Thursday, August 21, 2008

T Minus 30 and Counting

by Joanna Slan

I'm thirty days out from my "official" book launch of Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-and-Craft Mystery, and I feel like a rocket at Cape Kennedy sitting on the pad waiting for the countdown to hit zero.

Yes, for the astute, the subtitle has been changed. It's a marketing decision I applaud because it gives me more latitude. Scrapbookers are now into Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), altered books, and cardmaking. So where they go, Kiki can go. That's terrific. Even if the subtitle has changed, the book will still be a scrapbook mystery.That said, I have worked very hard so the book would not only appeal to scrappers but to others as well. But I'm not stupid, I know who my primary audience will be!

It's been more than two years since Barbara Moore told me she wanted my manuscript. When I heard the print date, I groaned, but now, looking back, I see it was the best news in the world.

Why? Well, I've had ten non-fiction titles published, and I learned a lot from each. That said, I've learned more in the last two years than I did in the eight before. (It was in 1998 that Scrapbook Storytelling was released.)

What have I learned?

1. The promotional world has gone virtual. Back then, we added info about my website as almost an afterthought. I started an e-zine as a lark, almost. But today with gas prices the way they are, virtual promotion is not only state-of-the-art, but highly desirable. I got a call the other day from Gabe at Midnight Ink, and he mentioned almost casually that he'd just read my blog on my website. He complimented me on the blog and website, and I was struck once more by how very public our online presences are.

2. It's all about relationships. The booksellers I met last year have offered advice, introductions and help. The authors I have met--especially my dear pal Shirley Damsgaard--have taught me about the ups and downs of this business. They have kindly shared their promotional ideas and blurbed my book. The media folks I met at artsy events with my husband have given me publicity. In the end, as it is in the beginning, it's all about who you know.

3. Nothing you've learned is ever wasted. My "old" scrapbook world contacts have offered help. They've introduced me to the new people in the industry. Like a lot of young industries, once businesses figured out there was money to be made, large firms gobbled up small ones, so the players have changed. That said, wonderful people like Rebecca Ludens of have been kind to me and my book. How long have I known Rebecca? Nearly ten years. And how about the "hard" facts I learned? The nuts and bolts about scrapbooking? Well, at almost all my events I will be doing both signings and scrapbook activities. Most of the booksellers are partnering with hobby stores so I'll have a bigger crowd.

I'll be continuing this list on my personal blog So stay tuned!

P.S. Happy birthday to the wonderful J.B. Stanley from all her fellow Inkspotters. Live it up and have fun today, J.B.!

P.P.S. Thanks for posting this for me, Keith.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Joanna, wishing you great success! Go get 'em.

Felicia Donovan said...

Good luck, Joanna and a Happy Birthday to JB!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Thanks, everyone. I was on the road, so a special thanks to our wonderful Keith for helping me stay on schedule.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Thanks, everyone. I was on the road, so a special thanks to our wonderful Keith for helping me stay on schedule.