The Upsydowns of a Newbie Author
Down: When I tell people I have a book coming out, they usually smile and say, “Good for you,” or words to that effect. Not so the owner of a café I approached about holding the book launch there. “We don’t have much success with book launches,” he said. “Nobody shows up.” I told him I expected to attract a lot of people and he said, “Send me an e-mail.” Their site says: you can use this form to contact us via email, but we don't check it often.
Up: Not to worry. I found a better spot. One where I won’t have to compete with the latte machine.
Down: The publisher suggested I find a bookstore to handle sales at the event, so I visited my favourite independent bookstore in
Up: “Let’s sell them ourselves,” said Madeline Sonik, the author I’m launching with, and that’s exactly what we’ll do. Her book of poems, Stone Sightings, comes out the same time as my short story collection, Silent Girl. The glowingly-reviewed and accomplished Madeline is a “vet,” having published three books and co-edited three anthologies already. The indignities are just beginning, she told me. “Wait ‘til you see your book on a Christmas sale table for 99 cents.”
How does one get ready for that? When I was a kid, I used to mentally prepare for as many negative events as I could. I’d imagine the deaths of people I loved. (My death was always the most tragic.) I’d manufacture hateful words others might say or picture the obstacles they could throw in my path. The idea was to be mentally tough and not show emotion when any of these things happened. To show emotion (thereby giving away how much you cared and giving someone even more ways to hurt you) was the absolute worst thing I could imagine.
As I got older, I became less interested in appearing invulnerable than in stopping bad things from happening to me. I tried the New Age creative visualization technique. You know, by visualizing something, you attract it to you. Heck, even Oprah Winfrey says she does it. I can’t prove it works, but I do believe that it’s hard to succeed unless you expect to. So, if you see me with my eyes closed and I’m not asleep, I'm visualizing nothing but Ups: brilliant reviews, big turnouts at readings, books flying off the shelves, Silent Girl recommended for Oprah’s book club. Why not?
Images: exterior and interior views of the