New Release Anxiety
The Case of the Missing Drag Queen comes out on June 19th: exactly one year after I started working on the story. It’s my first new release since Whippersnapper came out in 2016. As always, I’m anxious to see what happens.
The quick turnaround to release day is a record for me. Just writing each of my first four novels took a year or longer. Depending on the wait to get a contract, the publication process adds another nine- to twelve months to the timeline. At least, that’s what I expected.
Revamping my writing process sped things up on my end. Instead of making everything up as I went along, I used the 3-Act Structure to develop a list of major plot points. I still had to figure out how to get from A to B, but the framework provided direction and kept me from veering off course.
I broke myself of a bad habit that made a huge difference: Scrolling up to page one, re-reading the entire document, and editing before finishing the first draft. Until I reached “the end,” going back more than three chapters was prohibited. I finished the story in four months instead of the year or longer required for my other novels.
DSP Publications has streamlined the production process since my last release. First round edits arrived in no time. All three rounds were completed in weeks rather than months. Keeping up was sometimes a challenge, but I never missed a deadline.
Given the June 19th release date, I planned to launch my marketing campaign with a cover reveal on May 19th — the publisher accepts preorders a month before the release. Then I found out DSPP expanded the preorder window to 12 weeks, moving the cover reveal to March 26th.
The publisher does a lot to promote its authors. New and upcoming releases are prominently displayed on the web site for several weeks. They send out Advanced Review Copies to critics, arrange for me to do guest appearances on various web sites, and share reviews and any promo I do via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
Promoting a new release is my job too. My efforts with previous releases have revolved around a post a day Monday through Friday for two or three weeks. Exhausting, and overkill. Even I got tired of seeing them. What’s more, the various sites reached essentially the same readers. Time to try something different.
In addition to the publishers efforts to promote The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, I’m doing something every week through the end of June. I’m being more thoughtful and deliberate about what I do too in hopes of reaching a wider, more diverse audience than with previous promo campaigns.
None of my first this time around are new to writing. You know me — always the slow learner. For years I’ve defended my bad habits as part of my process. Expert advice doesn’t apply to me because I’m special.
I’ve learned a lot since my first release. No doubt, I’ll learn a thing or two this time around too. I’ll keep you posted.