Happy Friday, readers, writers, and shark fans! I hope you had a fantastic week!
We’re excitedly working our way through Issue 2 of Lit Shark Magazine: The SHARK WEEK Edition and can’t wait to share that with you. BUT, we have a lot more to share, too.
Read on for more information about our first two programs—our Virtual Book Launch Party packages and our Core Stories program—and at the very end, see some VERY COOL author news that we have coming up in September and October!
Available Now: Your Next Virtual Book Launch
Imagine: Your book’s publication day is tomorrow, and you’re planning to have a virtual launch party to celebrate. You’re excited about the meet-and-greet and the lively Q&A, but then you start thinking about all the things you wish you’d thought to plan for your big day: like merch, a book giveaway, or party games. Maybe you’ve just realized that you haven’t really planned any marketing for after the party; after all, the book’s going to sell itself after a party, right?
I absolutely love book launch parties. There’s something so special about getting a big group of people together in a room who have one, maybe two, things in common: excitement for a book and love for an author. So much so, that they’ve come to a bookish party! Then, when the pandemic happened, I discovered virtual launch parties, and to be totally honest, I love them even more. I miss the element of sharing a physical space with people (yes, even with my introversion), the physical decorations surrounding us, and even the sweet smells of spilled wine or juice on the drink bar… but when you minimize your distractions, you can feel the presence of being in a virtual room, too, especially when you share that common interest with the people there. Plus, there’s the added bonus of being able to join from anywhere and to be able to invite anyone you wish, no matter where they live. Since moving to Croatia, I can’t tell you how many book launches and poetry readings I’ve attended at 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM with a laptop on my couch and a hot coffee in my hands—or how many times I’ve started my next day extra early by rising at 3:45 AM to prepare for a 4:00 AM reading! The times get pretty quirky, for sure, but I love being able to stay connected to people I care about and to celebrate their achievements by still attending, even if I’m technically a lengthy plane ride away.
All of that said, virtual book launches take serious work to plan and to do… well. But I LOVE organizing them, hosting them, and celebrating people’s work. Lit Shark is already here, celebrating books by writing book reviews and conducting author interviews—why wouldn’t we help authors celebrate their books coming into the world, too?!
If this is something that interests you, great! Please reach out with information about your book, so we can make sure that we’re the best match for your book launch. Then, if we’re a match, you’ll get to pick your launch date! We’ll need at least a month’s lead time to prepare everything (though you could absolutely book farther in advance, too; human to human, that would actually help us out!).
Still interested? To start, we’ll offer two packages: The Celebration Package (Standard) and The Book Lovers’ Package (Premium).
Both packages will include an in-depth book review and author interview, which will be published on the Lit Shark website ahead of your virtual book launch party. Both packages also include the following virtual book launch features: an intro and outro for the event, door prize and giveaway organization, a short live author interview (different from the written one), reading time for the author, a hosted Q&A time for the author, 1-2 games that tie into your book’s themes, 3 designed merch products, a mini marketing plan for after the party, and book sales at the party. Not to mention a book club-style, easy to follow along with packet readers can fill out as we go… and an ambiance suggestion menu.
The Book Lovers’ Launch (Premium) option includes all of the above, PLUS: additional designed merch products, a full marketing plan (if you can tell us anything about your next book, we can create a marketing outline that carries you all the way to your next book launch!), a branding board you can use for this book and your writing life, and also, a listicle written on the website, organized around your book (for example, if we’d promoted Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, we might have written a listicle like, “Gone Girl and 13 Other Psychological “Girl” Thrillers”).
If this is something you’re interested in having done for you (the writing life is HARD, I know), act fast! We’re starting off with temporarily low rates for each of these packages, but we’re contemplating raising our prices in October 2023, and again in the New Year, but we’ll honor the price that was in place at the time of the booking (i.e. if you booked today for a launch in February 2024, you’d still get today’s pricing on that launch).
Owning Your Core Stories with McKenzie Lynn Tozan
I was named after a girl who died in a house fire.
That isn’t a lie. That isn’t a hook to get you to keep reading. It was a heavy truth I started to carry with me from a very young age, but the origin is admittedly strange and perhaps questionable to anyone but me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the implications of nature, the fire, the violence, and the entrapment that was attached to the name given to me instead of my mother’s initial choice.
For thousands of reasons, this was something in my life that I needed to unpack—why had it always lingered with me? Why could I never seem to let it go? Why did it bother me so much? I started writing poems, and there inevitably may be enough for a whole collection at some point. There’s also a character I’m toying with in a book series I’m on-and-off writing who may pick up this burden, too. But I know I have more digging to do before I can figure all of that out.
And I know this is true for you, too. There’s something in your life that has followed you, positive OR negative, and shaped in surprising ways, and you feel it, hear it, knocking when you’re writing. But maybe you don’t quite know what to do with it. Maybe you need to process your emotions around it more before the story comes. Maybe you’re like me and need to process several layers deeper before you’ll get to the really hearty poems.
I adore core stories—the stories behind the stories. I mentioned a Friday Feed or two back that deleted scenes and bonus content on DVDs used to be SUPER POPULAR, sometimes even more than the films/episodes themselves, because people were so invested in how the story was made, and what was so important about that story, what made the writers and producers tick. That’s what you need to answer about yourself, and then own it. Why is this subject so important to you? Why won’t it give you a break? Or… what if it did? What would you feel then? Empty in some way?
There are stories about yourself that you need to share with others—through writing, through art, through another medium—but you also need to own the story behind the story for yourself. Why you want to write it, and what will really happen if you don’t.
In the coming weeks, we’re releasing an affordable self-paced course for writers to begin to really work through their stories and create a plan for telling them. A deeper dive into this will also be incorporated into another higher-level program we’re working on for writers who want to get themselves on the right footing, now rather than later, in their writing habits, their marketing, and their readership, in The Author Emulation Process.
Keep your eyes out for our self-paced Core Stories program dropping in the next few weeks, followed by more information about The Author Emulation Process!
Huge Wins This Week at Lit Shark!
Someone Somewhere Maybe by Sophie Diener—Upcoming Author Interview and Book Review
I’m happy to announce that I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Sophie Diener’s Someone Somewhere Maybe, a popular poet on TikTok (a TikTok sensation, really!) who wrote an incredibly touching collection of poetry about self-development, relationships, and paying the love forward.
Her work is being compared to Rupi Kaur, Amanda Lovelace, and Cleo Wade, and I can totally see why. The collection is smart and imagistic, and it’s a book you’ll easily want to read in one sitting and turn back to on the quieter, lonelier, more stressful days.
The book’s coming on September 26th, and we can’t wait to share our official review of the book, as well as our exclusive interview with TikTok sensation Sophie Diener herself!
America Fantastica by Tim O’Brien—Upcoming Author Interview and Book Review
I’m floored to announce that I’ve received an ARC of Tim O’Brien’s potentially LAST novel, America Fantastica, and I’ll not only be reviewing the book, but I’ll be conducting an exclusive interview with TIm O’Brien himself.
This is one of those book experiences where I am endlessly grateful to have received a review copy—and the fact that I also get to interview Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, which I read for the first time so many years ago (and turned me into an immediate O’Brien fan) just increased that gratitude and thankfulness by an easy 3001.
I’ve read some of O’Brien’s other interviews, and I can’t wait to see what comes up in this one… But I especially can’t wait to share the final results with you.
Now, I’m off to work on reading this 500-pager (well, 499) . . .
Thanks for reading, all. Have the most wonderful weekend!