Last night, we had a wonderful virtual launch party for TRAJELON and I did a reading from the first chapter (while my jerk dog loudly ate his kibble right next to me.)
This is a recording of that stumbly reading in my very echoey dining room, for anyone who wanted to be there but missed it.
Other highlights of the event included a giveaway that I swear was not rigged despite the fact that the same eight people won all thirteen prizes, a lovely group toast, and an uproarious game of Cards Against Humanity played with a custom deck we made just for the occasion. All cards were in the theme of writing, fantasy, sci-fi, or Asrellion. Several people asked if they could purchase the deck for themselves because it was amazing. (Alas, it’s a one-off.)
The real hero of the night, the card that could win every hand, was “Wookiee Wang.”
We did it! It’s November 24th, 2020, and TRAJELON is live for purchase at all of the major online retailers.
Hopefully, all of you have your copies already, as I sent out the physical copies three weeks ago and the eBooks last week. I’m very proud of this book and am terribly excited for you to read it!
As a reminder, this evening at 8 p.m. EST I am having a virtual launch party featuring a prize giveaway and a naughty writing-themed card game. All you need to attend is Zoom, the link to the party room, and the password 2TRAJELON. There is a handy FAQ here to address all of your questions.
To keep all social media posts about the party easily followable as the evening progresses, please use the hashtag #TRAJELONparty.
I hope you will be able to join me, not least because this Book Birthday is your victory too! Thank you again to everyone who helped make this happen. We did it! We made a book!
A final word before I twirl off to enjoy my Book Launch:
This mostly concludes the Kickstarter campaign for TRAJELON, with two notable exceptions and one request.
All rewards have been delivered at this time except for the two fancy maps of Asrellion (which are in progress), and the exclusive backer Q&A which will take place some time in January. Look for news about that after the New Year. If there remain any rewards you are due that have not arrived yet (or, like the eBook or short stories, that you are having trouble accessing,) please get in touch with me so we can get that sorted out right away. Otherwise that’s us square and I hope you enjoy the book you helped me make!
Which brings me to the request: Now that TRAJELON is out in the world, its success depends entirely on reviews and word of mouth. Please help this book you supported to realize its potential by doing your part in that arena. Online reviews and ratings, blog posts, social media boosts, book clubs, even just gifting it to your friends or talking it up to anyone who might appreciate it — all of that is an essential part of helping a new book to thrive in the wild. If all you can do is an Amazon and/or Goodreads rating, that alone is significant and a great help. So pretty please, go forth and review!
And I hope to see you tonight on Zoom at 8 Eastern.
Just five weeks! That’s how soon this book we’ve been waiting all year for is going to burst onto the scene. I hope you’ve got the launch party in your calendar, because the custom card deck has gone to print and I’m really excited to play a silly game with it. (I know I said I would take suggestions through October, but we were full up already!)
The signed grand prize poster is here and it’s beautiful – ready and waiting to go to whomever the lucky winner of the draw might prove to be.
The special hardcover copies for the top-tier backers have also arrived, and I am pleased to report that they are just scrumptious.
It’s also worth mentioning that I’m getting very excited about this book birthday – so excited that I am almost certainly going to mail your books out to you even earlier than I said I would. Probably the instant it’s November. The envelopes and the books are just sitting here ready to go, and I’m champing at the bit.
As a reminder, there are short stories at my website if you find yourself craving more Asrellion in the next month while we wait.
Very close now, folks! I hope to see you at the party!
Well it’s October now which means that Trajelon comes out NEXT MONTH! It sure has been a long and crazy road just to get this far.
I’m slowly but surely preparing for the virtual book launch party.
I’ve ordered some prizes for the raffle, I’ve spruced up my press room, I’m planning decorations and snacks for the evening, and most of all I’m working on the custom card deck for our Cards Against Humanity-style game. I even worked up a spiffy event flyer.
It occurred to me suddenly when my friend sent me those adorable book earrings, and I commented that now I knew what to wear to the book launch, that actually I hadn’t been giving any thought to getting myself ready for the party. If this thing were in-person, I absolutely would have already been thinking of what to wear. I’m not sure why that never crossed my mind for this. So yeah, now I’ve also begun to fuss over my party clothes. It might seem like a silly thing to worry about, but I want to get into the proper party mindset as much as I can, even though circumstances are weird. Especially because circumstances are weird.
But the main thing, right now, is that custom card deck. I am still soliciting suggestions and welcome all of your fun and kooky ideas. Anything relating to writing in general, speculative fiction genres (for example: Tolkien references ahoy), and references to my stories is welcome. We’re currently at about 70 white cards and 40 black cards, which is respectable but more would be so much better.
