I’ve been working on this one book for nine months, which isn’t long in terms of writing a book, seeing as it usually takes me five to seven years to finish a manuscript. But I haven’t been writing this particular book. I’ve been editing it, working with the author, laying out the interior pages, contacting bookstores, contacting reviewers, sending advance copies out to book bloggers and interviewers and radio stations and newspapers. I’ve written publicity copy, like the back cover paragraph, and letters to people who might connect with the book as much as I have. I’ve submitted it to numerous committees and workshop coordinators. And I’ve written a little about that here on this blog.
The book, of course, is Stevan Allred’s A Simplified Map of the Real World. He started writing this linked short story collection a decade ago, and in these last nine months, nearly every day, as the founder of Forest Avenue Press who gladly accepted this manuscript for publication, I have done something to help his book, this beautiful funny book, arrive in the world. I am the editor, publisher, publicity director, intern coordinator, bookstore liason, shipping department, you name it.
Publicity, two weeks out from our Sept. 12 launch date, seems to me a bit like popcorn. The heat is on, and the very first kernels are beginning to do their thing.
Pop, pop, pop!
This morning we received our first coverage by a book blogger. I met Emily January through this blog and soon became an avid follower of her blog, The Bookshelf of Emily J. I always enjoy what she has to say about what she’s reading, and our tastes in literature are similar.
After I read a piece she wrote about her father, I asked Emily if she’d be interested in a sample story from A Simplified Map of the Real World.
You can read more about that and Emily’s thoughts here: “Born to Bump: Allred’s New Short Story Collection.”
As we move forward with the launch, I’ll probably post other exciting reviews and developments, always with an eye toward sharing what I’ve learned as a writer, publicist, and publisher, in the hopes that my journey helps some of you. Emily’s a great example of targeting content to a blogger, instead of just reaching out to everyone in the universe. Her essay about her father really struck a chord in me, and made me immediately think that she’d appreciate the title story in Stevan’s collection. I’m so glad it worked out, and am especially excited she loves Arnie and Volpe, two recurring characters who are dear to my heart as well.