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Six Ways to Support an Author’s New Book + CONTEST

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Therese here to introduce a heartfelt community post regarding a friend and guest of Writer Unboxed who needs our help now. It begins with a personal plea on her behalf, authored by her husband, continues with actionable steps you can take to help, authored by former WU contributor Allison Larkin, and finishes with a infographic that you can use and share to help other authors in general. Thanks for reading, and for sharing, WU community! Your support is very much appreciated. 


Click the photo group above to be taken to a social media page filled with downloadable pictures you can share over Instagram or other social media sites!

Tuesday is a special day in the world of traditional publishing, because it’s the day that a whole lot of books are released into the world for the first time. These books represent a mammoth effort for those authors, as we who write story understand, as well as the publishing house that releases that book. Every book has an ideal plan — a unique collaboration involving the author, the publicist and marketing team, and important peripheral groups, from stores to clubs, that sign on early as a book’s champion.

But ideals rarely go off without a hitch, because reality brings chaos and chaos can be catastrophic. Especially when the author herself can no longer participate in a book’s release.

Such is the case this month–today–with longtime friend, supporter, and guest of Writer Unboxed, author Ann Mah.

Ann’s story in her husband’s words:

My wife, Ann Mah, always fights hard against what writers call dull thud day — that day when their new books hit stores and sites with little fanfare, an anticlimax. She pushes for her own books, of course, but also for books by authors like her who must do so much on their own to promote their work.  Ann’s new novel, “Jacqueline in Paris,” comes out September 27.  Because of a serious sudden illness, she can’t make the case for it, not online or in person.  It is a great book.  I would be deeply grateful if you faithful unboxed writers could help me spread the word.

“Jacqueline in Paris” tells the story of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ junior year abroad in Paris in 1949-50 — a year she described as the happiest in her life.  Ann immerses us in Jackie’s feelings and thinking as she encounters France’s postwar awakenings and reckonings.  Her experiences unfold against the backdrop of Paris, which Ann depicts vividly and from the viewpoint of an attuned resident — the scents of fir trees and coal smoke on the street before Christmas; the dusty Roman amphitheater tucked behind a bus stop.  Ann also captures the intellectual and geopolitical ferment that made life in Paris and other European capitals so intense in the immediate postwar period.

The book grew from a travel story Ann wrote for The New York Times about Jackie’s time in Paris as a student — but she knew there was more to explore.  Ann researched the novel with the energy and rigor of a historian, going horseback riding in the Bois de Boulogne as Jackie did, enjoying tea with Jackie’s 90-something host sister, visiting Dachau as Jackie did.  The result is a book that is as transporting as it is absorbing.  

Writing “Jacqueline in Paris” struck a personal chord for Ann.  Like Jackie, Ann took chances and moved far from home at a young age (in Ann’s case, to Boston and then New York from Orange County, California), defying family expectations.  Like Jackie, Ann felt her time living in Paris transformed her, made her bolder and more confident.  The sexism Jackie faced resonates even 70-plus years later and animates Ann’s (and my own) efforts to make a positive difference in our work.  Ann also wound up marrying a public servant (me), although our style is more home-a-lot than Camelot.

Ann loathes self-promotion, like so many writers I’ve met during my lifetime, so I am unsure how successful she would be getting the word out about “Jacqueline in Paris.”  My hope is that the quality and integrity of this work will generate the high level of interest it merits.  But I love Ann too much to leave it to chance.  I hope you will help me defeat the dull thud and create a shooting star instead.    – Chris Klein, Ann Mah’s husband 

Thank you, Chris, for sharing Ann’s story with us, and for helping us to help Ann!

Today’s post continues with our good friend and former WU contributor, author Allison Larkin, who shares Six Ways to Support Ann Mah’s New Book!

Authors support authors. That’s what we do. You all know this because that’s the power of Writer Unboxed.

Ann Mah is always a gracious supporter of other authors and creatives. She tweets, posts, retweets, and champions the books, articles, and recipes she loves in her thoughtful newsletter. Ann is such a bright light, so we want to come together now to support our friend on the launch of her new novel, Jacqueline in Paris.

We know that sometimes the hardest part of helping is figuring out what to do. So we’ve brainstormed and crowdsourced to come up with a list of Ann Action Items for you! Pick one or two, or check off all of them! We want Ann’s launch day and the days beyond to feel like an overwhelming lovefest. And we want you to be a part of that.

