I’ve been waiting for this moment for years. This week, my first book – Finding Myself in Britain, my wee baby – will start its launch into the world. It will first appear at the Christian Resources Together retreat (a gathering for publishers, authors, retailers and distributors), when all of the participants will receive a copy. Then 27 September I’ll be preaching at our church and we’ll share lunch together afterwards, celebrating and giving thanks. Then 1 October is the official launch date, when bookshops and online retailers should have their stock – woo hoo! – and hopefully my social-media and blogging campaign hits its full gear. The following week I get to speak at the Grange Coffee House in Wokingham (5 October) and at St James’ Church in Shirley, Southampton, on 9 October. I’m so grateful.
All of these events, all of the ‘likes’ on my new profile picture on Facebook (the cover of October’s Woman Alive – wow), all of the blogs and posts and tweets, amaze me. And so it seems right to stop and pause for a moment before the activity of the coming weeks to give thanks. For so many years I’ve wanted to write a book, but I faced many false starts and jaunts along the wrong path before reaching this point. Thank you, Lord, and thank you to my publisher, Authentic Media, and to the many editors and reviewers who shaped my book.
As I’ve been in the publishing business for loads of years, I have a pretty good grasp of what needs to be done in launching Finding Myself in Britain. And yet I know I won’t have everything perfect – my website is in the midst of being revamped, for instance, and isn’t something I’m shouting about yet. (I don’t even have everything tickety-boo on the book announcement page there yet, for instance.) The internal pressure to reach perfection is great, and yet family and work demands mean it’s not all going to get done. What I’ve done will have to be enough.
As I enter this busy period, I’m thinking a lot about social media. It’s certainly a key platform to get one’s message out. And yet, how can we get the balance right in talking about our book on the various channels and yet not annoying our peeps to the point of hiding/unfriending/unfollowing us? In the past an author friend private-messaged me and said I was getting it wrong – they wondered if I was too vociferous as I was writing my book. (Perhaps they were right; I did need some strong work from my editor to dial down the level of conversations about Britain which I included in the manuscript.) Yet a different friend, not an author, said she’s found watching the process over the past months really interesting. We won’t please everyone.
But how do we get this new world right? How do you manage this balance on social media? Are you conscious about how often you post about your writing versus on other subjects? Do you have separate social-media accounts for connecting as an author and personally?
I want to hear from you! Thanks in advance.