Changing seasons are bittersweet, I suspect for many people. There’s this tender feeling of new beginnings, and a wish for never-endings, and I always feel flip-floppy between shiny and new and woefully unprepared and weary from the last season. Fall is especially shiny and new feeling, likely due to the deep childhood training of new school years, complete with new notebooks and classes and jackets, etc. When autumn starts, it seems like it’s time to update all my promises to myself to be better at this, or make more of an effort at that. I want a shiny new Trapper Keeper, and brand new lists.
This autumn I have all these new marketing experiences of a newly published author – I have bookstores to contact, and conventions to ask if they want me on panels, (Note: Eeeeeeeep) which I’ve never done yet, and all the trimmings. Today I sent an email query to a pretty well-known author to basically ask for a favor, involving my book. He doesn’t know me, and though he knows people who know me, I don’t think he knows that. That was too many ‘knows’ in one sentence. Anyway, it’s a favor he gets asked all the time, as he hosts a thing on his website, so it won’t seem weird to him (unless I did it wrong Oh crap WHAT IF I DID IT WRONG OK, just checked the email again, I spelled his name correctly, and it went to the right address, I have to stop worrying about that) but it’s one of those things I get anxious about: introducing myself to people I don’t know, asking for favors. Doing it wrong. It’s a particular monster-under-the-bed of mine that I will Do Things Wrong and Everyone Will Jeer, which is possibly left over from my childhood of constantly doing things wrong and having people jeer. I realize this is a common happening in a lot of childhoods. I just apparently didn’t handle it all that well.
Which makes contacting people, asking for things, and doing this Book Marketing stuff a bit nerve wracking. Not that I won’t do it, not that I’m not doing it. It just means that I’m doing these things with bile roiling in my gut and a feeling that my heart is a lump, constricting inside my chest into its iron elements, sinking lower. Hi, professional person – please go with the perception that I am also a professional, and ignore the hyperventilating fake wizard in the corner. I am so very pleasant and breezy, and not at all about to urp. I swear. Maybe everyone is like this. Maybe we’re all only pretending to professional and breezy and secretly trying not to urp. At least, I suspect, there’s a contingent of us. We should make a secret sign – some kind of badge or hand signal, letting us know that the professional breeziness is just an act, and in fact we’d like to gibber a bit unprofessionally, would that be OK? Maybe something on our Trapper Keepers. Let’s work on that.
But onward I go, slowly and with the basics of life rocketing around me as though I weren’t gripping this newness with unsteady hands. I have a real, professional author photo, taken by my friend Jared Ream, who is an awesome photographer.
(See? So breezy. Look at that professional breeziness. Jared did not just tell me to breathe right before that. Swearsies.) (Photo credit Jared Ream Photography)
I have this here nifty website that I need to make more use of. I have a page on Per Aspera’s website, that is so very cool, with my very pretty book cover and cool professional author pic. I have such lovely blurbs from such loverly people as Ken Scholes, John Pitts, and Shannon Page! You should go read those blurbs. Look at how kind they are about my story! Don’t you want to read it now? It makes me feel all warm and gushy inside.
I’m going to be at Orycon in Portland in November, and I’ll have books there to sign and sell (I don’t think I’m going to be on any panels, as I inquired too late), and I’ll be at the book signing event on that Sunday, November 7th, even though that’s a couple weeks before the book is officially out. I understand it’s kind of a big meet and greet with all the authors after Orycon is over. I will likely be standing next to Shannon Page, trying not to cling to her too obviously. But I will be there: authorly, professional, breezy. Only clingy if you look from the side and realize I have Shannon’s arm in a death grip. (Hi Shannon! Uh, wear long sleeves.)
I have a reading set up for University Books here in the U district in Seattle, on November 21st, at 7 pm. It will be my first official reading and signing as a published author, since that will be the Friday after the book comes out (November 18th, y’all – friendly reminder!) Duane Wilkins is being super kind and accommodating in setting it all up. It’s very exciting and very nerve wracking. I’m thinking of having backup dancers. I might stuff my face with cake the whole time. I will definitely have books to sign, and I will read from it, (with some interpretive dance in the background) and then there will be some more cake of some sort, because I think I deserve cake after that.
I am also querying other local bookstores about doing readings, but I don’t yet have any confirmation on those.
Look at all that autumnal new author stuff! And since I turned in my final proof edits several weeks ago, I am Officially Done with all fiction related to A Ragged Magic. Done! Free! I can’t change anything else, however much I might want to! I can instead focus entirely on new fiction for the next book. Which I’ll be writing in my shiny new metaphorical Trapper Keeper. You know, when I’m not freaking out about all this other stuff. In a breezy, professional manner. Really need to work on that badge.
Title is from ‘Happiness’ by The Weepies