Lisa Lewis Tyre’s debut middle grade novel Last in a Long Line of Rebels launched in September, 2015 with starred reviews. I asked her about her launch experience as well as what happens after the launch.
MGM: So, now that you’ve experienced the book launch, was there anything unexpected or would do differently for your next launch?
LLT: My launch was so much fun. I had a celebration at my local Indie bookstore, Fox Tale Books, and invited everyone I knew. It was a great party and my most successful book signing. If I had to do it over again, I’d try to enjoy the moment more.
MGM: Has social media helped promote your book and which platform has worked best?
LLT: Yes, in a variety of ways. Facebook helped me spread the message to friends and family that might not otherwise have heard that I’d written a book. Twitter is actually my favorite social media tool because of the number of writers, agents, and book lovers who gather there. It’s very much a community. Through Twitter, Brenda Drake, the creator of Pitch Wars, found me and asked me to be a PW mentor. During the contest, I found a story I loved and mentored a lovely writer. I found out recently that she is a teacher, and she bought and read my book, then ordered 110 copies for her school! For me, social media is a tool to connect with, and encourage other writers. Sales is a product of that, but not the goal.
MGM: After the big push of a launch, what other ways can author’s impact sales?
LLT: Boy, do I wish I knew the answer to this! I just try to give my book every opportunity to be in front of the public. I participate in book signings, book festivals, and library conferences. I have a free curriculum guide for teachers on my website and I do school visits. I participate in mentoring programs with other writers, teach at SCBWI events, and held a contest this year called The Bertie for middle-schoolers. And I do as many interviews like this one as possible, so thank you!
MGM: You’ve received wonderful reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Do you pay much attention to the ratings or do you try to steer clear?
LLT: I do read the reviews. I am grateful whenever a reader takes the time to write something. Obviously I like the nice reviews better, but I try to learn something from them all.
MGM: One of your characters experiences modern day racism. Have you had many questions from readers about this?
LLT: I’ve had several people comment on it and I was asked to speak on a panel at a book festival regarding racism in middle-grade novels. I think most kids identify with how heartbroken Lou is to find racism in her small town.
MGM: What has been your favorite comment from a reader?
LLT: I love connecting with readers and I’ve had some sweet letters. A young lady stopped me recently to say she’d enjoyed REBELS so much she read it twice. That was a good day. 🙂
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