My long hiatus is over. I haven’t written you since May 19 from Kenya. It was a God-given opportunity to live there with old friends while I wrote the story of the founding of Daystar University. Every day was a God-given experience– whether watching the monkeys trying to get into our garden, whooshing a ‘Shongololo’ out of my bathroom, or finding a twist of words that energized the story more. I worked with a team of gracious people, and we were able to finish the draft of Daystar Rising by the time I had to leave. But that’s for another time.
Today I want to focus on my new book. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina’s will launch my twelfth book, The Queen’s Daughters, on September 1, 2017. I wanted to introduce you to the beautiful cover. What comes to your mind when you see this lovely face? What do you think she’s pondering? I ‘ll be very interested in your thoughts.
And even more grateful if you would read The Queen’s Dauighters and write a review on Amazon.
I think I’m a pretty normal author. I love writing and seeing my character develop. The launch of a book is a high point when I can actually hold the book in my hands or read it on my Kindle. But then there’s the concern — is anybody reading my book? Or was it just an ego trip, or something to keep me busy?
Royalties, of course, tell the story. But it takes months before the reports and royalties come in. In the meantime I wonder and wait. However, there is one indicator that gives me a hint that Daughters of Deliverance is being read. Every day I open the Amazon site where my book is offered. I check the number of reviews which tells me what my readers think about my book. Today I saw that 43 readers had written reviews (Thank-you for your response) and that Daughters of Deliverance received 4.8 gold stars out of 5. That’s soothing to my soul.
I scroll down the page which includes all the details about the book, like the number of pages, the ISBN number– all those important things readers don’t want to know. And there’s a short bio of me beside my ultra-glamorous picture . (I don’t look like that in the mirror.)
Finally at the bottom of the page Amazon lists the rank of 100 best-selling books in the Kindle store. I’ve been shocked to see Daughters of Deliverance in the top 100 books in Inspirational fiction, Christian women’s fiction, and Inspirational. Sometimes, like today it’s ranking 77, 84 and 90 out of 100. Other days it’s been in the mid-30s or 40s. Considering that there are more than 42,000 books in these categories, I admit I’m pleased. Right now the Kindle edition of Daughters of Deliverance is being given away, so here’s your chance to put this “top-rated” book on your Kindle free!
And, kindly write a review.
I have to admit my stomach was churning as I got ready for the launch of Daughters of Deliverance. My friend Dody helped me put invitations into cubbies here at Wind Crest. Daughter Sheila prepared the door prizes and decorated the tables. She walked into the Lounge where the Launch party was held, carrying a large bouquet of Proteas, the South Africa flower– a gift from my children. My son Mark came all the way from New York where he’d been on a business trip to celebrate with me. Two grandsons and their wives slipped in after we’d started, and my niece and her husband came. About fifty friends from Wind Crest attended.
But what really is a launch party? I’d never had one for my precious books. I finally realized it was a celebration for me.A card I received says it all:
You Worked Hard…REALLY, REALLY HARD…
Put in the hours, battled the frustrations…
Gave of your blood, sweat and tears,
And now finally it all paid off. Congratulations!
Reviews are slowly coming in on Amazon– which not only make me feel good, but hopefully will encourage you to buy and read Destined for Royalty. More about the book and the life of its heroine, Katharine Bushnell, another time. For now, I just want you to celebrate with me that the ten-year project of research and writing has finally been reached publication. You can read more about Daughters of Deliverance on Amazon’s book page.
It seemed it would never come. Ten years in the making! Today–December 1,2016– Amazon launched Daughters of Deliverance and the reviews are coming in.
To celebrate I’m having a Launch Party here at Wind Crest, the active retirement community I live in. You should see my living room. It’s piled with books, prizes, table decorations. I’ve even been persuaded to display copies of of my eleven books published over the years– even the little 48-page booklet of youth programs I wrote for Youth Alive in South Africa back in the 70’s. (I think I was almost as awed to hold that little book when it was printed, as I am today.)
I couldn’t fall asleep last night wondering if we have enough cookies and cider for those who come. Or would only a few people show up? Of course I can depend on my dear family; two of my children and several grandchildren will be here to boost my morale.
Above all this is a celebration, not just of the lovely book that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas put out for me, but I’m celebrating God’s faithfulness in nudging me to keep on writing — through loss and change, through slowing down as I inch (oh no, I’m flying) towards 90.I feel that God has privileged me to spend these years studying and developing the character of Katharine Bushnell. And through her I too have learned to trust Him more and to do all I can to “finish well” as Kate did. (That’s coming next September when Daughters of the Queen will be released.)
Twelve days till launch day. Daughters of Deliverance will become public.
Amazon has already posted it , but no one can buy, or even review it until December 1, 2016. I have a small stash of books in preparation for the launch party on that night. Invitations have been issued, cookies and cider ordered, and door prizes arranged.
A special list of readers have a one-time-read- only-file in the hopes that they will write a glowing– or even not so glowing– review for Amazon. Evidently Amazon’s algorithms will determine if my book has drawn in enough reviews to give it a boost.
The promo cards arrived from the printer which I’ll use to invite people to the launch party. You probably won’t be in the vicinity that night to attend , but I shared the card above so you may know how to buy the book for yourself.*
I learned recently that 129,864,880 books have been published in all of modern history according to Google algorithms. That makes Daughters of Deliverance the 129,864,881st book to see the light of day. Which may make my contribution to the world’s wealth of literature infinitely small and unimportant, but the value of Katharine Bushnell’s life and work among mistreated women has impacted countless lives.
*The book’s description reads: 1886 Kate begins work with women in Hell’s Half Acre, then on to the white-slavery dens in Wisconsin’s brutal lumber camps. Trusting God, she sends her report to the governor. Will he listen to the plight of these young women? Or brand her a liar?
Marketing is not my profession nor preference. In the good old days, I sent a manuscript to the publisher who had given me a contractor, and basically they did everything else. (Course they didn’t always sell a lot of books!)
Things have changed. The fun stage of writing and editing (yes I enjoy that part) , and seeing the proofed copy on line are over. Now I’m in the difficult stage — between writing and selling. It’s called marketing, and in this day, the author carries a lot of that responsibility.
So for the last few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out a marketing plan that would produce results right away! Since Daughters of Deliverance will come out on December 1, just in time for Christmas shopping, it’s the ideal season. The problem is that there are just too many options–many options– which require knowledge and experience using social media. Here’s what I mean:
Launch party–for real, with snacks and door prizes
- Facebook launch party–online, no snacks 🙂 but free books
- Book blog tour
- Online book club
- Getting Reviews
- Flyers produced and printed for handouts
- Bookstore connections
- Video interviews
- and more!
What’s most important — and what’s least productive? For your good advice, I’ll send you a free copy of my biographical fiction based on the life of Katharine Bushnell, MD, advocate for women caught in white slavery in the 19th century. Watch for Daughters of Deliverance coming out December 1.
Hope you like my creative formatting. The list was supposed to be in a straight line after dots, but I rather fancy WordPress’s design.