Monday, February 20, 2012

Writing Is Easy

As probably any artist will tell you, creating the work is easy compared to the arduous process of selling and promoting it. It took dozens of queries to agents and editors before I found a publisher for my first novel, Chemistry. And from that experience, I learned that, even when your book is in print, there’s a lot of work left to do.

The whole process, of course, is somewhat terrifying. Self-promotion has never been my strong suit. But if you’re not willing to expose yourself, then I guess there isn’t much point in being a writer. I suppose I could do like Emily Dickinson did and hide every scrap of paper in the attic and pray for posthumous recognition. But what fun is that?

With some experience under my belt now, I feel a little better prepared for the upcoming publication of my second book, The Heart’s History. Fortunately, my day job has afforded me certain skills in project management, and I’m making use of all of them now, in service to something far less lucrative but far more personally meaningful.

First comes lining up the blurbs (so far, so good; the book has already received lovely endorsements from Michelle Tea and Rigoberto González—see previous blogs). In addition, I’ve written a press release, which will soon be sent to a long list of publications for review and another list of bookstores (endangered species, so that list is less intimidating) to schedule readings. And, of course, I’m calling in every favor I’ve ever offered to people in the media who might help with other means of promotion. (Are you listening, Hollywood?)

Frankly, when I’m not quaking in my boots as I hit the “send” button, it’s all rather exciting. Every day, there’s another task to add to the to-do list, another email to send, another opportunity to repeat my elevator speech.

The real problem, of course, is that novel #3 remains on the back burner until I’m done promoting novel #2. And let me tell you, those new characters are clamoring to be heard. … Never fear, my darlings: your time is coming. Perhaps this time next year, you’ll be getting all my attention and the next generation (yes, I already know the general outline of novel #4) will be whining for attention.

A novelist’s work is never done.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home