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flagrant self-promotion – update 1

i think i’ll try and keep track of my ongoing efforts to get word out about Witness. who knows…someone might find it helpful when considering the self-publishing route.

so, to sum up so far:

last weekend was the beginning. after creating and printing bookmarks, mary and i hit three independent bookstores and one chain. of the three independents, 1 manager said he would stock some and perhaps give the book a read, 1 manager had just left for the weekend but i was able to leave the book for her later consideration, and 1 manager was out that day and had a policy of not having people leave books to be considered. for the chain, a borders, i met with good fortune in the form of a previous (10+ years past) manager and was able to talk to the inventory manager who took the book and asked me to check back in a couple weeks.

score:

  • will stock: 1
  • will consider: 2
  • may consider: 1
  • no response: 1

i took that weekend as a success, considering it was my very first time out and i was continually worried about presenting myself properly, without being pushy and without being waffly. thanks to mary, i was able to work through all that before actually stepping foot inside the stores.

the next day, i hunted down a handful of online review sites to submit my book to. there are a LOT of these sites. they vary a lot, but one thing i soon learned was that the vast majority of them don’t review self-published or POD books, thereby nixing me. this caught me off guard, though the reasons were consistent and clear and not at all unreasonable. i am obviously biased toward my own work, but i think even a quick look at the greater collection of self-published and POD books are, at best, weak of structure, grammar, and style.

cue: potshots at Witness.

anyway, i got a handful of addresses and spent the day nailing down the letters to go with, and on monday i mailed copies to be reviewed at 5 different sites. one of those was Kirkus Discoveries, a paid review by the esteemed Kirkus team. yes, i am paying for the review, but the Kirkus name is behind the reviews and negative reviews are just as common as positive ones, even when you pay for it. i may have just paid someone a lot of money to tell me that my book was terrible. also, any or all of them, besides Kirkus, may decide not to review it at all, because of any number of reasons. however, the essence of this is true for all the reviews: they may all pan the book. it’s perfectly possible. but, honestly, i need to know, one way or the other, from people who don’t know me from adam.

later in the week, i found a few more review sites who ask for email requests first, before accepting submissions, and i emailed them, as well.

score:

  • will consider for review: 6
  • no response yet: 2

in addition to this, i’ve been plastering the internet blog communities with my presence. well, not really. all i’ve really done is create MySpace, LiveJournal, and a WordPress.com site. none is terribly involved, (MySpace has gotten the most of my attention and even that’s rather pathetic) and i’m trying to find a way to synch them all as easily as possible, but, let’s be honest, i’m just trying to get as much coverage as possible. it feels a little like cheating, or, more accurately, like squatting, but i feel i have to try it. i also managed to link this blog to my amazon.com account, which means my posts here will appear on my book page.

score:

  • sites created: 3
  • sites updated: 2
  • friends made: 2

lastly, i tried to propose a charity book signing for an indie bookstore having financial difficulties, but i completely destroyed any sense of my viability by completely failing to perform basic math correctly in my proposal. this hurt. i thought i had a win-win situation, but no, i had a mediocre consideration that really wouldn’t do them much good at all.

score:

  • signings screwed up: 1

that brings us up to this morning at 3am, but now, again, i need to sleep. i’ve been up since 1:30 with an hour nap during the day, so i will have to pick up again tomorrow.

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