I’ve veered a little from discussing what was the original intention of my blogs, which is how I am promoting myself and the new book. Last week I talked with a woman who had hired a publicist, and it made me feel better talking to her because it sounds like a lot of what I am already doing a publicist would do for 10X the cost. My approach is very commonsensical, and most of what I am doing is free.
Though I haven’t written what I’ve been actively doing, I have been doing stuff. I created a Facebook page for my book, and so far I have 31 people who like it! Please “like” it! I wish I had put that link up before my PW article. But that’s okay. Live and learn. I also sent the last (and hopefully) final edits to the press. I had over 200. What can I say? I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Taking the cue from another writer, I read the entire manuscript from front to end out loud and fixed places that did not flow well. If I had more time with it, I’d do more to tighten it, perhaps hire an editor, but there’s not enough time. I hope it passes muster the way it is. I am now waiting for a final check, as well as final approval of the jacket, the back, and the spine. They have promised me that the publication date will not slip, so I am hopeful this is still the case. I have many readings dependent (and costly travel) on a timely release date.
Last week I put together a weekly “to-do” list of sorts in Excel. It’s eye-opening how many things I need to do between now and the end of the year. But it made me feel better having it all organized and now the Excel sheet tells me what to do.
I’ve also been working on all the different readings that I have planned. Every place has a different format. Some want an hour presentation, others want thirty minutes. I’m being interviewed by a radio station in Evansville that only wants a two minute reading. So I have to be prepared. I’m starting with the hour long one and whittling down. I did a run down of it the other day in front of the mirror, and I was disappointed by how stilted and artificial I sounded. Like I was reciting a thesis. Luckily I have a couple more months still to work on my manner.
I also ordered some bag totes that have my book title, website, and name on it, along with the tagline, “a first novel of survival and redemption.” I’m hoping to pass them out to bookstores as well as to people who purchase the tote. This so far has been the only “cost” I’ve incurred for self-promotion.
One of the ladies at my get-together last week told me about NetGalley. It’s a site where publishers can upload galleys of soon-to-be-released books, which can then be downloaded by potential reviewers. Unfortunately, I am not able to do this myself. It has to go through my publisher, but I forwarded NetGalley SFA Press’ information. Maybe something will come of it. I also forwarded them information about the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers award. It’s a long shot. I don’t think I’d even come close to winning, but it’s free to submit. I sent it to the press, but have not heard back. I will call them next week.
Other news: I have received some more rejections. I got a generic one in the mail from the Gettysburg Review. I am in awe of some of the rejections I get in the mail because they are printed so nicely on fancy paper. It must cost a pretty penny to print those out. Why not instead use that money to pay a stipend to an intern, who can provide more personal responses? Just an idea. I also got a generic rejection from Storyglossia. When rejections don’t include the mandate, “please submit again,” I think it’s safe to assume I will never get published by them.
Only one time (out of hundreds) has this ever been not true. So the odds are not in my favor.