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Monday, September 8, 2008

When Your Book Is Out, the Work Begins

Say It Isn’t So

“I thought you were done after you wrote the book,” said the young woman standing beside me at the presentation by p.m. terrell, author of Taking the Mystery Out of Promoting Your Book. (Learn more about Patricia at

I was standing next to my pal Angie Fox--that's Angie on the right. We're holding copies of each other's books. (Visit her at ) I smiled at Angie, and she smiled back at me. “No, that’s just the beginning,” I said.

Truth is, I’ve never worked so hard in my life. I have a list of 30 promotional activities I’m trying desperately to pull off. My friend Shirley Damsgaard warned me. “Joanna, I know the kind of person you are. You’re going to have to come to terms with the fact you can’t do everything. Do what you can and move on.” (Visit Shirley at

So…what did I get done today, which is Sunday as I'm writing this?

* I wrote a column for the Suburban Journals, circulation 660,000.

* I designed and set out (with David’s help) my first Constant Contact e-blast announcing my book signing dates to our local friends.

* I wrote a post that will run in the Lipstick Chronicles on Saturday, October 18, thanks to the kindness of my friend and sister home-girl Elaine Viets. (She’s formerly from St. Louis.) ( See )

* I began the judging of the Best of British Scrapbooking contest. One section, experienced scrapbookers, has more than 90 entries, and each entrance submitted six layouts. There are two sections. I have no idea how many are in section two, the new talents. I’m afraid to look. I'm happy to do this because the magazine provides great exposure for me in my UK market. Visit the ScrapBook inspirations blog at

* I bought some supplies for my upcoming visit to Scrapfest in Minneapolis—including crime scene tape. (Read more at
* I sent bio info, photo, and book cover for my virtual book signing with the Great Dane Rescue people.

* I discussed via email the handouts for my Sisters in Crime presentation in Minneapolis.
* I explained how to write a review on Amazon to one of my Blog Brigade, the group of scrapbook bloggers who have kindly agreed to read and promote my book.

* I offered a copy of my book to a woman who’s an influence leader in the scrapbook community.
* I started a list of people mentioned in my acknowledgements to whom I owe books.

* I followed up on an interview Claire Applewhite is doing with me for the book blog in our local paper.

* I followed up with p.m. (Patricia), sending her the best of the photos of us together for her to include in her newsletter. (I took the red eye out and fixed the color first.)

I think that’s it. It’s 7:30 p.m. and I haven’t had any dinner. Whew! And you know what? I’m thrilled, just thrilled to have the opportunity to do all this. I am incredibly fortunate to be published. Whenever I think, I want to quit, I pick up a copy of my book and remind myself: This is what I’ve worked for, hoped for, and gone to school to do. And all those efforts are wasted unless I get the word out.


Lacresha on Writing, Women and Wisdom said...

Thanks for the inspiration to keep pushing. You're right. We work, train, pray and work more for the ability to share our gift with the world, but the biggest job is getting your book in the right hands at the right time. I'm loving your blog.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Thanks, Lacresha. Please spread the word! I believe that success breeds success. We must remind each other this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Camille Minichino said...

I received a happy email today: my amazon order of Paper, Scissors, Death has shipped!
Can't wait.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

You may write about miniatures, but there's nothing miniature about our friendship. Thank you, Camille, for everything.

Lillie Ammann said...

Thanks for sharing what you're doing to promote your book. It's helpful to those of us getting ready to start promotion.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...


Take a lesson from me. Go through your contact list, clean it up, and get it into a contact management program long BEFORE you need it.

zhadi said...

Dang me. I'm exhausted just reading your list! But I know how true it is - promotional work should never stop!

Helen Ginger said...

But what did you do after dinner?

Good lord, woman, take a breath! Just keep reminding yourself that the work you do now will pay off in the future. It really will.

You're amazing.