Monday, October 10, 2011
Promoting a Re-Release
On November 8th, Midnight Ink will be re-releasing my mystery, A Real Basket Case, in trade paperback and ebook. This is the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, which debuted in hardcover in March, 2007. As a result of that debut, it was one of four books nominated for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award (named for Agatha Christie). The book gathered a bevy of good reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Spinetingler Magazine, Crimespree Magazine, and many other places. Quite a few mystery readers and libraries bought the book back then, but because of the publisher's distribution policies, it wasn't widely sold.
Midnight Ink and I hope to gain many, many new readers for the series with this re-release in formats that are more inexpensive, more popular, and more widely distributed than the original hardcover format. Midnight Ink has put a jazzy new cover on the book and updated the back cover copy:
"A-tisket, a-tasket, an indiscretion gone terribly wrong...
Feeling neglected by her workaholic husband, forty-something gift basket maker Claire Hanover joins an aerobics class at the urging of her best friend Ellen. Divorced and bitterly unhappy, Ellen and most of the other women in the class add a little vicarious excitement to their lives by flirting with the handsome instructor, Enrique. In a moment of weakness, Claire agrees to let the charming Enrique come to her house to give her a massage. She realizes she has made a deadly mistake when Enrique is shot and killed in her bedroom and her husband Roger is arrested for the murder.
Determined to clear Roger's name and save her marriage, Claire sets out to find the real killer, encountering drug dealers, jealous ex-girlfriends, and angry cops along the way."
My promotion quandary with this release, though, is how to promote a book that's already been widely reviewed and that I've already conducted quite a few signings for.
I do plan to promote the re-release on-line with a few guest blog posts, Internet radio and chat room appearances, email loop notifications, and getting the word out to my followers on Goodreads and Facebook or who've subscribed to my email newsletter. Also, I'll be running a Goodreads giveaway contest for it from October 15th through November 5th, so if you're a Goodreads member, be sure to enter once the contest opens!
As for signings, though, I didn't think many bookstores would be interested in hosting a signing for a re-release. I did agree to participate in a multi-author fundraiser booksigning for Pikes Peak Writers (PPW) in Colorado Springs on November 12th. But then I was stymied.
Enter Ann Parker. Ann is a good friend and a fellow mystery author, whose historical series takes place in Leadville, Colorado during the mining heydays of the late 1800s. The fourth book in her series, Mercury Rises, will be released November first. Ann lives in California and will be visiting Colorado for a week and a half in November to promote her book. She asked if I'd be interested in doing some events with her. Would I?!
I immediately roped her into the PPW event and volunteered to drive us around and house her at my Colorado Springs and Breckenridge homes. Then we divvied up the work of contacting local bookstores and other potentials hosts. Ann arranged a library event and bookstore signing in Leadville and a panel signing in Longmont with another mystery author, Michelle Black. I organized a workshop in Salida, Colorado, a signing in Manitou Springs, and one in Boulder. A couple of other events are in the works but are not finalized yet. See our websites for up-to-date details about our appearances.
Ann's Colorado visit will be crammed full of events, many more than she would have managed on her own, and I now have some events at which to promote A Real Basket Case. We'll be sharing expenses, making the costs much lower for both of us, and we'll be sharing the fun! What could be better?
But, could there be more? Do you Inkspot readers have any suggestions for me of other ways I can promote a re-release? I'm looking for activities that are fairly inexpensive and that won't take a lot of time away from my writing schedule for Cataract Canyon, the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventure series. I'd love to see some out-of-the-box suggestions here!