If you think you have a prompt for a custom card, email your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel a little iffy about the necessary format, don’t worry. We’ll clean it up so that it fits. I’ll be taking suggestions through October, so the clock is ticking!
Q: When is this party? A: Tuesday, November 24th, 2020, from 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time until we’re all partied out.
Q: Is this event in-person or virtual? A: Due to COVID-19, this book launch event will be exclusively virtual. The author will be joined at her home by her husband, fellow writer Jonathan R. Skocik, but all other attendees will log into the party virtually via Zoom.
Q: Will it be live? A: Yes! Live and interactive, so be sure to log in on time.
Q: Is there a hashtag for this event? A: #TRAJELONparty
Q: The announcement mentions a raffle. Do I have to purchase tickets? A: No. Your attendance at the Zoom meeting is your ticket to entry in the raffle. All attendees will be eligible for all prizes.
Q: What are the prizes being offered in the raffle? A: Some of the prizes remain TBD, but the grand prize will be a Trajelon release poster signed by the author and the cover artist.
Q: Do I need a password to enter the party? A: Yes. Use the link provided and enter invite code 2TRAJELON to join the Zoom meeting.
Q: What is this card game mentioned in the event announcement? A: Alyssa has arranged for a few fellow authors and artists to join her in a game in the style of Cards Against Humanity, using a custom card deck that has been created for the occasion. It references the fantasy genre, writing, the world of Asrellion where Alyssa’s novels take place, and the settings of the other players’ created works.
Q:Trajelon is the second book in a series. What if I haven’t read the first book? A: The first book, Mornnovin, is available to purchase on Aerio, Amazon, and most other major book retail sites in both eBook and trade paperback format. It’s a good read; you should absolutely check it out!
Q: I’ve never been to a virtual launch party. How does this work? A: The good news is that we’re all just figuring this (and 2020 as a whole, really) out as we go, so there’s no wrong way to do it. We suggest wearing something comfy, nerdy, or fancy — whatever makes you happy — rounding up some snacks and a festive beverage or two, and settling in with your screen someplace quiet. Alyssa will do a reading from the book, the raffle will happen, and then we’ll all just relax together and chat while the sure-to-be-ridiculous game unfolds. The main thing to remember is that we’re celebrating a book birthday!
Q: Can I suggest cards for this special custom deck? A: You absolutely can and Alyssa would be delighted if you did. You can leave your suggestions for both White and Black cards in the comments here or email them to email@example.com until October 31st. They may be edited slightly to fit the format of the game.
Q: Who are the other authors who will be attending? A: Given the nature of… all of everything happening this year, some of them have asked to be allowed some fluidity in their commitments to events so far into the future. For this reason, no names are being announced until such time as the party is actually taking place. However, the MC for the evening will be Matt R. Lohr, co-author of Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure.
Q: Do I have to talk at this Zoom meeting? A: No! You can mute your mic if you want. Or not. Whatever makes you happy.
Q: I might be a little late; is it okay to sign in after the party has started? A: Absolutely! Join when you can. Just remember that if you don’t get there in time for the raffle, you’ll miss out on the chance to win some sweet prizes.
Q: I’d like to be there, but I might have to leave early. Is that okay? A: Of course. Your presence is appreciated but certainly not required. You do you.
Q: I might miss the party, but I’d still like to see it. Will a recording ever become available online? A: Alyssa currently has the Zoom meeting set to save to the local hard drive. Assuming all attendees agree, a recording will go up on YouTube on November 25th. If they do not, then no.
Well we’re heading toward the end of September now, which means that Trajelon comes out in just a little over two months. I’d hinted before that I was working on a book launch party plan.
Today is the day I tell you all about it!
You are cordially invited to join me on Tuesday, November 24th at 8 p.m. EST for a virtual party to celebrate the release of Trajelon, the long-anticipated second entry in The Way of the Falling Star.
After a reading from the book, I have arranged for a number of fellow authors and artists to join me via Zoom in a very special game of the Cards Against Humanity sort for your entertainment, using a one-of-a-kind deck crafted for the occasion. The event will be hosted by the convivial Matt R. Lohr, co-author of Guide to Screenplay Structure. There will undoubtedly be appearances by my adorable husky Hento throughout the evening, as I will be beaming to you from the virus-free safety of my living room. And! I am planning a special little giveaway open to those who attend.
