SWEET HEART - The Launch
There was a big difference between the launch for Sweet Heart and that of Dear Heart. Dear Heart was all whoop-dee-do and tra-la-la; Sweet Heart was all business.
I received the cover art for Sweet Heart just before 9:00 AM on August 2nd. I'd been waiting for it so I could update my website and order the slew of stuff I couldn't live without to promote both books, so as soon as it arrived I sprang into action. I downloaded the art, resized it and uploaded it to my website, where I plugged it in to all of those COMING SOON boxes I had previously set up, I was just about to head over to Vistaprint when I decided to check Amazon just for the hell of it, and to my delight, and horror, Sweet Heart was there! I was delighted and, frankly, relieved, because I'd reached my goal of getting the entire story of Deirdre and Lee out into the world, and I was horrorfied because I wasn't fully prepared for Sweet Heart's arrival.
I checked Amazon's listing, not to bask in the glow of seeing the book in print, but to make sure everything was as it should be. Then I ordered a Kindle version of the book and a dozen paperbacks for myself. Once that was done and my books were on their way, I sent out email announcements to all of my friends and posted the happy news on Facebook, Twitter and G+.
Unlike my reaction to Dear Heart's launch, I didn't wait around for the congratulations to come pouring in. Instead, I tackled the grunt work. I modified my sales ranking, royalty and promo spreadsheets to include the new title, and updated my press kit to include the Sweet Heart cover art so I could start sending it out,. That took longer than I'd hoped, and long past the time that Arthur and Sam expected to eat, so I took a break to make them lunch and then jumped right back on my laptop, because it was time for the fun stuff.
I spent three hours on Vistaprint because it took time to make sure my art work was centered properly on car magnets, tote bags, coffee mugs, posters and postcards. When I finished designing and had everything just the way I thought I wanted it, I called Vistaprint and had one of their Customer Service Reps make sure that I did. Turns out that I didn't, so I lost some time while the Rep tweaked my designs, but it paid off because the Rep gave me a 50% volume discount, which thank God that he did because I'm not even going to tell you what that shopping spree cost me,
Now it's 6:00 PM and time for Sam's snack, which I can't just give to him and walk away because he won't eat his ice cream if I'm not sitting on the sofa watching television while he does, don't ask me why. Once Sam was settled, I started checking Amazon every five minutes to see if they had combined the Kindle and paperback listings so I could add the appropriate link to my website and press kit. In between time, I fielded the congratulatory emails from friends and family.
The last thing I tackled was figuring out how to get the cover art for both books on the same photograph, which was easy enough, but including the red border around the covers wasn't. I phutzed around with that for a couple of hours before it finally dawned on me to try creating what I wanted in WORD, saving it as a PDF and then converting the PDF to a Jpeg file. It was a Hail-Mary pass if there ever was one, but it worked. The last thing I did before I called it a day was post that photo on my social media accounts for all the world to see.
When Dear Heart was published, I wasn't quite sure what to do next. Having learned through experience, and with the help of my Solstice family, when Sweet Heart arrived, I knew exactly what I had to do and didn't waste any time doing it. Now all I have to do is promote the living daylights out of the books and try to come up with some clever way to interest a producer in the film rights.