Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Have Been Remiss

I have been remiss in updating the blog, and I must admit it has been for selfish reasons.  For the past few months, I have been busy giving readings instead of attending them.

Having your book published is a  tremendous event in one's life.  Having your book published is embarking on a new career--one that you have not spent years toiling away at in solitude.  You must go out and sell your book.

My book was published by a small press and had no bookstore distribution.  In other words, my book was only in bookstores where I or someone who liked my book convinced the buyer to put it on the shelf. 

This is not a posting of complaint.  It is a posting of gratitude for those people -- friends, acquaintances, and strangers -- who made a difference by getting When Love Was Clean Underwear into bookstores so that readers could stumble upon it.

Oddly enough, it was Barnes and Noble that gave me my first bookstore breaks.  Their store in Plymouth Meeting was the first to carry my book and I owe this to a stranger.  Fellow author Gus Cileone and I briefly met at the Montgomery County Community College Writers Conference last November.  After that Gus persuaded his local B&N to carry my book. Later the Community Relations Manager Chris Broome contacted me about participating in their Read Local Books series.

My second B&N success I owe to Tim Clancy (not Tom), a neighbor, who read my book and made sure it was stocked in the Rittenhouse store.  He was also helpful in scheduling a reading there.  Over sixty people came and my books sold out.  

I was at the Big Big Marble as part of their Writers and the Process Series thanks to the encouragement of my friend Don Gordon.  It was a lovely evening hosted by Minter Krozter.  There, I spoke to aspiring writers who attend writing workshops at the bookstore lead by Minter or her husband poet Hal Sirowitz.

I also owe my publicist Becky Kraemer a big debt.  The day she took me on as a client things fell into place.  Thank God she has a thing for fledgling authors wandering the marketing landscape without a clue.  Without all the local press, I wouldn't have had so many opportunities, like the chance to meet Debbie Rech and read at Head House Books.

My sister Mary Barr Mann set me up at Words in Maplewood, NJ where I met half the town.  Afterwards I hung out and we had drinks a few doors down.  A great evening.  I plan to write more books so I can go back there.

I've learned a lot over the past months.  In the future, when opportunities arise I'll have more ways of spreading the word about books I love.

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