Wednesday, August 05, 2009

so, where do I go from here?

Daruma Doll, a symbol of the mantra:"Fall down seven, Get up eight"

My novel is published and launched. If you remember, it's the book I told myself would have no excuses; that for this book I would refuse to rush and sacrifice quality, this book would epitomize the best I could possibly do. I tried to continue the "pulling out all the stops" attitude with promotion and marketing, as well.

Which is an interesting pursuit. I figured out early on that the only way I could do promotion without feeling extremely uncomfortable was to think of it as a party. Celebrations in-person or online, I tried to make myself the warm and welcoming hostess of my book birthday parties; trying to make sure everyone had a good time.

Did it work? Who knows? But what I've realized is that this way is more embarrassing. If the book flops it is just that much more egg on my face. Somehow, when you disdain promotion and your book doesn't sell, it is a comforting excuse. You can always attribute poor sales to a lack of marketing. But if my book doesn't sell after all the stuff I am doing, well, I could have to face that the book might just not be that good. And from that crushing, heartbreaking revelation where would I go?

I guess I go where we all do. To the next book and to do it all over again.

This is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

-On the Radio by Regina Spektor


Anna Alter said...

The book making business is truly a leap of faith in many ways. Even with the greatest craftsmanship and best efforts at marketing, to some extent you have to just hope for luck to be on your side. But don't judge your book based on such unpredictable things as luck and timing... you have created a beautiful piece of art!

Renee said...

Well- if it cheers you a tiny bit- your book has been checked out since we got here at the library I work at- I haven't even seen it sit on the shelf yet :)

Grace Lin said...

Thanks! I didn't mean to make this sounds like a "sad me" post, I meant to show how all of us who make books have to be resilient; we have to get up every time no matter what. Because we are crazy. Or gluttons for punishment. Something like that.

Susan Lorene said...

I loved the book. It was unique and the imagery was beautiful.