Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Road Trip

I'm finally beginning to recover from the jet lag caused by last week's major road trip, so I thought I'd get around to telling you all about it.

I went to Los Angeles to do a hit-and-run book tour with media escort Ken Wilson. What this means is that instead of having formal book signings, where I sit behind a desk and pray that readers show up to get their books signed, I went hopping from store to store, meeting booksellers at each one, giving away free books, and signing the store's stock.

Ken was absolutely amazing. He knows all the local bookstores, and many of the staff at each one. He plots out an itinerary, carefully avoiding all the worst of the Southern California traffic, then introduces his clients to the booksellers, all the while giving a very professional and enthusiastic sales pitch. He also did a great job of time management, keeping us at each store as long as we needed to be there to make the necessary impression, but not so long as to overstay our welcome or unduly strain our schedule.

We hit 23 bookstores in two days. I still can't quite believe we managed to do that! Especially when afterward, my husband and I spent some vacation time in the area and discovered what it's like to drive in the Southern Cal traffic without a native guide to help you out. Nothing like being on a 7-lane highway that's bumper to bumper. Especially when you don't know your way around and are never sure when your exit is coming up.

Any published authors reading this blog, I would encourage you to look into the possibility of doing a tour with Ken. (Feel free to email me for his contact info.) It's a great opportunity to schmooze with booksellers. And, of course, to get the signed copies of your book displayed with extra prominence. Not only that, since you give away at least one book per store, you can get the staff to hand-sell your book if they enjoy it. Having someone like Ken, who knows the booksellers and is a naturally gregarious salesman, really helps break the ice, especially for us shy folk who are uncomfortable approaching strangers.

All in all, it was a great trip. Despite the traffic problems. Despite the fact that my husband came down with a cold. And despite the fact that I ended up having to do some emergency revisions to The Devil Inside during the vacation portion of the trip. Hmm . . . I think I need a vacation from my vacation!

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Book Launch Party

I had my book launch party on November 4th at a local Barnes & Noble. The very next day, I jetted off to LA for a whirlwind book-signing tour, which I'll post more about later. (So much to talk about! Yay, I've got ideas for several more blog posts!)

The party was everything I could have dreamed of. Tons of my friends from my local RWA chapter showed up to support me, and by the time I was done, there were only five books left! I had a great time, and I just loved having a chance to sign my book. (In case you're wondering, no, it STILL hasn't sunk in yet.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Watchers in the Night is Out!!!

I can't believe after all that waiting, the time has finally come, and my book is out there on the bookshelves. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I've gone to the closest local bookstores over the last few days, looking to sign their stock. Most of them seem to be behind in stocking the shelves, so I've had to wait for them to get the stock from the back before I could sign. But one Borders and one Barnes & Noble had them out, so I got to see them on the shelves! At Borders, they even had them on the "New Paperbacks" table! To record this first sighting (and, perhaps, to prove to myself that it was real), I took a couple of pictures.

I have my very first book signing tonight, and then my book launch party tomorrow. Then, it's off to LA for a combination book-signing spree and vacation. (Though considering I have a book due in February, I'll probably have to force myself to do some writing, or at least some plotting and planning, while I'm there.)

I suspect I will be posting to this blog sparingly. While I appreciate those of you who stop by to visit, there aren't a whole lot of you. I've got some killer deadlines, and I haven't quit my dayjob, so something has to give. (Plus, my local RWA chapter is working toward putting together a blog for its published authors, and I plan to be a part of that.)

No doubt I'll still post occasionally, but I will no longer beat myself up when I don't reach my goal of one or two posts a week.

And if you have any Watchers in the Night sightings you'd like to share, I'd love to hear about them. I swear someday this is going to feel real, but it all still has a dream-like quality to me.



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