flagrant self-promotion – update 4 (skipped 3)

things have been rather crazy all the way around, so i haven’t done a recap (other than the description of my most recent rejection note and its unexpected boost to my ego), so here’s a quick(not likely) sum of the last couple weeks:i managed to finally track down two of the remaining three independent store managers whom I continued to miss previously. well, sort of, anyway. the first one was at a very small store downtown and i actually did speak to her in person, and she agreed to carry a copy or two, and let me leave a copy with her for possible reading by someone on her staff. great! she also asked about any promotions and i responded that i’m working on it (which i am, more later) and she said to get back in touch with her when i do, so she can stock more. very good.

the second manager was out back trying to get un-swamped from being sick for a week or so, so i didn’t get to speak to her directly, but the associate took a copy and said he’d bring it to her. so, while not a win, it’s still better than i was before. all this was two weekends ago, though, and i haven’t followed up with her again, yet. on the to do list.

the third manager i didn’t even ask for, because when we arrived at the store, another local author of literary fiction was doing a book signing, and i immediately felt this was the wrong time to do this, so i caved and ducked away. not after noticing the emptiness of the space around the author, however, and noting clearly and honestly to myself that i may well be in that chair for any signings i put together. just because i have a signing doesn’t mean anyone will show up. a sobering thought, which didn’t lift the spirits any.

anyway, after that, it was off to the chain store, where the over-worked inventory manager didn’t remember me. that was a bit of a downer, but after going out backand finding the copy i’d left him, he agreed to carry 5 copies, without a problem. hey, i’m very okay with that! in addition, he asked if i’d be interested in a signing, to which i replied in the automatic affirmative,

over the next week, i wrote and rewrote query letters for agents and sent out 4 more (including the one with the typo which i discuss elsewhere). I got the immediate rejection from Rachel, and I expect no response ever from Ethan Ellenberg Lit, which leaves 2 others out there with a wait time of 2-4 months. okay, so i’m still moving, and preparing 5 more letters for sending tomorrow or the next day.

then this past weekend i hit some bookstores a little further afield, and got a largely good response. two of the independents agreed to carry a copy and one other said no (due to agreement they had with Ingram, which i take to mean due to the fact that they wouldn’t be able to return it, which i can accept). 66%. not bad.

of the two chains i hit up there, i hit hot and cold. the first said a) the manager was on vacation, and b) i’d have to get their corporate office to assign a special number for them to sell it. now, the manager thing i’m getting used to, and that’s fine, but this chain is the same as the one that has already agreed to carry 5 copies, so once those are on the shelves in store A, i’ll be back to store B. that said, these folks were very nice, and even kept a copy for possible staff reading. who knows?

the second chain, again in a mall, was the same positive, engaging feedback as its counterpart in the other mall, and immediately agreed to carry 5 copies, and keep a copy for possible reading by the staff.

so, all in all, a busy couple weeks.

the score?

bookstores: approached – 8

  • will stock – 5
  • will consider – 1
  • may consider – 1
  • no response – 1

agents: sent – 4

  • definitely no – 2
  • probably no – 1
  • waiting – 2
  • yes – 0 (duh)

so, all in all, a busy, but productive week. that said, the next week or so will have some potentially very good, potentially very depressing news, so remember to check back! i’ll also stop referring to stores in the general, too, and list them by name as they actually start having the books on the shelves.