Publicity sucks. Mainly because it’s never ending and full of shame. Pitching strangers on Twitter, asking friends for Amazon reviews, tracking down email addresses for editors. It’s not fun although it has its moments. I wrote an author this week I found online and we instantly bonded over writing characters with nicknames. We’re both fans of nicknames. Now she’s sending me an ARC of her newest book. I felt fancy for a second.
But you never know where the publicity is going. A woman I met on a boat in Nicaragua, a woman that bought three of my books, has nothing to do with writing…did a huge shoutout to her friends for no reason but to help a sista’ out. Some people just get how hard this can be. Because it is. Cuz grassroots and all.
A lot of publicity is nothing but dead ends. I pitched two publications this week because I had their ear for just a moment. A nanosecond. So I took a chance. Both fell flat. The editors were nice, said they’d read the book but I could tell through an email they had no interest in m’book. No matter how I slanted it.
Then yesterday, I tracked down a book reviewer. Found his Twitter handle, wrote a hook and waited. He tweeted back his email address. I wrote the funniest pitch I could. He wrote back he couldn’t review m’book unless I had a reading in Portland coming up. I just melted because I’ve never been invited to a reading in Portland, so I felt so bummed. Here I had a guy willing to review m’book for a pretty good publication, but I had to have a reading first. Fuck. More work.
And then late last night, I got a PM from Powell’s Kevin Sampsell himself. He saw my book on the local author shelf at Powell’s. Said it looked really good there and would I like to read for Small Press Palooza in March? Ha, a reading in Portland, one that Carrie Seitzinger and Chloe Caldwell have read at. Um, yes please. I would. And thank you.
So yes, I’ll be writing the book reviewer back. Of course I will. I’m a whore at this point. Because you see I have a goal. One year. A certain amount of books sold. Then I’ll have the next step…street cred. Then I can send my next manuscript to the bigger houses. Because if you thought this was a one time shot, you’re wrong. I’m the hardest working whore you ever did see. I don’t quit. I don’t slow down. I’m like an Energizer Bunny. Success only comes from hard work. I’ve learned that from the nineteen other careers I’ve had. So I know what stage I’m in right now…the slinging pitches, submitting essays and pushing rope stage. But I’m in this for the long haul. Long. I won’t be going away.