Post No. 28: The Writers’ Club
May 18, 2009
I have crossed over a line. A friend from high school attends some sort of literary function and connects with Louise Ure, who has just published her fourth novel. My friends shares the news that I have recently sold my first novel, and Louise says, “Have him get in touch with me.” On the same day that we connect via e-mail, I get a response to another e-mail I sent a couple of weeks ago to to Lisa Unger, who has published several novels. She is apologetic about being so slow to respond. Can I call her in June when she’s finished with the initial promotion of her new book?
It dawns on me that these two women have Been There, still remember what it’s like to be a first-time author, and feel a sense of kinship. Why should I be surprised? When I was working as an advertising copywriter – not the easiest gig in the world to obtain – I always took time to help people who were starting out, looked at their work, told them where I thought they could fit in, etc. Still, I am truly grateful… but I can’t help but wonder if writers who have achieved a higher level of success – Tess Gerritsen comes to mind – will respond to my e-mails.
* * *
I call up Louise and she is incredibly helpful. I learn that I should absolutely join International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. The both “do a great job” of promoting first novels. I also learn the names of the two book stores in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I live) that contribute their statistics to the New York Times best seller list. One of them is a lock for a book signing, as my agent is a close friend of the owner. The other I will have to work on.
Louise also shares the names of a couple of chat rooms I can visit. All together, I can get access to about 50,000 sets of eyeballs, to use the lingo of Web marketeers.
In my mind’s eye I see a Web-related to-do list that is getting longer and longer. Not only do I have to worry about Louise’s lists (as I have come to think of the various groups I should join) but also the chat lists associated with multi-player online gaming, not to mention the news feeds I have set up via Google alert.
It’s a lot of work. And, of course, there’s the small matter of paying the mortgage every month.
To be continued
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Note: I’m using the blog format here to post a journal I have been keeping for some time. We will catch up to the present in a few weeks.