Facebook Launch Parties ~ by Normandie Fischer

Sailor and
baby-boomer author Normandie Fischer wrote stories while cruising Pacific
Mexico. She’s a former sculptor and editor with Southern roots,
whose plans to sail the world came to an abrupt halt when her mother developed
dementia and needed care at home near the small port town of Beaufort, NC. Becalmed is her debut novel, to be
followed by Sailing Out of Darkness.

On Facebook Launch Parties: A Pressure Release Valve

Before Becalmed
released, my publicist and I went back and forth on the value of a Facebook
launch party. Half the writers we polled loved their experience; half hated it.
I don’t know
about you, but the idea of chest-beating, begging, or any of the other things
the marketing folk say we’ve got to do to sell our books just about sends me
over the edge. I’m the sort who’d rather sit at the back of the gathering and
watch what’s going on around me. I like chatting one on one; I don’t like being
the object of attention.
What’s more
attention-grabbing than the obvious me-me of a Facebook launch party? We beg
folk to drop by, comment, speak to us, please, and, oh, don’t
forget! We Have Prizes! Free Books!
That begs the
next question: Just why should anyone care about our words? I mean, if someone
already wants my story, it’s probably because we’re buds. But for the rest of
the not-yet-known public? The folk who may have seen my face or read my name,
but to whom I’m nobody? Why should they be interested in this particular book
out of all the others published? (At least until the reviews come in and word
of mouth acts as its supposed to.)
You can see how
this whole thing gets to me, an introvert who loves people, but only in small
doses. Who welcomes friendships, but wants them to be meaningful. Who is happy
to discover that folk like her story, but doesn’t want to be the one pressing
it on them, thank you very much.
So. I decided to
diffuse attention on Facebook by sharing the launch party with other writers.
As soon as I found six enthusiastic women’s fiction authors whose work I admire
and with whom I’d developed a relationship—mostly online—my burden lifted. I
could spend my energy promoting their stories on my launch and, in doing so,
relax about my own. Their involvement guaranteed attendance, if only for the
time each of them had the helm. Because they brought different personalities to
the discussion, it remained lively for the entire day.
We found snatches
of humor, especially when the author on board from noon to two had trouble
logging in. The hilarity grew as one of her friends promised to stand by the
water cooler to keep watch, another promised to check the halls, and I tried to
help her figure out the log-in issue. We eventually got her there, but the
humanness of the incident and the jokes that surrounded it added to fun. And
you know what, the gal at the water cooler won the drawing for our missing
author’s book (along with an e-book of Becalmed.)
My 85-year-old
mama drew names from a hat of those who’d commented during each period, and a
winner went home with a paperback from that author and an e-book from me. After
my two hours, the winner took home both an e-book and a signed paperback of Becalmed.
I have no way of
knowing if I gained new readers in the process, but I do know that I had fun
and got to know a few other writers—and their fans—just a little bit better.
Pressure off, fun on.
And isn’t that
how we’re supposed to work as believers? Lifting up others and not worrying
about the results in terms of us? I figure if we’ve got the Big Guy on
our team, we can do whatever it is our hand finds to do—and do it with all our
might—and then trust Him with the outcome. Certainly He’ll guide us to the path
in this marketing thing that will bring the greatest glory where it belongs.
Which is certainly not on us.
A plug here for Silver Seas PR, whose creativity I glommed onto when I hired them to hold my hand through this morass of media.
Please feel free
to grab your own copy of Becalmed in either softcover or e-book at Amazon. Or order it
through your favorite indie bookstore.
With her days chock full –
designing jewelry for the shop she co-owns with her best friend, sailing her
sharpie, and hanging out with girlfriends – Tadie Longworth barely notices
she’s morphing into the town’s maiden aunt. When Will, a widower with a perky
daughter named Jilly, limps into town in a sailboat badly in need of engine
repairs, Tadie welcomes the chance to help. Her shop becomes Jilly’s haven
while Will hunts boat parts, and Tadie even takes the two of them sailing. It’s
the kind of thing she lives for, and it’s a welcome distraction from the fact
that her ex-boyfriend Alex, aka The Jerk of Jerks, is back in town. With his
northern bride. Oh, and he’s hitting on Tadie, too.
Those entanglements are more
than enough, thank you very much, so it’s almost a relief when a hurricane
blows into town: at least the weather can match Tadie’s mood. When Will and
Jilly take shelter in her home, though, Tadie finds herself battling her attraction
to Will. Even worse, the feeling is mutual, tempting them all with what-ifs
that petrify Will, who has sworn never to fall in love again. Mired in
misunderstanding, he takes advantage of the clear skies and hauls Jilly out of
there and back to his broken boat so fast, Tadie’s head spins.
With the man she might have
loved gone, and the man she wishes gone showing up on her doorstep, Tadie finds
herself like a sailboat with no wind; becalmed, she has to fight her way back
against the currents to the shores of the life, and the man, she wants to have.
If you’re in the
vicinity, of the Chesapeake Bay, I’d love ot have you come aboard:
Sea Venture, a Hudson Force 50 ketch, set sail July 2013 to begin
Normandie’s book tour. Her schedule includes:
1 Arrive at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. Find places to anchor in and around
Georgetown, MD, Chesapeake City, MD, and C & D Canal.
28 Arrive in NYC.
30: Leave NYC for trip south.
15: Arrive Baltimore, MD.
20: Arrive Annapolis, MD.
Various stops along the Western
Shore of Chesapeake Bay.
Nov 1: Arrive Portsmouth, VA. Back through the ICW to Beaufort, NC.