One might expect that today, its official release date, would be its birthday, but it doesn’t feel that way. The book was conceived in 2007 with a germ of an idea, born in late 2014 when the first advance reader copies were released, and today it flies. It has its own life now and I can’t protect it any more.
What’s even more terrifying, though, is that I’m in charge of promoting it. Whose idea was this, anyway? Oh yeah, mine.
Could this task have fallen to a more unlikely person?
I was telling my sister Madeline the other day how I have a booksigning at COAS Books in Las Cruces, NM, on July 25. Before I could say another word, she said, “Wear a statement necklace, something large and unforgettable, and a plain black dress. Wear that necklace at all your signings. You’ll need an obvious image that people associate with you.”
When I mentioned to my niece Theadora that today was the release date, she said, “Come with me—you need a photo. Wear this. Sit there. Hold the books this way. Are you happy about the book? Then show it.” Click, click, done.
A few nights ago, while celebrating the book’s imminent release with old friends, all of whom bought a copy, Eileen called out across the bar, “My friend here just wrote a book!” People raised their glasses and the bartender bought me a beer. I slinked away to the rest room. When I returned, Deirdre handed me $30 and said, “Those people over there just bought two books!” No more sold for the rest of the night because, you know, I was in charge.
Clearly my family and friends are more natural marketers than I am. And clearly, this needs to change.
Some time ago while cleaning my house, I discovered a spider living under a potted plant. “What is your problem?” I scolded as it scuttled away from the sudden light. “How do you expect to make a living here? You expect a mosquito to crawl under this thing and snare itself in your web? You expect a volunteer fly to zip by? Haven’t you ever heard of market positioning?” It wasn’t interested.
I’m trying really hard not to be that stupid spider, but it’s hard going against your own nature. Being an extrovert isn’t the same as tooting your own horn. And most writers tend to be observers—we might be chatty, but we generally like to hang back some; schmoozing too much interferes with that. The famously reclusive J.D. Salinger had no Pinterest boards, we all know that Jonathan Franzen hates the internet, and I assume that my heroes Annie Proulx and Toni Morrison employ their own crack publicists. But last time I checked, I’m not quite as well known as those folks.
But this is serious. The book I’m launching today, Love and Death in a Perfect World, must succeed, or why would I bother writing it? You don’t send a kid to college just so she can hole up in a dorm room and sleep for four years. It’s time for this book to make its way in the world. So here goes.
Love and Death in a Perfect World is available today on Amazon. It’s a great book, a book that will make you wonder why you think what you think and feel what you feel. A book that, through an authentic portrait of a woman named Rosemary, explores the baffling gift of life, the mystery of love, and the burden of death. It will make you laugh and cry.
But don’t take my word for it. Buy it. Request it at your local bookstore—it’s available to them through Ingram—or buy it on Amazon.
And let me know what you think!