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Driftwood has a cover. It is as lovely as the content.

I am having a hard time shifting gears and attempting to tackle the sales/promotion aspect of all this. I am the worst salesperson around. I don’t like pressure or conflict. I don’t like manipulation or bothering people. I just want to keep working on my next novel (which is coming along swimmingly), write the occasional poem, spend time with my sweetheart, hug my dogs, listen to music, cook good food, live life.

Book promotion is reminding me of my time at Mother Jones magazine. I was the “Special Projects Manager,” which was terribly fun. I worked with the ad department and set up concerts and such. I dealt with some circulation things. I also spent most weekends at festivals (solar power, sustainability, peace, music, etc. — even Woodstock ’99) handing out copies of the magazine and selling subscriptions. My sales approach was too laid back: zero pressure, all genuine smiles. To increase sales, I brought along interns who hustled the magazine into homes all over. My soul stayed intact.

In semesters when I teach business communication now, I cringe when we get to sales letters and all of the manipulative techniques we are to employ. I feel like I am spreading the evil word, creating corporate attack dogs. I wind up teaching the students how to see through a lot of marketing, sort of pulling back the curtain on the Great Oz. Ah, well.

This brings us to Driftwood. I really want people to read it when it comes out. I think a lot of people will really like it. There are a few problems, though. In order to publicize the book (so that people know it exists and will read it), it needs to be labeled and categorized. It occasionally gets put into the “Young Adult” category, which it is not. I am no Umberto Eco, but I am not writing for teens. I don’t like labels. For art or people. Then there is the promotion that so often feels shameless. I am supposed to visit book blogs, infiltrate them, and then suddenly mention my book when the time is right. That feels disingenuous. How can I let people know about the book in a genuine, real way? Word of mouth, perhaps?

The universe unfolds as it should. I am not going to sweat it. Those who need to read it shall read it in good time.

Now, it wouldn’t be a post without an awesome/non-awesome list, so let’s do this:

awesome:

that video going around of the old guy dancing
when people are excited about life and the world
feeling so loved as to feel safe
intelligent and funny co-workers
matte eye shadow
transformative moments
having a working automobile
this moment right now

non-awesome:

the pain of war
the poetry of the now-resigned poet laureate of North Carolina
humidity hair
minds closed by fear (psst…there’s nothing to be afraid of)
waning women’s rights

Let’s end on an upbeat, shall we? Think of the things that make your heart feel full. Know that you are one of the things on my list.

xo

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