Friday, November 20, 2009
I was beginning to think I’d never get it into a book shop. Now maybe I didn’t bumrush enough of them but I did make a number of appearances. I won’t get into all the details about it right now. After a week of having little of any success even getting independent bookshops to consider my book let alone carry it I finally hit pay dirt.
And you would think with it being NYC Independent Bookstore Week I would’ve had a better shot. Not the case. The moral of the story is to never make assumptions. And, more importantly, not to give up.
Yesterday, I was bushed by the end of the day. I’d been pounding the pavement searching for a happy home to carry Shades of Luz. I’d visited few shops and the last one on my itinerary, Bluestockings, seemed to have gone pretty well. I had a very good conversation with one of the staffers. I really respect their shop. They have a great selection of interesting reads: culture, gender studies, non-partisan politics, fiction (both on and off the grid). They’re also in an awesome location off Allen Street in the Lower East Side. As great as my drop-in chat went we ended things at still in the talking phase which is fine.
I must add however that I was directed to St. Mark’s Bookshop which I of course already knew about, but hadn’t pursued. Yeah, I’m a procrastinator, but I get overwhelmed. I could put my book on any shelf throughout the country. Who’s shelf should I hit first? It would be great to stumble upon the ordered list of where I should turn to first. Truth is, it doesn’t matter you just got to get it out there.
For some reason, I had it in my head that St. Mark’s Bookshop was closer to Tompkins Square Park and though I walked back and forth up the block and around the block, grabbed a slice of pizza, scratched my head and was ready to pack it in I decided to swing it up 9th Street, poked my head in Solas for a minute a had a beer to wind down. I should count my blessings I told myself. The hell with them my feet were sore. I was tired. I was in that woozy state where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a nap or do an Irish jig. I don’t know if you ever have the mood to do the Irish jig when you are bushed, but sometimes it comes to me. I also trip over the same song in my head. “Ninety-nine Luft Balloons” was playing in mine, not on the stereo.
So anyway I got myself onto my feet, declined the jig, paid for beer and sluffed off. When I crossed onto 3rd Avenue I noticed from my peripheral view that St. Mark’s Bookshop was to my left. Unbelievable. After all that galumphing. So I went in and perused the mags and books for a bit. I never go straight up to anybody. I need to kill more time. Go over the rejection in my head a little, let it stew.
I went to the back and made my little spiel, in a voice that was in desperate need of Darjeeling and honey. I don’t remember when exactly I pulled out my copy of Shades of Luz from my backpack, but somehow it made its way onto the counter. The guy didn’t even look at it and I’m thinking “What the hell?” and I’m ready to leave when he says. “We’ll give it a shot.”
I didn’t jump through my skin, but I wanted to. He let me put a couple of my postcards in the front of the shop. “Three months,” he said. “If it doesn’t sell in three months you know the deal.”
Indeed I did.
I left the shop with my leather jacket unbuttoned and did my version of the Irish jig until I made it to the Astor Place station.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I woke up to realize I hit 4 new Amazon categories. After a week on the Mover and Shakers list, a couple of Days on Best Seller List in Fiction, I discovered that I had hit the Most Gifted in Books, Fiction, Contemporary Writing, and General Fiction categories.
I reached a high of #13 in Contemporary Fiction, #16 in General Fiction, #20 in Literature and Fiction, and #51 in Books.
The upshot of this is that I am a list that tracks discussions about John Gorman and Shades of Luz pitted against Pat Conroy's "South of Broad", E.L Doctorow's "Homer and Langley", Stephenie Meyer's "Host" and "Eclipse" (Twilight Saga Book 3), Dan Brown, Patrica Cornwell, Paulo Coehlo, and a host of other heavy hitter best sellers.
International fame is a bit off on the horizon, but this is certainly a fantastic and unexpected start. I like to play things down. That's my nature. but, it is high time I start tooting my horn.
If I don't then who will.
Next Stop NY Times.
At the behest of some astute marketing and PR folks I decided to change the background color and font on my website. It a thousand times more readable now. In fact, the color scheme much better too. I don't know if you can talk in terms on Feng Shui with regards to cyber furniture, but there's this way better vibe.
Also, included is a excerpt from the chapter "A Girl Named Luz, A Hippo Named Cyclopes." This should draw readers in or turn them off. Who knows? But, I want to share a bit of the book before people plunk down their hard-earned ducats for the libro.
Might alternate excerpts every so often. To make it more fun.
Check back for new gadgets and webfetti and of course- Author on the Loose scoop.
