A Writer’s Journey: Countdown to Book Launch

By now you’ve met Kylie Logan/Casey Daniels.

Kylie/Casey/Connie is my good friend and one of my fabulous brainstorming buddies. A few weeks ago I asked her to introduce her latest book, The Scent of Murder, which is the first in a brand new mystery series from St. Martin’s Press. The Scent of Murder will be available on May 7th at bookstores near you–and far away, too.

Psst….Be sure to read to the end of today’s post to find out how you might win a copy.

What does it take to get a book ready to launch? I asked Kylie to tell us a little, so you’ll know what a big job it is. So here she is.

Countdown to Book Launch

10.  Take a look at your calendar and your publication date.  You’ll probably want to start thinking about your book launch three months before pub date, and seriously working on it no later than two months before.

9.  Contact your publisher and see what kind of support is available.  Do you have a publicist?  A marketer?  They’re invaluable!

8.  Enlist the help of a willing relative/friend.  My husband, David, who is helping me with publicity for “The Scent of Murder,” and I have a lunchtime meeting every Monday.  We go over what we’ve done, what we still need to do.  Having someone you’re accountable to keeps you on task.

7.  Design a hand-out.  Because “The Scent of Murder” is hardcover, I had postcards printed that can be mailed or can act as bookmarks.  If you’re writing mass market, a standard-size bookmark will probably work best.  

6.  Now it’s time to decide what you want to do in the way of promotions.  Make a list.  Are you targeting local newspapers?  TV and radio?  The national press?  You might want two lists: one is your dream promotion, the other is what’s practical and doable.  One thing to remember is that promotions are a lot of work and take a lot of time.  You don’t want to over-extend yourself. And of course, you’re going to need to think about your budget.

5.  Check again with your publicist and marketer.  They might handle mailing of ARCs and press releases to bigger markets.  That gives you the freedom to concentrate on local.

4.  Will you be signing your book?  Again, start with a list of book stores, libraries, writers groups, any place you think would welcome you and your book  Are you willing to travel long distances?  Or do you want to stay close to home?  Set up your signings.

3.  Make a list of your local newspapers and magazines.  Here in the northeast Ohio suburb where we live, we have one town newspaper and two magazines devoted to the area.  In addition to those, I added Cleveland Magazine and newspapers in the places where I’ll be signing the book to my list.

2.  Write your press release.  Sound intimidating?  There are plenty of examples online.  Remember to keep it short, and don’t forget to add your contact information.  With any luck you’ll get great response and need to make appointments for interviews and photographs.  When they take your picture, don’t forget to take along your book!

1.  Blast off!  It’s launch day and your book is ready to go out into the world.  Good luck!

As a special treat, Kylie will give away one copy of her book. Next Tuesday we’ll randomly choose one person who commented on this post to pick our winner.

One entry per person. You can comment as often as you like, but only one will count. 

So comment, then check back next week to learn the winner of The Scent of Murder.


  1. Ann Fuller on May 1, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Wow – love you new hair-do! And color!!

  2. Linda Dikeman Alderson on May 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I have never read any of her books. Would love to read it.

  3. Jean DeFrances on May 1, 2019 at 7:03 am

    I’m always on the lookout for a good mystery.

  4. Caroline Klam on May 1, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Great list – thanks. Peace, ck

  5. Ola Norman on May 1, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Love the cover.

  6. Louise Mullins on May 1, 2019 at 10:15 am

    A murder mystery with a great canine character!
    My favorite! Hope it is sent my way.
    Best wishes for much success with this book.

  7. Adelyn Grudier on May 1, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Who knew it was more work after writing the book. Honestly, I looked more daunting to me than the actual writing of something. I’m tired just thinking of it.

  8. Cathy Norton on May 1, 2019 at 11:14 am

    It is a lot of work. I used to own a quilt shop. A few years ago an author who writes novels with a quilting theme chose to visit my store as part of her signing tour. She had overextended herself and was so sick by the time she got to us and still had more appearances to make. She was so gracious and nice , most of the attendees did not know she was ill. I felt so badly for her.

    • Kylie on May 1, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Yep. It can be tempting…always reaching for that shiny brass ring! But we all have limits and sometimes, it’s hard to learn when we’ve reached them!

    • Judy M Zell on May 1, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Was it Jennifer Chiaverini or Emilie Richards or someone else who has used a quilting theme?

  9. Catherine on May 1, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Thank you. Very interesting. Wow, that’s alot of work!

  10. Kylie on May 1, 2019 at 11:35 am

    You are absolutely right, Adelyn! PR is a full-time job! And since I’m working on another book (deadline later this month), it’s taking hours away from what I “should” be doing. Trick is, I “should” be doing publicity for this book, too. It’s all a matter of balance!

  11. Faith Creech on May 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Thank you so much for the chance to win! The book looks really good!

  12. Linda on May 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I love Casey/Kylie’s books and can’t wait for her new series! I know it will be great and would love to win a copy. Good luck with your launch. I encourage everyone who can attend one of your events to do so, they will have a wonderful time.

  13. Cheryl Barkdoll on May 1, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I doubt that I would have the patience to go through all of that done. Of course, I wouldn’t have to worry about it since I won’t he writing a book anyway!

  14. Judy M Zell on May 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Glad I just read books and don’t try to write them, let alone sell them. Preparation for the launch does not sound like any fun.

  15. Judy M Zell on May 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I agree!

  16. Nita on May 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Sounds like so much work, but your readers appreciate all of your work. I’m wondering if this series takes place in Ohio?

    • Kylie on May 2, 2019 at 8:24 am

      Nita, the series does, indeed, take place in Ohio. In Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

  17. Bernadette on May 2, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Brainstorming, plots, writing, publicity, friendships, deadlines, and we readers have a better understanding what goes inside a book. The pleasure of reading, priceless.

  18. Pat Wallace on May 3, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Had no idea the author is responsible for so much. Good luck!

  19. Tiffany Townsend on May 3, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the “how to” launch a book. I have been trying to write a novel myself, under my surname, Alice Green, and your advice helps! ?
    Thanks again!

  20. Kylie Logan on May 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Touching base to thank all of you for taking the time to check in here and comment. I’ve been at the Malice Domestic (mystery) Conference in Bethesda, Maryland, and haven’t had a chance to thank you all for your encouragement. “The Scent of Murder” hits store (and cyber) shelves tomorrow. Just one more sleep! I’m excited.

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