Reflections on a Bookversary

One year ago today, Angels of the Underground launched into the reading world.

Image result for book

It’s been an exciting year, and not because Angels is my first book. It’s my third–the final volume of my historical trilogy of the wartime Philippines.

Rather, it was exciting because this was my first book to be shopped by an agent and sold to a big publisher. (The whole process, including writing the actual book, took years.) I received an advance. I did not quit my day job.

Angels attracted more attention than my previous books. There was a review in Publishers Weekly. The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association selected Angels as a January 2016 Midwest Connections Pick. Vick Mickunas interviewed me for his Book Nook show on WYSO. I appeared on various blogs: Daily History, RA for All, Historiann, and History News Network. There were fun posts for Campaign for the American Reader.

I was invited to be part of a World War II symposium at the MacArthur Memorial, and C-SPAN was there to film it.

I was also invited to write a Five Best Books column for the Wall Street Journal.

Bookmarks! I had bookmarks made to hand out at events and just to hand out.


Looking forward into 2017, I’ll be giving a few more talks about Angels to different audiences. While I continue to promote the book, I’ll be working on a new one that will most likely center on women and war.

Two things I recommend about promotion. Have a book launch party.

Book Launch

Whether you host it yourself or have someone do it on your behalf, have one. It’s the best, most festive way of introducing your book to its potential reading audience.

Hand out bookmarks. Readers always need bookmarks. (Well, unless they read exclusively on e-readers.) These are relatively inexpensive yet useful “swag” items. Make use of both sides of the bookmark. For mine, one side was based on the book cover (see above) and the other provided contact and purchasing information. A good bookmark should sell you and your book.