Life of a Writer. #25. How to Flog a Book?

One would expect some ache after the extraction of a tooth. Also some bleeding and swelling. Fortunately on Day 2, there is progress. I look like a chipmunk on one side and can't eat anything solid yet, but had a scrambled egg for breakfast and yoghurt and banana. I also feel as if I ought to remain fairly quiet so that leads to some reflection. Especially after hearing author interviews on the radio earlier and hoping to be relatively normal tomorrow so I can attend Word on the Street 2013 Toronto. From my new home, this is only a short walk and so even more a possibility.

Among other things, I will go to the Inanna booth where other Inanna authors will gather. I did not give a specific time, not knowing how the healing would have progressed by tomorrow. But now that the bleeding seems almost to have stopped, I am more optimistic that I will actually make it. Soon I will look at the WOTS map in the Toronto Star and identify what else I want to do, as well as wander aimlessly!

The reflection also led me to thoughts about my life as a writer over a lifetime. I wrote my first published piece at 7, or at least that is when my grandmother published it in her column in the Toronto Telegram and sent me $5, which in those days was a pile of money. Probably full of false promises also that writing might be lucrative. Rather a joke to anyone who knows the scenario, although there are the few who actually make a living at it and even fewer who make piles of money. I won't name names, everyone knows those stories.

My story is not so different from another norm, perhaps less well known although I have read somewhat similar stories and heard them on the radio. My books came late even though I have been writing all my life. I had short stories published over the years in literary periodicals, but it was after I retired from the work force where I had held many part time and almost full time positions to support myself and children that my first book (One Day It Happens, a collection of short stories) was published when I was70. Inanna saw the merit in it and also in my novel, Ile d'Or, which was published when I was 73. They have recently accepted another novel, which will be published in my mid/late 70s.

I now have two other books well on the a mystery, the other a memoir. It will be interesting to see if they get published when I am still alive, perhaps in my late 70s early 80s.

The point of this bit of personal history is that I keep wondering how to promote what have been well reviewed books (and hopefully more to follow) is that I wonder if there is a hook for publicity in these facts of late publication. There is a story there of passion, persistence, determination and dedication, but thus far I have not told it in a way that has captured any attention.

Any ideas? Throw them my way and I will run with them when I know the publication date of my next book...Would I Lie To You? No, I wouldn't, but that is not a question but the title of the upcoming novel.  I call it a Canadian Philomena, for those of you who saw the Film at TIFF, because the main character has also given up a child for adoption when she was a young teenager. There are many strands that are different, but that central core is there for both Philomena and my character, Sue.
Posted on September 21, 2013 .