I’ve never worked with a book publisher before. I’ve worked with editors of magazines and anthologies, and I’ve gotten feedback from my agent–the wonderful Lauren Abramo, who–by the way–looked at the last pitchmad on twitter. Which means she’s looking for new writers, if you have a spare pitch lying around. But boy, is she picky. In a nice way. All agents and editors are. They know exactly what they’re looking for, so if they turn you down, it just means you’re not writing what they think they can sell. Nothing personal. They might have all the horror or fantasy writers that they can find homes for. Writing’s a business. It’s market driven. It also means if you haven’t tried pitchmad or pitchwars or whatever kind of pitch tweets they’re into on twitter, you should.
Both editors and agents have the same goal in mind–to push your writing to its best and find something that’s saleable. But when I signed with Kensington, I didn’t just get John Scognamiglio as my editor–which was lucky enough. I got a whole team of talented people who are determined to get my name out there. They’re great at promotion. I’m not terrible, but I’m not wonderful either. And sorry to say, promotion makes a big difference if you want readers to find your book.
I realized I’ve been a slacker at promotion when I got a list of questions to answer for Kensington to use on a book blog tour. Every blog needed something unique to submit to its readers. Absolutely fair. A blogger is taking her time and being generous enough to do a sales pitch to her readers for my romance, COOKING UP TROUBLE. Each blogger wants to offer her audience something special, just for them, that they can’t find somewhere else. And I appreciate every single person who signed up to help me get the word out.
My only problem? I quickly discovered that I’m a pretty boring person. I spend a lot of each day in front of my computer, writing. I love to cook, but if I revved up about that, most people would fall asleep. My sisters would. Their idea of food is take-out. I have a few perennial gardens that bring me a lot of pleasure, but that doesn’t mean I keep them neat and tidy. Kyra Jacobs, who was a guest on my blog last week, has well-tended, beautiful flower beds. Me? It comes down to survival of the fittest. A rose bush has to want to live to bloom here. I love to read, but I don’t even read as much as I used to, because I now divide my time between reading and writing. Honestly, it’s hard to make me sound interesting.
While I answered questions for various blogs, it occurred to me that I’m not an expert at much of anything. My cat and chihuahua sound like more fun than I do. But then I remembered the poem About Ben Adhem, by Leigh Hunt–http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173698. Maybe I don’t need to write about what I do or who I am, even though I’m happy to share, but the things that make me passionate are what I love. And I have many loves, and those I can go on and on about. And I did.
Have a wonderful Easter, (if you celebrate it), or holiday (if you don’t), and Happy Writing!
COOKING UP TROUBLE comes out April 12th. The book blogs start soon