Thank you so much for being a writer who is part of this community and the greater community of creative people. Thank you for making this launch day special for Ann and her family.

Get the book. Jacqueline in Paris is available today everywhere books are sold! Grab an extra copy for a friend! Get your holiday shopping done early! If you can’t buy the book, request a copy from your local library (also, make sure to check it out).

Leave a 5-Star Review. Give Ann’s new novel your heartfelt five stars on Goodreads, BookBub, and bookseller sites. If you’re still waiting to give it a read, you can add it on Goodreads!

Make it a Book Club Pick. Choose Jacqueline in Paris for your book club! Or start a book club and make it your inaugural pick! If you’re an author who visits book clubs, mention the book as a suggestion for future selections.

Spread the Word. Share your support of Ann and excitement for her beautiful new book on social media, in your newsletter, or even just tell friends and family who love to read! Ask your friends and followers to share and help spread the word too! Your social media message can be simple.

Here are a few examples (feel free to use them directly!):

Congratulations to @AnnMahNet on the release of Jacqueline in Paris! Kirkus gave it a starred review, calling it “A delightful and surprisingly insightful novel.” Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/bdde8k4y

Can’t wait to read @AnnMahNet’s new novel, Jacqueline in Paris, the poignant coming-of-age story of Jacqueline Bouvier’s year abroad before the world knew her as Jackie Kennedy. https://tinyurl.com/bdde8k4y

Write a Shelf-Talker. Ask your local bookstore if you can write a short recommendation they can include on their bookshelf to help draw readers to the book! Include what you love best about Jacqueline in Paris: Ann’s rich descriptions of Paris and Grenoble, insight into Jacqueline Bouvier’s inner life before she became one of America’s most famous First Ladies, or the magical coming of age mixture of heartbreak and adventure?

Attend a Book Event. On Wednesday, September 28th, at 8 PM Eastern, two exceptionally brilliant, kind authors who have also written Jackie Kennedy novels will be doing a virtual event to celebrate Ann and her new book. Steven Rowley (The Editor) and Louis Bayard (Jackie & Me) will partner with East City Bookshop to discuss Jacqueline in Paris. This is certain to be a unique and fascinating conversation. The event is free, but please register to attend! It helps support all three authors and the store supporting this event if you order your copies (or extra copies) from the store!

You can also invite your friends! Here’s a sample tweet or post, and a photo you can add to accompany it:


Looking forward to this virtual event (9/28 8 pm ET) with Jackie Kennedy experts @MrStevenRowley & @LouiseBayard in conversation with @eastcitybooks to discuss @AnnMahNet’s new novel, Jacqueline in Paris! Free registration here: https://tinyurl.com/4edbkfs9
Many thanks to Allie for both this post and for her fantastic “How to Support an Author” infographic below, which can be used to help any author with a new book release! “Right click” to save and share the image.

How else might we help to spread the word about Ann Mah’s Jacqueline in Paris? 

How have you helped authors and writers who’ve needed a hand in the past? 

What are some of the most inventive promotional ideas you’ve seen or tried yourself?

If you’d like to be entered into the running for a copy of Ann’s Jaqueline in Paris, please indicate interest in comments! If you’ve helped to spread the word about Jacqueline in Paris over social media, please include that in your comment for an extra chance at winning a copy of her book. We’ll choose a winner or two at the end of this week.

Thank you, WU Community!



Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton in 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~50 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. In 2014, the first Writer Unboxed UnConference (part UNtraditional conference, part intensive craft event, part networking affair) was held in Salem, MA. Learn more about our 2019 event, ESCAPE TO WuNDERLAND, on Eventbrite. In 2016, the Writer Unboxed team published a book with Writer's Digest. AUTHOR IN PROGRESS: A No-Holds-Barred Guide to What It Really Takes to Get Published has been well-received by readers who seek help in overcoming the hurdles faced at every step of the novel-writing process--from setting goals, researching, and drafting to giving and receiving critiques, polishing prose, and seeking publication. James Scott Bell has said of the guide, "Nourishment for the writer's soul and motivation for the writer's heart." You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter, and join our thriving Facebook community.

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