Radio and front of store

Kirsten is going to be interviewed on two national radio programs – The Story on NPR and The World on BBC Radio (or BBC World Radio…something like that.)  I know that equates to hundreds of radio stations, but the key, as always, will be in determining what kind of bump we get after the shows.  The really neat thing is that these came about through that mystical, magical stuff known as word-of-mouth.  It’s worth remembering that every interview granted, every signing attended, every reading at your local library and even every blog entry isn’t just for those in the room.  You are potentially auditioning for something else.  The bookers for one show watch the others.  Someone sees you at a local bookshop and mentions it to a friend of a friend who works at a network.  I’m not saying to rent an RV and travel the country, but when you do have the chance to talk, in whatever forum, it’s worth doing right.  You never know who’s listening…

Front of store – We’re charting trends and noticed that one chain was outperforming another.  Turns out the slower of the two had not fully implemented the front of store promotion.  The discrepancy was quite noticeable.  This is never really the call of the author, but wherever and whenever possible getting your book front of store is absolutely going to sell more copies.  Why, the consumer asks, would a book be piled six high at the front of the store unless it’s good?  Well, they ask that because they don’t know about co-op, but you do, and so will your agent. 

As for me, I continue to research the second book in the Iron Elves and revise the YA novel. 

The wheat from the chaff

I still haven’t figured out how to link articles, sorry, but here is the url (is that right?) to a nice overview on why great books get missed and why editors’ rejection letters are so nonspecific:

The morning after (no spoilers)

You wake up the next morning, roll over, and there, on the pillow beside you rests what seemed like such a wonderful idea the night before.  Your hand reaches out, tentatively, then withdraws, unsure what to do next.  There’s no going back.  The thrill of initial discovery is gone forever, but that doesn’t mean the love affair has to end.

Ok, so like millions of others, I woke up with my Harry Potter hangover after having stayed up late to read the book from start to finish on Saturday.  I always do this (I’m blessed/cursed to be a fast reader) and always wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had found a way to slow down and inhabit the world a little longer.  Still, it was a beautiful way to spend the day and I’ll cherish it always…until the next one.  There is going to be another one, right? 

Going to sea with a parachute

It’s dawning on me that this is my first novel, and all my years as an editor in the business mean more or less nada, and more on the less.  No one is going to pick up the book because they know I’m an editor, unless they are indulging a morbid curiosity to see if an editor can actually write.  Considering all the manuscripts I’ve rejected over the years I suppose there’s the faint hope all those spurned writers will buy copies to burn in protest, but that’s maybe a few thousand at most.  Sure, add in all the failed relationships and the number spikes, but alas, I don’t think I can build a career solely on the antipathy of others.  It’s going to come down to the story, as it should.   I’ll live and die by the story I write, and nothing else.  All the contacts and insider knowledge is a whole lot of sound and fury that in the end signifies nothing.  Sounds about right.

Ahhh, controver$y

Publishing, at times, is like going to the zoo and poking a stick through the bars at a sleeping lion.  You want to wake the lion up, get it to roar a bit and put on a show.  You don’t want the lion to jump the bars and make you its mid-morning snack.  A balancing act.  So too when courting controversy with your publicity.  Choosing a title like Band of Sisters was more than simply creating a sympathetic harmonic with Stephen Ambrose’s best seller, it was also a shot across the bow of chauvinists everywhere; women are in combat, deal with it.  Unsurprisingly, some can’t, or won’t.  If you’re curious, you can read some of what’s going on at  Scroll down to Book Buzz, click, and see what the buzz (the elixir of life in publishing) is all about.   You’ll notice, he says affecting an air of practiced innocence, that of all the books they could be talking about, they’re talking about this one.  Gratis.  And for every sling and arrow sent its way, there are that many shields springing up to defend it.  The end result will be increased awareness followed by increased sales. 

Detractors almost never buy the book, they save their money and rail against what they perceive to be wrong with it.  The great thing about that is that all the gnashing and chest-thumping acts like a beacon for those interested in the book, and they are far more likely to buy it, especially after their blood gets hot reading what the naysayers have to bray.  Hmmm, I wonder if this would work when on a date…