Finding Readers II: Some Lessons

I assembled addresses and labels after inquiring from friends in the biz. Below is a little snapshot of my first batch of review copies and postcards. I did handwrite a note on each card and when doing so noticed my contact info had been left off. It had been there in the first mock-ups from the graphic designer, but he had to revamp the design the back of the card due to USPS regulations he wasn’t aware of.
When he emailed me the new mock up, I just glanced at it and said cool.
Dang my lack of rereading every word. So I wrote my web address on each one. Lesson 1: Always look carefully.

Another thing I learned was that with a small publisher they often don’t get back to you in a timely manner, (it is what it is in the biz) so deadlines pass.
Lesson 2: Look far in advance of the book release date so as not to miss opportunities for pre-pub reviews.
As I only have so much money (don’t we all), I managed to buy ten copies, and as you see, am ready to send them to ten places I hope will review my book. In my guts I feel I am about to mail them out and never hear back from anyone and might as well burn them all. But I’m not that pessimistic and figure if one hits, then great. I am a long shot in the book clamor after all. I had hoped the publisher would have sent out some copies and multiply the effort, but the biz is the biz and it couldn’t be done.
Lesson 3: Buy copies early and query your writer, publisher and editor friends for contact addresses. In the end only you can care about your book reaching readers.
I’m not looking to get rich and after paying for review copies, postage, envelopes, graphic designers, and postcards, I won’t break even. I’m not well off either, but I don’t care.
I’ve already worked eight years on these essays and there is no monetary value you can ink into a ledger of profit and loss.
I profit from each person who reads my work and takes something away from the experience. That is enriching. Lesson 4: You do it because you love the art and craft and you have stories burning to be told to someone.
Lesson 5: Be grateful. My publisher was very busy and I am grateful for the stunning book they put out, even if they couldn’t help in ways I’d envisioned. All of the people who I worked with in the production of the book was wonderful. They all helped me in the most important way. They believed in me enough to produce a great looking book, which is a damn fine read. If you don’t believe me, just read it and if you disagree, then you can write me and tell me why it’s not.
Lesson 6: Be willing to talk and share. Thanks friends.

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