Having a book out in the world isn’t a new experience for me. With three poetry books out in the world, I’ve experienced the elation, stage fright, happy overwhelm, and sheer joy in completing a book and giving it an audience. But to have a novel published is in another sphere. It’s a goal I’ve had since I was a child. And yesterday, I achieve it, with the release of The Renaissance Club from Fiery Seas Publishing.
I’ve partied, celebrated, and emailed and passed out bookmarks to spread the word. Right now, I’m happy to share an excerpt, published at Escape Into Life. Thanks to the editors there, you can read the cute-meet of my two main characters, one who lives in the 21st century, and the other who lives in the 17th, but who find a fold in time that allows them to be in the same moment.
When I was younger, I thought that having a book out in the world, the simple fact of its publication, meant the author was through and could turn her attention to the next book. How things have changed! If you’re an author and have a book out there, you’re well aware that authors have a huge responsibility to “support” their books now, whether they’re published by a major New York publisher or a small press. By “support” is meant constant promotion.
A lot of authors find this stressful and dismaying. For me, having a book out in the world is like sending a child to school. In one sense, it’s out of my hands, but in another, I’m always watchful for opportunities to support its venturing out.
Publishing a novel is a whole different thing than publishing a poetry book. Many more people read novels than poetry collections, so there’s much more potential interest to tap. Rather than thinking of myself as promoting my book, I’m thinking of building bridges or making connections. Anyone with an interest in Italy, history, art, the Renaissance and Baroque, love stories, creativity, and relationships might find a connection to my novel. It feels like being at a party, where you find ways to start conversations based on a common interest.
The key for me to stress-free book promotion is to think of it as fun. To think of promoting my book as being at a party and striking up new conversations. There are many potential conversations at a party. You can’t have them all, but if you make the most of connecting with whomever comes your way, you’ll have fun. And probably having fun while promoting your book will sell more books.