We talked at our May meeting about what we as authors and publishers can do to promote and market our books during this pandemic. If we should be doing so at all.
And what BAIPA can do to help.
What a number of people suggested was that we focus on giving back. This is a time for generosity, one author said. Offering free or discounted books. Sharing resources. It might not feel right to be flogging your book, but that doesn’t mean you have to disappear.
There are two ways BAIPA can help you be visible during these challenging times.
What Author Can’t Benefit From a Video Interview?
One is hosting video interviews. Earlier this week, we did our first one. I interviewed Deborah Myers on Zoom, and we recorded it, and I cut the beginning and end of the video, added a title page, and uploaded it to our BAIPA YouTube channel. You can see it below.
That could be you. We’re seeking other authors who’d like to be interviewed on video, as well as other interviewers. Contact me at [email protected] if you’re interested.
Who Says You Can’t Host a Book Launch Online?
Not all authors are comfortable using Zoom or other video conferencing tools these days, but more and more of us are getting there, and if you’re interested in hosting an online book launch, BAIPA can help in a couple ways. One is by helping with the hosting.
I’ve done four or five events where I was responsible for delivering the content and managing the zoom tools — making sure everyone was muted or unmuted at the right time, troubleshooting video problems, responding to questions in the chat box — and then there was the one time when someone else handled that and all I had to do was make my presentation. You can guess which was easier.
What we propose is to team people up, so that one person can play the host and the other can do their book talk. Or better yet, team up with another author and do a joint book launch. You might each attract new readers.
BAIPA can also help by promoting these author events on our website and Facebook page. Assuming we get some takers, we’ll create a calendar and send out notices to our email list. You as the author would still need to promote the event through your own networks, but BAIPA can amplify that effort. We’ll be a co-sponsor of your event.
Contact me at [email protected] if you would like to be part of this project. We need hosts as well as presenters.
In fact, I would love to recruit Zoom hosts for my three book launch events on June 7 (11 am), June 10 (5 pm), and June 14 (4 pm). You can volunteer for one, or all three.
Last fall, when I launched my book for the first time, I was fortunate to be part of Reimagine End of Life San Francisco, a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. While it was my responsibility to promote my own events, I was part of this bigger “festival” and there were people who came to each launch event who found out about it through the Reimagine website, not from me. (Which is what we’re hoping will happen with these BAIPA co-sponsored book events.)
My third novel, When I Killed My Father: An Assisted-Suicide Family Thriller, fit right in with the theme of the Reimagine festival. Reimagine was about to launch its second festival this spring in New York City, but has had to shift gears — now it’s hosting Reimagine: Life, Loss, & Love from May 1 to July 9. There are about a hundred events so far and more to come, including “Death over Drafts Happy Hour” every Friday, combining beer tasting and engaging conversations on death and dying.
My event is called “What If Your Ailing Father Asked You to Kill Him?” and is one-part book launch and one-part conversation about family decisions, dementia, dying, and more.