More Notes from the Road

It’s July and I’m on the road again. Part vacation and part more Wild Women, Wild Voices book promotion in various locales on the east coast side of the country.

What they tell you about authors being charged with marketing and promoting their own books is true. I’m fortunate that I’m with a publisher who assigned a staff publicist to my book. But promoting my book is my responsibility, too and I’m dropping “Get Your Howl On!” buttons like bread crumbs along the trail.

howl button

Of course you know that these days it’s not just about getting reviews and lining up appearances at bookstores, booking interviews, creating press kits, and sending out postcards. These days it’s all that, plus the Internet: websites, and blogs and social media and online reviews and interviews on podcasts and guest postings. Maybe you make a book trailer or a video and some bookmarks. You publish newsletters and you tweet and post on your Facebook page and invite people to follow you and Like you. You Link-in, and Pin and Instagram. These days, it can be overwhelming! We can’t do it all, so do what we can.

What I know is that, for me, all this marketing and promotion isn’t about selling books. If I measured every effort against how many books it would sell—time and effort vs. bottom-line numbers, I’d have to fire myself as my own marketer. More importantly, I wouldn’t be having any fun.

For me, all this marketing and promotion is a way to share my excitement about my new book, and the many methods of sharing are opportunities to connect with people. If I didn’t believe it my book I wouldn’t be able to take on the challenge of creating a buzz about it. But I am excited about this book and I believe there are people who will be glad to discover Wild Women, Wild Voices and discover in it, a way to connect with their wild nature and write their stories through authentic expression.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with the message that we don’t brag on ourselves, and we don’t call attention to ourselves and our accomplishments (or our challenges), so making all this noise about my book isn’t always easy for me. I am so grateful to my friends and colleagues who cheer me along and encourage me and who make noise on my behalf. I’m grateful to the gracious hosts who have had me as a guest on their podcasts and radio programs, and the bloggers who have given such positive attention (and a lot of it!) to my book, and the people who don’t even know me, but have tweeted and shared and posted and liked and reviewed and mentioned and who have come to readings and workshop events. I’m honored and delighted and so, so grateful.

When the flurry subsides I’ll be ready to get back to a more balanced life of writing, teaching, and maybe getting a cat. In the meantime, to-do lists are important, getting rest is important; standing up and moving away from the computer is important, and so is getting in some regular writing practice and giving life support to the novel I’m currently revising. Also, remembering to breathe, remembering to laugh, and remembering to say thank you.

The Writer and Her Book Tour

I named it the Great Pacific Northwest Book Tour and I’ve been on the road just over a week, driving from home in San Diego north on the Interstate first to Oakland for an overnight with my daughter, Amy, before I headed north again for Ashland, Oregon where I had my first book event at Bloomsbury’s Books, and where I got to hang out with my friend Midge Raymond. Midge just shared the good news that her novel, My Last Continent, has been picked up by Scribner! Hooray for Midge. (Midge and her husband, John Yunker run Ashland Creek Press, a small press that publishes gorgeous books with an ecological sensibility.)

JR & Midge @ Bloomsbury's

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