Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Unfinished Business #1

I’m busy these days.

Busy getting my novel Dragon’s Ark ready for its publication date of March 15, 2011. I’m proofing the final manuscript version in my Adobe program, which, I am only now learning, crashes a lot—crumbling like adobe buildings in old westerns in such a way that it corrupts the file. So I have to start proofreading all over again. A review of online documentation reveals few workable solutions, at least for someone who’s not a computer jockey, like I’m not.

This has happened twice.

Meanwhile, I struggle to get my marketing and distribution campaign up to speed. I’ve been e-mailing both bookstores and potential reviewers, sometimes up to four a day, sending an e-mail version of the Dragon’s Ark webpage as a press release, all the while collecting their names in addresses in
both a Word file and my Thunderbird address book. Twice a month, I will mass e-mail everyone on the list.

I also should be sending out more advance reading copies to stores and reviewers, but, as a freelance editor, I’ve hardly seen a paycheck since October, so I’ve had to freeze spending until that ship sailing somewhere out there in the fog finally lands . . . if it doesn’t sink in this hurricaning economy.

So, I keep doing the free things.

Once the ship docks, though, the orders for books go out again. With the check last week, I dashed to my local copy shop to whip up another batch of postcards and add a stack of business cards on top. Delays there, too. 

I’ve got a notion to make up a flier and post it around various neighborhoods, encouraging the curious to tap that bookstore a block away to order a copy of the novel, or—if they really have to—order it from Amazon, or download it to their e-reader.

I revived my Blogger page about a month ago, to, I think, very fine effect. (I really do like the new Blogger: increased flexibility, great stats.) I hang out on the two major social networks, trying to leave amusing or sensible comments.

I have my loyal readers from the Red Room, my e-mail list, and a couple posting sites I visit. Still, my Blogger page doesn’t seem to get too many visitors from TwitBook. I can only hope those fine few are ones that count (and I do love you, make no mistake). To the rest, I’m probably another
blurry signal in the blank white noise. A fair number of readers seem to wander in from somewhere out in Google. There are also readers trickling in from a site called "Blog Carnival" (to which I was steered by the estimable Joel Friedlander.)

Hello. Nice to see you all again. Please keep stopping by, Thank you.

Last Saturday, my wife and I attended  the holiday luncheon of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club--the one Jack London started. We had a fine time. Former club President AL Levenson, a fan of this page, kindly suggested I make these articles shorter.

Maybe he's right. Maybe I'll try that.

The club has been very helpful; in fact, I’ve scheduled my first public reading from Dragon’s Ark for this March with them (Details will follow). But I barely fight the itch to get back to proofreading and marketing the book, plus working on editing projects to keep the money coming in.

Elizabeth and I have to move out of our house now, too.

But enough of urolagnic self-pity. I have a new novel to work on, right? After all,
my first positive review blurb has arrived from this fine writer.

Oh that. Been thinking about that. I’ll write about that next time. Like tomorrow. Or the day after. I have this piece to post. My manuscript to proofread. Marketing to do. Books and other matter I have to edit to make to money to keep the roof over our heads. A house to clean. Best of all, there's a wife to love.

In short, I’m busy these days.

(Re-edited 12/15/10; 12/19/10)

Copyright 2010 by Thomas Burchfield

Photo by Elizabeth

Thomas Burchfield's contemporary Dracula novel Dragon's Ark will be published March 15, 2011 by Ambler House Publishing. Other essays and postings can also be read at The Red Room website for writers. He can also be friended on Facebook, tweeted at on Twitter and e-mailed at tbdeluxe [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

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