Near the end one the characters talks about being born in the Year of the Tiger. I paid close attention because I was born in the Year of the Tiger. As was my mother. And my daughter.
...Then she told me why a tiger is gold and black. It has two ways. The gold side leaps with its fierce heart. The black side stands still with cunning, hiding its gold between trees, seeing and not being seen, waiting patiently for things to come.It is five months till the publication of Tall Story and my gold side is leaping.
So little time, so much marketing to do. Not to mention another novel to write.
At the same time, my black side is cringing in the shadows. Is it too soon to begin trumpeting my book? Isn't it too crushingly embarrassing to tell people yes, it's really good? What if I set up a Facebook page and nobody becomes a fan? What if I come across as vain and annoying? Whatifwhatifwhatifwhatif?
Chatting about the business of networking with my nephew, who is an aspiring conductor, - he told me something that really brought home what an enormous task I have ahead. I paraphrase:
Our instinct is to be self deprecating. We don't want to shout about how good we are because we don't want people to dislike us. But there comes a point when this becomes a real problem. We actually have to get better at telling people that we are good at what we do.Get over yourself, I tell myself sternly. Just get on with it.
So in the mornings, I write a few hundred words towards my new novel. And in the afternoons I work on a list of Things to Do to promote my book.
- This includes building a Facebook page - and if you're an author still wondering how to do it, here's a good how to , and what you can do to add a little extra something to it.
- I've tarted up the profile I use to review books on Amazon.co.uk - it now has 'Author of Tall Story' tacked on to it.
- I've set up my author profile on Amazon Author Central even though the US launch is not until 2011.
- Set up a profile on Author Hotline as well.
- I've reserved some blog domain names for future use.
- and I'm redesigning my website to try to look half as good as Amy Tan's website (which is gorgeous, full of story, and has cute videos of her dogs)
I'm sure I've missed a zillion other things that authors can do to promote their wares on the net. Any of you readers have other items, hints, tips to add to my list? Please feel free to add to the comments.
a list of authors of colour
Becky at beautifully designed blog The Bookette put me on her debut authors list
My good buddy photographer/columnist Mandy Navasero (who once taught me how to eat a pineapple with one hand while driving with the other) added me to her new year's defining moments column
Neni Sta Romana Cruz, a fantastic children's writer from the Philippines, wrote a Sunday magazine piece complete with uncombed pictures of me and my kids (haven't seen it yet but my Mom bought hundreds of copies)
Fiona Dunbar, author of the utterly brilliant, smart and hilarious Silk Sisters and Lulu Baker trilogies, who not only introduced me to my agent but in the new year gave me an utterly luscious plug in her blog.
Gillian Philip, whose book Crossing the Line, had me raging and weeping and upset for days (it's a really good read .. but be strong) picked Tall Story for her list of books she's looking forward to in 2010
reading list for 2010
Even my old high school, St Theresa's College put me on their website (oh my, the memories!)
The Noisy Dog Blog (Sue Eves is the author of the whimsical Quiet Woman and the Noisy Dog, now out in paperback) picked my short story as a bedtime read
And WikiPilipinas added me to their list of Ten Pinay Pride of 2009.
Wow. I am quite overcome by the kindness of friends and strangers.
Thank you so much.