Saturday, December 18, 2010


EACH DAY I'M learning afresh: There are writers and PR types, and they're seldom the same person. My daily wish is simple: Please, dear brain, grant me the skills to find the readers for all these words I've already written.

Writing is the part I love. I could cheerfully spend every day creating word pictures. I love the process, and everything about it: the search for rhythm, for vividness, for the exact right word. I love looking back to see what I've done, to decide whether I managed to get to where I intended to go. I love the re-writing--taking this wobbly little skeleton and propping it up, making it stand on its own feet and sing to the world.

There's nothing about writing I don't like. The moments spent in creation--surely they are a kind of life force, a renewal of the most exquisite sort. When you've written something good, you've LIVED. And nobody can take it away.

But what's this business about PR?

How hard should we work to get known? How many internet/web tricks must we learn? And how many of them work? How many people read what I've written on the web? And will any of that reading translate into sales of my books?

What about the hucksters who appear on your e-mail and glibly promise to make you famous, who swear up and down they can make your books best sellers? How often does this happen? Are any of these promotions worth the price? Can they REALLY create huge audiences for your books? Or are all these promotional types simply padding their own pockets? Of one thing I'm sure. If I send this Harrison fellow ten thousand dollars, I am definitely making HIM rich.

I haven't a clue as to whether he'll do the same for me. And frankly, at the risk of losing ten thousand dollars, I'm afraid to find out.

Meanwhile, as I ask these questions, I keep searching--I peek behind new internet doors, scramble to learn the latest tricks, ask other authors what they do. Currently I'm trying everything: Writing blogs; enhancing my author page on Amazon; calling all the groups I can think of, offering myself as a speaker. I'm giving writing workshops at libraries, applying for slots at writers conferences, calling womens' groups and book clubs.

Once in awhile, to my amazement, somebody calls me. I try to act blase, as if it happens all the time. I never tell them that they've just made my day.

If any of you have suggestions, please tell me. I'd love to hear them.

Do I yearn to be rich and famous? Well, maybe. But only because rich and famous would mean people are reading my books. But more than that, it would mean I could stop making all these phone calls, soliciting speeches.

Rich and famous would mean I could once again concentrate on writing books. Maralys

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