And because I’m all about that audience participation, I will be accepting card suggestions until the end of October. The theme of the deck is writing, books, genre fiction, and Asrellion references, and I am seeking ideas for both White and Black Cards. (There will also be references to the created universes of the other participating authors, but that’s another story. Heh. Get it?) Feel free to leave your suggestions here or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surprise, surprise, I don’t actually know how to have a virtual book launch party in the middle of a global pandemic, so I’m still tinkering with the technical logistics of the thing. For now just put a pin in this date and time; I’ll send out the relevant link for the party when I have it all worked out, soon. It will in all likelihood take the form of a big Zoom meeting.
So grab yourself something sparkly to join me in a toast, and a little snack or two, and settle in to watch an evening of Authors Behaving Badly on 11/24/20 as we launch this beautiful book out into the world!
As of today, we’re just three months out from the official launch day of Trajelon and I seem to be regaining some cognitive function on my latest med dose. Good thing too, because it’s almost past time to really get into the work of reaching out to book bloggers and securing advance reviews. It’s also time to seriously rethink the launch party.
When I was first contemplating launch party options, back in January and February, the world was a very different place. A place where, as you know, things happened and we sometimes went to them. My town has a nice little library that is very enthusiastic about supporting local authors; I imagined I’d approach them about hosting my shindig. It would have been a bit of a hike for the friends I have in Pittsburgh, but I was going to ask some of my local author friends to attend. Ideally, one of them would have given me a nice introduction, and I would have read from Trajelon before doing snacks and a signing. It wasn’t much, but I’m an introvert and a writer, not a publicist. It would have done the job.
Now of course we’re in fully uncharted waters and there be monsters here.
Like a lot of us, I clung to hope well past its printed expiration date that we might be able to resume our normal activities by mid/late fall. It took me a while to admit that no, that’s just obviously not going to happen at this point. The drawing board awaits. Lucky for me, with my book launch happening later in the year, I have the example of many other writers who have worked out the concept of virtual launch parties to follow and take inspiration from. And one plus side? Any of you can attend if you want, no matter where in the world you are!
I can’t say yet what precise form the virtual launch will take, as I’m still brainstorming and working out details. When I do work it out, you’ll be the first to know. And I look forward to having you there with me as I debut Trajelon to the world!
For the moment, let me debut something else to your waiting eyes.
As an additional WordPress note, if I have any readers who are interested in doing an advance review of Trajelon on your blogging platform, Goodreads, The StoryGraph, and/or Amazon, contact me at email@example.com.
Whew, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been out here tearing it up and living my best life, but that would be the utter opposite of the truth.
In reality, in June my post-surgical recovery ran into a ditch big enough for a megalodon to peacefully nap in, and I’ve been spending all of my energy each and every day trying to claw my way back up and out. There was even an ER visit.
I also wish I could say that I’ve tenaciously continued to do the pre-publication work that needs to get done before the book launch in November, but that would be a gross exaggeration of what I’ve actually been able to manage during the last two and a half months. I mean, some things that needed to get done have been done. At the very least, I am now sitting on a hoard of physical copies of Trajelon like a particularly nerdy dragon.
So there’s that.
And, hey, absent being able to manage any of the heavy mental lifting necessary to do promotion, I did finally get around to creating a merch shop for branded Asrellion and Dogwood House swag. There’s still a lot I want to add to it, but I’d been meaning to just make the shop for a long time and kept getting distracted by other things, so it’s nice to have taken the plunge. If any of you happen to have a favorite line of dialogue or something like that you’d wear on a shirt, let me know and I’ll think about incorporating it into the shop.
Also, requiring no additional work from me, the Kirkus reviews for both Mornnovin and Trajelon are in. The reviewer loved Mornnovin. As for Trajelon, I feel the review neglected to mention certain critical aspects. It paints a somewhat breezy picture of the action, and for the sake of covering my own butt I want you to go in completely forewarned that this is an adult-rated novel with dark themes.
But hey, I’ve got a blurb for the release poster!
I’m maybe? starting to get my recovery back on track (knock on wood), and there are wonderful people trying to help me with the pre-launch work I haven’t been able to manage myself. The paperbacks, as I said, are already here. One way or another, to greater or lesser fanfare, this book is coming out on November 24th. (If the world hasn’t utterly imploded by then. I guess I shouldn’t dare 2020 by speaking with too much certainty about the future.)
Thank you for being patient with me and for believing in my stories! Please keep talking them up if you can wherever possible. I need all the help I can get driving interest in the world of Asrellion before the release, since I’m decidedly not up to the big marketing push I’d hoped and planned to do.
And remember: Hento loves you and wants you to stay safe.