Saturday, September 08, 2007

Too, Too Mortal Flesh

Donis speaking. I don't think I'm going to top Charles' tale of a brush with mortality. Not long ago, I heard a woman on NPR relate that her five year old daughter once came stomping down the stairs in a snit and demanded to know why we were ever born if we're just going to die anyway.

An excellent question that should convince anyone that children are deeper than adults give them credit for. The mother said she pondered for a minute before answering, because she wanted to give the girl a meaningful answer, and finally she replied that it was because of all the stuff that goes on in between.

Billy Graham was asked what he had learned about life, and interestingly, he said that he was just surprised at how fast it goes by. I think of that quite a bit, especially when it comes home to me that I have less time ahead than I do behind, and I wonder why on earth I ever spend time doing things I don't have to do that I don't particularly enjoy.

Speaking of which, my new book just came back from the printers a couple of days ago, and I'm in the throes of preparing for my publicity blitz, too. Now, since unlike Charles and Rick I'm one of the self-confessed non-enjoyers of promotion, this is kind of a slog for me. I've spent much of the past month contacting bookstores and reading groups and negotiating for programs and signings. I, too, am concerned that I haven't set up as many things as I'd like at this point, but I am spending a lot more money on travel for this book than I did for the first two, since I'm going to Bouchercon in Alaska and another conference plus a book tour in Colorado at the end of October. It'll be interesting to see how this works out. To make up for the fewer car trips this time, I'm going to see if I can manage to do more internet promotion. That'll be interesting, considering the state of my computer skills.

I'll enjoy going to Bouchercon, and travelling in Colorado, and doing various gigs around Arizona, where I live, but the major complaint I have about spending all the time on promotion is that I'd rather be writing, and I can't help the niggling little voice that asks me why I'm not using my remaining time doing more of the thing I love.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

There are many facets of promoting that don't much appeal to me, and most of that involves contacting people, tooting my own horn, basically the nuts and bolts of organizing things.

That being said, if a crime writer in this day and age isn't willing to do what it takes, they just can't expect to sell many books unless they're a) very, very good writers, and b) very, very lucky. (It does take both things.)

Yeah, I'd much rather be writing (or playing music), but I also want to make a career of this.

Think of it like having a baby. The release of the book is like the birth of another human. The really hard part is bringing them both up successfully.

My suggestion is to focus less on the parts of promotion you don't like and try to find things you do like. Touring with someone else is often a big help -- as Vicki will attest. On our (seemingly endless) book tour, we had a lot of good times.

(Vicki, time to tell everyone about our first attempt at trying out our somewhat worked out sell spiels. That's a fabulous "road story".

You might find that if you figure out what you want to say to people, it will help.

I feel my own blog entry falling into place, so I'll end this and start that...