Learning from a Book Launch

An Unexpected Grace

In January my new novel, An Unexpected Grace, will be available on Amazon and in bookstores.  Since last summer, I’ve been preparing for the launch.  I set up a website and author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Google+, and Pinterest.  I’ve learned to tweet and have coaxed everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life to be my friend on Facebook.

When I look up from my computer screen, I shake my head with wonder that a writer’s life could change so drastically in a few years.  Before, I wrote a book and then promoted it in bookstores and on radio and TV — a month, and that was it.  Now promotion has become a permanent part of my lifestyle.  For hours every day I search online for pictures to pin on Pinterest boards and for interesting information to tweet.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, as if social media is swallowing me in one big technological gulp.

Social media is fascinating, often mesmerizing, and I love my Internet connections with people.  But I’ve asked myself, When am I supposed to write more books?  Have I left behind my sacred mission of showing animals’ importance?  Am I lost in a forest of demands that will keep me forever from my life’s work?

Not long ago while mulling these questions, I went to my garden, which is my greatest place of solace, and began weeding my chard and kale patch.  A storm gathered, lightning flashed across the sky, and thunder rolled like kettle drums.  With a shiver, I thought, It’s not safe here.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I wasn’t just thinking about a lightning strike.  It also wasn’t safe for me to have strayed so far from my vocation as an animal writer.  I was in danger of the Internet tugging me from my purpose.  A worthy insight.

I didn’t shake a carrot at the heavens like Scarlet O’Hara, but I did vow to keep writing my books.  Last week I sent my agent a proposal for another novel –  of course, about an animal.  Today I tweeted all morning.  I’m determined to keep all balls in the air because I’m grateful for my readers and my work.

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12 Responses to Learning from a Book Launch

  1. Julie says:

    Wonderful piece, Kris. Keep on writing, your life’s talent and task!

  2. Michael Kaluzhinsky says:

    Kristin, our congratulations with the publishing of your new book.

  3. Thank you for showing folks who don’t write just what is asked of a writer these days! I spend more than half my time on PR tasks around my past and present books, all because publishers just don’t have the staff to look after these things anymore. I’ve set myself the goal of working on two books over the coming year, and believe me, it won’t be easy, given how much research my genre (non-fiction) requires of me, and the exigencies of holding down a day-job, just living a full life with husband and dog. But writing and celebrating through my writing the things that matter most to me is worth all the toil and trouble and even the pesky daily round of social media. Of those to whom much is given, much is required, and I accept that, as I know you do, too.

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thank you for your message, Grant. Times are definitely much harder for writers now, but you have the gift of passion for your subjects. That will carry you a long way. I will be thinking of you and your long work hours. It’s all worth it, or so it seems to me.

  4. Julie says:

    Great post Kris. I could totally relate and it was a good reminder for me! Looking forward to hearing about your new book.

  5. Don Davis says:

    Great to hear your new book will be on the shelves, both wooden and electronic, soon. I look forward to reading it, while reminiscing about sipping wine and sharing stories during our visits with you. Seems like yesterday or ten years, depending on how my mind is woring at the time. Hope we will see you again soon,and I can share my thought about An Unexpected Grace (don’t do italics on these things, since I have not mastered this high tech stuff yet). All our best,
    Don and Bunny)

    • Kristin von Kreisler says:

      Thank you for writing, Don. Surely I’ll find my way to Austin soon. I’m eager to visit you and Bunny. And thank you for your interest in An Unexpected Grace, too. Your support is a boost to my spirit.

  6. Gisele Fitch says:

    Kristin, my dear Franciscan friend, I love the title of your new book, Unexpected Grace.
    I can’t wait to read it !!!!
    I’m impressed you dove into the new world of social media as quickly and successfully as you did. Wow.
    I’m impressed even more by the huge amount of positive energy that arises for you to carry out your mission, as if you were getting younger toward death 🙂 Very inspiring!
    Then what strikes, most of all, is your wisdom to see in the lightening, the unexpected grace that real safety is in following the truest form of your calling.
    As a big fan of your writing and mission, I’m cheering that you’re devoting yourself to the form that best suits you.
    With all best wishes and unbounded celebration and love,

  7. Kristin von Kreisler says:

    Oh, my, Gisele! Thank you so much for your lovely words. I am grateful beyond measure for my work and my mission, and I am glad you understand it. I will be thrilled for you to read An Unexpected Grace — you, who are such a discerning reader. Your support is a blessing for me.

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