Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Walking Through Cement

The other day, I was waiting in line at the post office when a charming young woman started a conversation with me. She sounded erudite (well, she had an upper class British accent) and her voice had the pleasing quaver of one who was readily sharing vulnerability with a stranger.

As the line promised a long wait, (I was number 97 and “now serving” was number 58) we had a long talk.

Turned out my new conversationalist was a writer. She had just published with a small house a breezily amusing tongue-in-cheek guide to manners. To be precise, it fell squarely into a category called chick-lit. I can attest that the author was tailor-made to promote this book and the book had received-- get this-- an endorsement printed on the back cover of a female Supreme Court Justice.

“Wow,” I said. “So how is it going?”

“Nowhere. Promoting this book has been like talking and no one answers,” she said. “It’s like waking through cement.”

Sometimes life is like that. You do all the right things. Your offerings are good. You get help from the right places, and then...


Walking though cement. A powerful if painful image.

Keep walking.


  1. I relate to that. When my MG mystery came out, I, too, did all the right things — set up interviews, reviews, shout-outs, readings, school visits; made up cards, bookmarks. And the book did okay. But that's about it. It was . . . okay. And it's a really good book. People liked it, would like to see a sequel. But sales? Just what I would call okay. Sigh. My next book was a PB, and it did pretty well. Still what I'd call okay. I have a new book coming out this fall, a collection of stories for children. I'm hoping it will do much better, and . . . I'm still "walking". Lol.

    1. Doing "just okay" is what most published (good) books do. The strong seller are actually the outliers.
      Yes, keep walking.

    2. Strong sellerS^. I'm still the typo queen.

  2. We talk about the secret of promoting on the BB. It's being part of a community first. I notice the drive-by people who join just to promote and I scratch my head about why they think it's going to work. Still, I get that you have to try to let people know you have a new book out. I've not even set up any interviews or anything yet because...let's face it, it's hard being out of my comfort zone.

  3. And here's what that author did RIGHT: She talked to a stranger about her book. She expanded her circle of acquaintances, the hardest thing for writers, who are usually introverts.

    You just have to keep putting yourself and your book out there. Sometimes you'll make a new friend. Sometimes you'll make a sale, even months later. I sold two books by going to a party and wearing my charm bracelet (which I always wear). People asked what the charms meant and I mentioned my three books. :-)

    1. This author has the fact she is not an introvert going for her. You are right that most of us are not thus blessed, so our cement is thicker.

  4. What Vijaya said about participating in a community. :) Your new friend's book sounds fun, Mirka. Tongue-in-cheek guide to manners!

    It does feel like walking in cement sometimes. I'm learning to walk my best since this writing career is the one I've picked. I'll do my best in writing, in marketing, in building my relationships/platform -- and after I've done my absolute best for each book, I shall learn to detach from the outcome (except for the parts where I could learn for my next book). Hey, we'll get really toned thighs and butt!