Friday, November 6, 2009
We had a pretty solid run yesterday. Shades of Luz hit the Best Seller list in Fiction rising as high as #80 at one point one spot behind Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist. I was ahead of Stephanie Meyer's [The Twilight Saga]"Eclipse", James Patterson, Orphan Pamuk's "The Museum of Innocence", Danielle Steele, 2 Anne Rice Books, the Kindle releases of "Three Musketeers" and "Gulliver's Travels", Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident with the Dog", "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "Zombie Survival Guide" "Rainwater" by Sandra Brown and "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand.
I still feel pretty much the same. I don't think it has fully hit me yet. To tell you the truth I have some books on my own TBR that I'd like to get to and an unprecedented number of emails and facebook messages that I need to answer. I think it's time I put a professional on board. Somebody who can keep me organized.
Thank you to everybody who offered kind words and so much support. I will always remember.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
For a brief moment yesterday we cracked 1200. Shades of Luz was ranked as high as 1134 on Amazon before it dropped back to 1737 by day end.
Overnight I woke up to find out it had dipped down to 2443 on the chart. Had to shuffle over to a BNI meeting. My buddy Erik is the president of the Midtown Manhattan chapter. I have to say they were a super impressive group of individuals. They all seemed so focused and dedicated to their respective professions.
I had the great opportunity to deliver two 40 second commercials, one for buddy's A-1 First Class Moving company and the other for my book. Truthfully, I think my book spiel sucked, but I gave a stellar commercial for Erik.
I'm going to change my format of this blog a smidgens by giving an update everyday, at least for as long as "Shades of Luz" is on its run to become a best seller. God knows how long it will last. But, I know there a re a lot of folks pulling for me.
I woke up this morning and Shades of Luz had risen 2000 spots and right now it's ranked #263 on Amazon. It's nerve-racking the higher it climbs. I keep wondering when it will finally stop. Is it just teasing me. I see it trundling along to #101 and then a slow slip back into midlist and then into oblivion.
It's hard to imagine my novel went into print a little over two months ago. I think I've mentioned the mix of emotion I felt both joyous and spent. This is why I was happy to see NaNo come on November first as it always does. Indeed, it is something to look forward too. But, of course I can hardly concentrate on it until my novel place is settled. Best Seller, no-seller, or some-seller, which is it going to be.
I've never taken it much to heart because I never dreamed it would be possible. A Pushcart maybe. I still would like one of those. If I wasn't addicted to the internet before with Tweeting, blogging, and perusing the latest scoop from the over abundance of web content then I must be hyper-addicted, uber-addicted.
Surprisingly though I have been pretty cool about drinking coffee. In fact, I've only had a cup in the past three days combined. Something's up.
Hopefully all of this will be settled one way or not by tomorrow.
If it's going to be then it going to be.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It's great to get the creative juices going. When you are hopped up on book promoting you sometimes feel like a stale baguette.
Yesterday at a NaNo write-in in Astoria the aspiring novelists shared a great vibe. I can't thank them enough for the quick sprints, the positive energy, it's the writer's lifeblood.
I didn't take home any of the sprints. I'm a marathon man. Well, that might even be a stretch too, but I'm definitely all about the distance. I don't mean that strictly in a word count sense, but in the sculpturing aspect of writing when you take the pay the utmost attention to shaping words.
I do have an inner editor, more so than ever before and that of course slows me down, but I truck on. I love to click keys. It's such a delightful sound creating nuggets of meaning.
Tomorrow will be another hectic day, but with all the progress Shades of Luz is making climbing the Amazon ladder I think it is worth it.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Okay Sportsfans I was never really circus material when it came to juggling, but I knew how to keep a few tennis balls in the air. I did mainly to keep my pre-teens enthused during water breaks during tennis lessons.
Now I find myself in a game of word juggling. I'm stretching the metaphor a bit, but when I'm wearing as many hats as I am now I think I'm entitled to the poetic license. I logged in 1098 words for NaNo which is an respectable start. I'm a prolific writer. When I get on a tear I let it rip. During my Wednesday Q and A I racked up 5000 plus words of what I tallied. I also had to retype part of it do to an accidental erase. Oops. I'll make my 50K don't you worry.
When I first tried NaNo in 2006 I was one week late into it and I cleared my hurdle and then some. Why would I put through myself through this added pressure while I'm on my book tour. Well, I tell you I'm itching to get back into the novel swing. I've been at my story collection for a while and I love it. The big advantage of short stories is the narrative focus. If you bring your lens that close to the POV character you can cause a rift of emotion, eke out a moment of transcendence.
There goes that poetic waxing.
Tomorrow I'll be making a NaNo appearance at Panera in Astoria.