Archive for September, 2009

The “Buzz”

September 17, 2009

It’s a little frightening that it’s been so long since I blogged, but I’ll try to be better. The thing is–I love writing. I love the idea phase, when everything seems possible. I love the creative “play” stage, when characters begin to take on a life of their own. Even though first drafts (vomit drafts) are scary because it seems impossible my words will add up to a real story in the end, I love disappearing into the world of this new book. And I love rewriting, revising, & then rewriting some more, when every change makes the book stronger.

But I admit I’m not in love with the business end of writing. Thankfully, I have a wonderful agent at Curtis Brown Agency, and I don’t have to negotiate contracts. But what about marketing and PR? In the “olden days,” I faithfully did all signings and went to every event any publisher would arrange and send me to. I’ve always done school visits and spoken at conferences, too. That seemed to be enough. No longer. Authors need to do more. We have to get that mythical “buzz” going for a new book. 

I’d love to hear from anyone who feels she’s had a part in creating that “buzz,” in getting people talking about a new book. Here’s what I’ve been doing since I last blogged:  1) I had T-shirts made with the cover art from MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. They’re pink, blue, and yellow. Today, I mailed shirts to 9 key people in sales and marketing at Penguin Books. If they’re not buzzed, who will be, right? The rest, I’m hoping to have some kind of giveaway on my website. Or here? Still thinking… 2) MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS business cards–Can’t hurt to give these out at conferences and book signings, even if I’m signing a different book. I still believe a good business card is the most effective PR (but what do I know?).

So, what is this “buzz” authors and publishers talk about? Maybe it’s like the sound you hear when you’re in a roomful of people. They’re all talking about something, but you can’t quite make out what. Maybe if they’re all talking about MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, that would be the buzz?