other books, I never invested this much time in pre-release promotion. Why? Partly because my other publishers didn’t seem to want/need to include me in the process. Partly because I didn’t know any better. Partly because with each book I was learning a little more and with this one, it’s all rather serendipitous in that I feel like I *finally* know what to do and I have a publisher who makes me feel welcome in the process. Pretty cool, in my mind.

I’ll keep giving updates as the deadline approaches. There’s still much work to be done!