Blog #231~A Book Launch During Covid-19
May 5, 2020 was going to be one of the most important days of my life. This was the date I planned to launch my book, A New Course: A Mother’s Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism.
(Order your copy of A New Course) @ https://amzn.to/2W3Un6X
Read chapter one of a New Course for FREE @ https://teresaunnerstall.com
May 5th was the perfect date, tying in Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday to the launch party and book signing. I had a beautiful venue lined up complete with a taco bar and cocktails. I chose this date because it was just a week or so before Mother’s Day and at the height of the IEP season. Two days later, we had plans to fly to Arizona where I would speak at the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) Adult Summit.
Then everything we planned came to a screeching halt……..
My son Nick is 26 years old and has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). His adult developmental day training program like all the schools, shut down in March. Across the country we all sheltered in place. There was no break–no respite care–no where to go and no way out. The lockdown was a moveable line that just kept pushing further with each passing month. Nick didn’t understand why he had to stay home, he became frustrated with the lack of structure and limitations. You can read about this experience with Nick and sheltering in place, by clicking below:
This is an article I wrote for The Mighty about this experience with my son, Nick: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/navigating-covid-19-lockdown-son-173142879.html
So, I rolled up my sleeves and focused on marketing. A hybrid publisher does the bulk of the leg work, taking the pressure off the author and ensuring that the particulars are taken care of properly.
Here’s a breakdown of the book marketing plan:
*Identify key influencers and offer an advanced reader copy of the book in return for promoting and endorsing the book.
*Create and build followers on A New Course Book Launch Party group on Facebook.
*Do consistent posts on social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (links listed below).
*Closely follow the marketing plan outlined by my publishing team using the Trello Board.
*Submit articles to magazines in related field and to Bublish.
*Find podcasts in the field that may be interested in DS-ASD and the book.
*Visit my author page at https://www.teresaunnerstall.com to view all the News/ Events including virtual events, promotions, podcasts and accolades.
As for the actual launch date on May 5th we had to go to plan B. Here is what that looked like:
*Go live on Facebook three times doing author Q&A’s and reading chapter excerpts.
*Promotional giveaways of swag bags– prize drawings for friends who share & tag posts and pictures of themselves (or their pets) with my book.
*Small gathering of seven people outside, socially distant at 6 feet apart–with a parade featuring the local fire department. (Nick has a thing for fire alarms–all 55 pulls since 3rd grade).
*Zoom Cinco de Mayo parties with margarita toasts.
Here are some pictures highlighting book launch day 🙂
As you can see, a book launch can be done even during a Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown. Like so many other major events in 2020 such as graduation ceremonies, proms, sporting events, birthdays and other special occasions–you find ways to make the best lemonade out of lemons–or margarita’s on Cinco de Mayo. 🙂
I would like to thank Alexa Bigwarfe and the publishing team at Kat Biggie Press, https://katbiggiepress.com for laying out an excellent blueprint on the Trello Board. This board carefully organized media materials, a marketing plan and submissions from the publishing team. My publisher also lent support with social media and guidance through all phases of publishing journey. One lesson I learned from Alexa Bigwarfe and my dear friend and best-selling author, Lisa McCubbin is this:
The marketing and outreach doesn’t stop after your book is published. Keep pushing to find new avenues to promote and market your book, because if you stop–your book sales will die.
It’s been three months since my book came out and I am pleased to announce that A New Course has 56 Five Star Amazon reviews and it was a top non-fiction book on Library Bub in July. It is being well received by parents, extended family & friends, educators, therapists and physicians across the country and globe. Top leaders and authors in the field of Down syndrome and autism are endorsing A New Course! Best of all, my book is getting into the hands of readers and helping families understand how to navigate a dual diagnosis, validate their feelings, struggles and offering hope for the future with their child.
Finally, I want to thank my family, friends and launch team who supported me through this writing, blogging and publishing journey. I appreciate the pep talks, shares, tags, pictures and book reviews submitted on Amazon and Goodreads. The BEST way to thank an author is to leave them a BOOK REVIEW on Amazon or Goodreads! The more reviews I get, the better chance my book can get into the hands of more readers–Please keep submitting your reviews, they are critical for book sales! You can still join in on the action, get the inside scoop, backstories and a chance to win reader appreciation prizes on our Facebook group: A New Course Insiders Book Club.
So that’s how we managed to launch a book with success during the Covid-19 Pandemic and make the most out of an impossible situation here in 2020. That’s what is in my noggin this week. Be well and thank you for being a part of this journey with Nick and my book A New Course.