Saturday, May 8, 2010

Erin Murphy Retreat, Pt 2A

Day 2, Friday morning

First off, I just have to say that the beds at the Whitehall Hotel are the most comfortable in any hotel where I’ve ever stayed. So it’s completely unfair to require a person ever to get out of one, even for a worthy cause. Sarah and I had stayed up rather late just talking, so the wake up call came far too soon.

Erin graciously provided breakfast on the 19th floor. I did a quick survey of all the high calories foods, then loaded them onto a plate and proceeded to gain 28 pounds. I figure I’m going to have to eat literally hundreds of those delicious under 400 calories turkey wraps from Einsteins Bagels just to equal out the calories (Not all at once, of course. Even I know that!). It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

The morning discussion was great. I want to hit a few highlights:

* Getting into B&N or Borders can be tough. They want to sell the most commercial books. If you can get into Target that’s pretty great too, but not easily done.

* Good reviews and awards do matter. Some librarians will only select books that have received starred reviews. (Kirkus – I think you have my ARC right now. I am willing to send cookies for a good review!)

* Develop a strong relationship with your local indie bookseller. They can be your best friend in selling books for you.

* It’s never too early to work on publicity. Show your publicist what you are willing to do on your own behalf. They are overworked and underappreciated, so anything you can do will help.

* Publishing creates an emotional upheaval. It often creates a situation where your emotions become about external factors (I think I’ll blog specifically about this soon). So regulating your emotions becomes challenging.

* You have no control over 99.5% of what happens to your book after publishing. What you can control is the writing of your next book.

* People have a magical idea of you as an author. Use that to help yourself.

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