By Laura Spinella
**Fresh out of fascinating pixs of me & my book, I've included a few Girlfriends' covers. They are random, wish I had room for everyone!
Four months into my great book-on-the-shelf experiment and I have clearly, though not directly, been informed of my status change. I am no longer the rookie on this blog. That’s a shame. I kind of liked being the newbie, an underdog with zero expectations. That’s an easy gig. Sitting around, absorbing a wealth of how-to knowledge from those who have published and conquered is not a bad seat in the crowd. For debut authors, finding yourself on a store shelf is something like being shipwrecked on a deserted island. Although, lucky for me and thanks to you, I washed ashore with the ultimate survival kit. It included a land line that became a lifeline, a natural spring of information, and bottled messages bearing great advice. Oh, and the books! Of course, there have been plenty of authors and great books to keep me company. You ladies should harness the energy and put the wisdom to paper. In fact, had the advice been listed on Goodreads I’d give you all four stars… or is it five stars over there?? UGH, too many places with too many scoreboards. Way easier was the book business when it was me, those nice professional folks in New York, and a daydream. Anyway, my heartfelt appreciation for the road map, if not personal GPS guidance that GBC has provided.
That said, I want to take this opportunity to demonstrate my author chops, maybe prove my worth. The below listed points are not meant to be a guide, just one author’s early observations:
1) The old gypsy prophecy is about to befall you. Many new and interesting strangers will enter your life. You will be grateful for the vast majority of them. None will be tall, dark, and handsome, though one or two will leave you wondering if Facebook was such a hot idea.
2) BE GENEROUS. Get your fifteen minutes and get out. (Well, you can’t really get out. If you don’t sell it, nobody will, but you know what I mean) Deserving authors wait in the wings. There’s room for everybody if you’re willing to take a turn.
3) Should you be invited to a book club relax. This is the social spotlight for you and your book and, so far, my favorite author’s perk. However, be wary of the person who leads with, “First, I want to say how much I enjoyed your book…” There’s a BUT coming. Preparedness is key, smile and say something smarter than, “Who invited you?”
4) Anne Lamott knows her stuff. I am not prettier, nor am I rich. The reality of that doesn’t surprise me, but I think it’s left a few relatives scratching their heads.
5) On the same subject is the gamut of reactions you will encounter regarding your spiffy new title. This did catch me off guard. People who aspire to what you have achieved will think the world of your accomplishment. Don’t stick a pin in it, which would be my proclivity. On the other hand, before you can polish the edges of that inflated ego something will remind you how far you have to go. Over-the-moon accolades and the real fear of selling all those printed copies must fit neatly into the same box. Make sure this is a box with a tight lid, a lock if need be. The people you lived with before have to live with you now. Wringing your hands over either end of the spectrum will lead to nothing but chapped hands.
6) People will expect you to give them a copy of your book. Choose wisely how and where you distribute those precious promotional copies. No matter how long your neighbor stands in your kitchen, claiming how much she would LOVE to read your book, the answer is, “Gosh, I just don’t keep a supply here.” But should you have an opportunity to put a copy in celebrity hands (in my case Gregg Allman, who gets a mention in BD) go for it, what have you got to lose—besides a book?
7) If you’ve harbored an author fantasy that involves a crowded airport (or other means of transportation, i.e. buses, trains, ferries) and flashing your novel about in hopes of a passerby asking, “My goodness, that looks fascinating! Whatever are you reading?” Know that it requires the actual book. Traveling with your downloaded Kindle copy will not result in satisfactory fulfillment of said fantasy.
8) Lastly, there will be extremes. For me, the oddest occurred at a funeral. When a family member of the deceased raced toward me, I thought he was seeking consolation. Heck no. He’d brought a copy of my book, anxious for a signature. Flustered, but able to regain the wherewithal to comply, I ransacked my purse for the purple signing pen. To my amazement, it was out of ink. Fumbling for a replacement (we used the guestbook pen) I found myself teary eyed with the bereaved party consoling me. I nodded and thanked him, sad for his loss, truly teary eyed that I’d signed enough damn books to empty a pen ( ;
Today, I have an author interview with a giveaway at Romance Reviews Today: http://romrevtoday.blogspot.com/ Starting on lucky Friday the 13th come May, I’ll be blogging regularly over at The Stiletto Gang, http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com/ You can always check in at http://www.lauraspinella.net/ for upcoming events and BEATUIFUL DISASTER info. Find me on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=538269154