My house is now more or less back to normal -- aside from the hole in the bathroom wall that still needs to be patched. I was sitting on the arm of my sofa, watching them expand the fresh-air intake in the living room wall yesterday, and I somehow became the source for tools. I was expecting a conference call in about fifteen minutes, so I wanted them done and out of there. One guy would start to send the other guy back out to the truck for something, and if I had it, I'd just grab it and hand it to them. They ended up using my hammer, since my tool box was already out. When they needed a flashlight, I reached over to the coffee table and handed them one. And then I found myself wondering why on earth I have a flashlight on my coffee table. I have one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom because my cabinets and closets aren't really lit and it makes it easier to find stuff, but I'm not entirely sure why I keep one in the living room. I think maybe it ended up there during the spring storms, when it was part of my emergency supplies. I had a battery-operated radio and a flashlight at hand, and they're still there. You never know when the power might go out and you'll end up fumbling in the darkness, so I keep a flashlight near most of the places I'm likely to be after dark. Still, it was pretty weird to just reach over and grab a flashlight in my living room because who does that? (My friends: "We do!" Which is why they're my friends.)
The conference call was with my agent and publicist to discuss the launch of book 5, and now I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed. This week I need to put together a PR plan and timeline, and then I'll have to carry it out. I love public relations strategy and planning but I really hate actually doing it. I was made for senior management at an agency, but getting there requires going through the actually doing it phase, which was why I didn't try to get another PR job when I got laid off. I'd been thinking that all I'd really need to do is get the word out to my fans, but my agent is treating this release like a Big Deal. Now I'm getting a taste of what it's like to have a lead title, and it means doing a big publicity push. Meanwhile, I need to do one last proofreading pass of the latest project to get to my agent so it will be off my plate. And then there's some formatting/proofing I may need to do on other stuff. While all this book stuff is going on, I'm also at the busy phase of my FenCon PR job, so I need to write a press kit and do a lot of media outreach. In August I'm also helping with the music and art day camp at church and then there's WorldCon. Somewhere in all this, I need to write book 7. And then the PR starts again with the release of book 6, with FenCon coming right before that.
While I'm talking PR, it's time for another reader survey: Do you follow any blogs or web sites that give you info on books? Where do you go to learn about what books are coming out? Are there any blogs that cover books that you frequently see tweets or Facebook posts about or that otherwise seem to be pretty influential or that have a big following? I'm trying to put together a list of places to try to promote to, though the situation is a little tricky. A lot of sites won't cover self-published books. This book was published by a royalty-paying publisher -- in Japanese. It's the English edition that's self-published, and it's the continuation of a series that was traditionally published in the US. Will sites that covered the first four books refuse to consider the next books because of the publishing method? I guess I'll find out. Meanwhile, I've started a Facebook page for the series, where I'll post all the news and info. You can find it at http://www.facebook.com/EnchantedIncSeries.
I'm also going to throw out an offer: I'm thinking of doing a reader blog tour (in addition to whatever else gets set up with genre blogs or sites). So, if you want to do a short e-mail interview with me or have me do a guest post on your blog (please specify the topic because I'm not sure my brain can handle coming up with ideas to write about right now), let me know. I'd like these to run around the August 15 release date, but the sooner you get questions or post topic suggestions to me, the better because I'm going to be a wee bit swamped.