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21 June 2023

Checking off the Tasks to Launch this New Agatha Christie Book

Author Observations

Checking off the Tasks to Launch this New Agatha Christie Book

You may have had the same author daydream I have had. When your book is about to be published, your agent will have set up a grand launch event with crowds, a brief book-reading, and maybe finger sandwiches.

The reality is somewhat different when you are self-published.

First of all, there is no agent setting up anything. Instead, it is you setting things up, along with your fond and faithful spouse. Secondly, while self-publishing has come a long, LONG way since the early days, there are still hiccups that make a true book launch a series of events rather one big day.

I belong to a lot of author groups and follow even more author blogs, so I have read about the difficulties of coordinating a book launch. Authors will self-publish on different platforms for different reasons such as one platform is better for paperbacks while another is better for bookstore sales, so there are logistics to deal with there. Then there’s the question of which platforms allow pre-sales because there’s no point in creating pre-launch buzz if no one can place a pre-sale order.

Coordination is important because racking up pre-sales and lining up pre-launch reviews can be extremely influential when the book is officially launched. An author also wants to have their associated marketing ready to go, including press releases, blog tours, podcast interviews, and naturally, their own website and social media platforms. I suspect this kind of planning is most important for authors who write a series of books in a specific genre. No rabid fans are breathlessly waiting for this, my first installment.

Still, I wanted to be prepared. Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub all have author profiles you can create, but there are caveats. I already had profiles at each of these for my Illinois history books, but I made the decision to use a different author name for the Agatha Annotated series, and that was a bit of a problem. At Amazon, you can have separate author profiles for your different pen names, BUT not until you have published the book and can prove that you are, in fact, the author. Goodreads and BookBub have their own rules to deal with. Working with the Goodreads librarian was a quick and pleasant experience. I’m still waiting to be approved by BookBub.

We’ve been doing a lot of testing, too, even though the book and website are live. My husband/publisher has been working very hard to streamline the technology to make the glossary website fun and easy to use. Some friends and family played with it and passed on further suggestions that have also been implemented. Social media accounts have been updated and blogs are being posted, of course. Most recently, the newsletter, with all its forms and RSS feeds, is now live and is ready for signups.

So, I guess Agatha Annotated is launched?

Throwing a launch event in addition to all this other activity and our day jobs sounded exhausting, so I’m not doing that. Instead, I’ve got my nose to the marketing grindstone to get the word out.

Even with a quiet launch and little marketing, there have been sales, which is super exciting! And scary. For months, I’ve been going back and forth between “other Christie fans will like this” and “this is the stupidest idea you ever had.” Now it’s time to see which one is true.

Here we go!

Photo by Pixabay

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What is Agatha Annotated?

This website is the home of the Agatha Christie database as annotated by Kate Gingold, hence the name Agatha Annotated.

It's a rich glossary of

  • nearly 1900 terms
  • over 200 illustrations
  • 347 French phrases

Kate found them while reading Agatha Christie novels, and wrote them, along with definitions curated from years of research, into this database.

Currently the first 11 Christie books, those she wrote in the 1920s, are annotated here. 

Anybody can be a member and gain access to this rich glossary. Visit the Community page to learn the details.

We took the 1920s terms and published a book, Agatha Annotated: Investigating the Books of the 1920s, now available on Amazon in Paperback or Kindle format.

Kate will be adding to the database and members get the new terms and definitions first before the second volume is printed, plus members can comment and ask questions about the terms and Kate and other members can reply.

We hope you enjoy. Click around the pages to learn more.

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Agatha Annotated: Glossary of Terms

Agatha Annotated glossary, books, data base, essays and all content on this website are property of Gnu Ventures Company; all rights reserved; no copying without express permission.

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Annotator Kate Gingold

Kate Gingold

... has been a huge fan of the works of Agatha Christie her entire adult life. Christie's vivid descriptions of picturesque English life in the early-to-mid twentieth century fascinated Kate, but many of the people and places were unfamiliar to her. A writer herself, as well as a researcher and historian with several local history books to her credit, Kate began a list of these strange words and set out to define them. Now, Christie fans like you and all those who come after will be able to fully enjoy the richness of Agatha Christie novels with their own copy of Agatha Annotated.

Learn more about Kate