The Book Lump

As I’ve said, I feel good about my marketing efforts to people I know. I told y’all about it. I told Facebook about it. I told Twitter about it. If you know me and don’t know about the book, you just aren’t paying attention.

As you remember, my sales goal is 333 copies. To date, I’ve sold 63 paper books and 18 books on Kindle.

I am now incredibly conscious of the lump. I don’t know what the lump is, exactly, but it stands between me and people I don’t know who might like the book. So, now, the trick is to get over the lump. For some reason, I’m imagining a lump of jelly. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a metaphor. But it’s like a fifty-foot wall of jelly between me and folks who might like the book who don’t know me.

So, how to get to them?

–I’m hoping for print media coverage of some sort. This is something of a long-shot, at least in terms of reviews, but maybe someone will write something about self-publishing and mention my book. There have been some “maybe”s and “possibly”s in this direction, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

–Events. This is shaping up. First, there’s going to be a book launch on the 20th of October, I think. I should get those details named down tomorrow, but, if this seems like your thing, pencil me in. Bring a friend. And buy dinner or beers. I probably won’t have books for sale here, because I don’t feel like learning how to remit sales tax to the state. If you can’t afford dinner, no worries. Things seem to be shaking out so that there will be at least one free event (possibly on Halloween), and maybe three.

–Radio. Unless I get bumped, a story will be on WPLN the Friday before Halloween. And there may be something else, we’ll see.

–TV. So, this is crazy fun! I’m going to Chattanooga on the Thursday before Halloween to be on Channel 9. Anyone who has any tips about make-up for TV should please chime in in the comments, because I’m afraid I’m going to look like a shiny ghost.

–Internet. The new stories, in their old, unedited form, will run here throughout October. Jim Ridley is going to let me run 5 stories (one each Friday night in October) over at Pith. I’ll need to pick those this weekend. I also need to get with the Nashville Feed guys and ask them if they still want to have a story on a podcast. I hope so. That would be cool. The interview I did will run the Thursday before Halloween.

Um, and I think that’s it. I gave away 25 frees. The good news is that, adding my Kindle money and my regular book money together, I have already earned back all I spent to put the book out, plus a little more that will cover the trip to Chattanooga.  So, that was a pleasant surprise.

I keep thinking, while doing this, about what the implications are for publishing and whether I think just anyone could do this herself. I’m becoming more convinced that we won’t see the end of publishers, though I think we’ll see publishers radically transform. I also think that bookstores and wholesalers and review media are going to have to adapt to the rise of half-way decent self-published books. The royalty rates are just too good for people who think they know how to reach their audience to not keep trying it themselves first.

But there’s going to be an important role for people who will provide support to the people trying to do it themselves.

I don’t know.

I’m pretty excited about October and interested to see what happens. But I also feel anxious. I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing the right thing or enough or what.

I don’t know. But I’m doing all I can do, so that’s what I can do.

Ha, just be prepared. If you self-publish, you will be comforting yourself with a lot of strange platitudes.

Old Dog is Old, And Yet…

Last night, the dog was sleeping next to me on the couch and I accidentally bumped her. It startled her awake and I could tell, for a second, she had been sleeping so hard she had no idea where she was. Just a second. But I noticed. Young dogs don’t sleep that hard. They slip in and out of sleep when they need to as easily as they need to.

Old dogs, though, they sleep like it’s practice for death.

Breaks my heart.

And yet, this morning, when we finished up our walk, she ran huge loops around me, like she always has, and I raised the leash over my head to let her circle by, as I always have, and then she dug into the mole burrows in the AT&T yard and then flung herself after the cat and then attacked a stick like it was a ferocious beast. She was, as usual, happy to be alive.

Stiffer than she used to be, but no less enthusiastic.