Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen Tips to Launching a Debut Release

Hi Readers, 
Have I got a treat for you! The author of the contest-winning story Must Love Breeches Angela Quarles wants to share her tips on launching her novel.

Angela Quarles is a geek girl romance writer whose works includes Must Love Breeches, a time travel romance, and Beer & Groping in Las Vegas, a geek romantic comedy in novelette form. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She currently resides in a historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL.

Here's 13 Things I Learned about Launching a Debut Release

1. I use OneNote to organize everything related to my book, outside of the actual manuscript. It's so nice to have everything (links, tour stops, bios, blurbs, formatting) in one easily accessible spot.
2. Have a street team, no matter how small. I started out with only 3 but by the release, it's seven and they've been a great help
3. Do a Goodreads giveaway early on. My book released yesterday, and I have over 350 people who've added it to their TBR pile and a significant portion of that came from the Goodreads giveaway. Mine was for 2 and a half months.
3. Take advantage of Amazon's preorder ability. They've opened it up now to everyone. Consistency of sales is key with Amazon's algorithm and so I think it's going to help that I've had sales spread out leading up to my launch.
4. Start your social networking before you're published. I started blogging on hanging on Twitter in 2011 and so the friendships I forged by participating in discussions since then paid dividends this week. Everyone's been supportive and they're doing most of the promo for me as they're happy to see my book out too.
5. Add contacts you make along the way no matter how far out you are to publishing. Anytime a contest judge or someone else said they wanted to know when the book would be out, I added them to my Gmail contacts. Then, over the course of this summer, I reached out individually to each one.
6. Start a mailing list. And then treat them like gold. But don't add names to your list unless they opted in. I also didn't try to build mine artificially by running contests. I don't want people on there unless they're genuinely interested in learning about new releases from me, etc. I just make the link accessible on my website and let them accrue organically.
7. Hire a good cover artist! I used Kim Killion with
8. Make sure you have a compelling blurb
9. Create a Media Kit on your website. I wish I'd done mine sooner, but I finally knuckled down two weeks ago and did it. For ideas, visit mine: Anyway, immediately after mine was up, I was getting hits, since I had review copies out with people and up on NetGalley. That week, one reviewer, on her own, mined that page and put up my image quotes and all sorts of stuff.
10. Which leads me to, see if you can rent NetGalley coop slot. I put out a call on some writer loops that I was looking to rent (and I put out that call several months before I needed the slot) and snagged one for a month for a very reasonable fee. I'm already getting reviews now from that.
11. Join writer loops to keep up with the latest indie news. I heard about the day they opened up Amazon preorders on the day it happened and so was quickly able to take advantage of that.
12. Stagger your announcements so that you're not spiking your sales all at once. Amazon now rewards consistency, as noted above. Even though it's hard, I've held off notifying friends and family via email, and staggered other announcements too.
13. Relax and try to focus on other projects too! Thought it's really hard not to keep checking stats!
Thanks for stopping by and reading this post. I had the pleasure of reading some of the super scenes in Must Love Breeches and I’m guessing you’ll like this story, too. Here’s the blurb, which I hope will entice you.

She's finally met the man of her dreams. There's only one problem: he lives in a different century.

"A fresh, charming new voice" – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare


A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case’s significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.

To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.

Lord Montagu’s now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home—as well as her heart—lies.

If you’d like to get in touch with Angela or find out more about Must Love Breeches, here’s her contact information—
Join my mailing list:
Paranormal Unbound, the group blog I belong to:

And we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks.


  1. I guess you need a lot of energy for a book release! The blurb ... there's only one problem ... is a good one.

    1. Colleen,
      I bet you're right. Book releases are lots of work.

    2. You do need energy! And I don't drink coffee :(

  2. Some good tips. I like number six. One thing that has irritated me lately is the number of people (not just authors) who force people to like them/join a mailing list in order to enter a contest. My T13: Late Bloomers

    1. Yeah, I've never understood trying to inflate newsletter subscribers. It does an author no good. Same goes for Facebook Page likes. It just hurts your visibility to have a high number of low-engaged people. It means the people who actually want to see your posts probably won't see it....

  3. Heather, I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Great tips, and some might apply to other endeavors. Good luck with your book release!

    1. Thank you, glad they could help! And you're right, some might transfer to other types of projects!

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