Writer as Promoter: Wanna buy a book?

These days (and probably in those days) writers of newly published books become marketers of those newly published books. So, for the past month, since the release of Thinks Out Loud, that's what I've been doing. It's fun, at least for me, although I'm not clear on the line between informing and pestering potential customers. I know that messages in today's crowded promotional world need to be received multiple times to even begin to penetrate a potential customer's consciousness. So I try I variety of approaches. Facebook, LinkedIn, Media Releases, Personal Contact, Goodreads, Sky Writing. And I pretend mine is the only new book out: Mind over Matter. If I thought the book dull, trite and unentertaining, I would not put out the effort. But early readers are telling me it's wry, funny, entertaining, and even emotionally moving in some sections. Wow.

I'm also excited to be doing the next reading in Austin, Texas. My wife and I are dropping our daughter off at college--the BFA program in Theater at Texas State University in San Marcos outside Austin. Malvern Books, which is supportive of indie press/indie writers, will host me on August. 20. If you are near or around Austin, here is a link to the promotion (back to that again) on their site: http://malvernbooks.com/event/martin-perlman-book-launch/?instance_id=2031.

That's it for the moment. Need to get back to marketing.

From the University Bookstore reading, Seattle, July 21, 2017

From the University Bookstore reading, Seattle, July 21, 2017

Hello, Queen Anne: First Book Reading

Would people show up? If they did, would they stay through the reading? Would they ask questions?

Yes, yes, and yes.

It was terrific to have friends and neighbors turn out for the reading and book signing at the Queen Anne Book Company on a balmy Thursday night. The bookstore has an outdoor patio which made for an intimate reading space. The staff also did a remarkable job of creating a welcoming atmosphere with a fun book display inside (including leis) and outside a cheese, cracker and wine station that converted into the book signing area after the reading.

Tegan gave an embarrassingly nice intro. Before reading excerpts, I offered a quick ‘how-the-book-came-into- being’ summary. The sections I chose were from the earlier part of the book and, I hoped, would kindle some curiosity about the novel as a whole.

The audience asked probing questions about character development, the level of pre-planning, amount of time spent writing and editing. Since some of the original real blog postings have survived in altered form in the final book version, an audience member wanted to know if any comments made by people reading those postings were in the book.  “A few are,” I said, somewhat cryptically.

 The neighbor who lives opposite my house on Queen Anne brought her two young sons, who sat in the front row. One of them, Elliott, age 10, asked the question about how long it took to write the book. At the signing segment, he brought his family’s copy forward. I autographed the book and thanked him for coming. I would rate the book at PG-13. He’s younger than that, but he was genuinely interested in the reading and seemed eager to have the book.

A couple of days later I was saying hi to Kim, Elliott’s mom, as we emerged from our houses on a sunny July Sunday. She told me her son was reading the book. I was impressed. “He said he had come across one swear word.” True, I said, but used within context. Then she said, “Elliott says it’s like having the internet inside a book.” That made me stand up straight. Yes, Elliott had gone to the core of the book’s essence.  

Next up: A reading at (UW) University Book Store, Friday, July 21, 7 p.m.

See the July 21 entry on their calendar: http://www2.bookstore.washington.edu/_events/events_cal.taf?evmonth=07&evyear=2017&responsive=

TO BUY THE NOVEL THINKS OUT LOUD, GO TO THINKSOUTLOUD.COM. 

". . .READERS WHO ENJOY OFFBEAT AND ORIGINAL STORIES WILL BE ENTERTAINED." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

 

Reading selections from Thinks Out Loud

Got. . .blogger?

Here's an excerpt from Thinks Out Loud, an entry early in the book by tallboy, one of the bloggers who starts posting after Isaac, the blog's originator, goes on sabbatical. . .tallboy's references to Jeannie, another blogger, will become clearer if and when you read the book.

Entry No. 516 - POSTED AUG. 23, 2011

GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A BLOGGER?

Whew, I don’t want to get in the middle of the Jeannie firing thing, although her situation did get me thinking about the art and science of blogging.

Blogging is not for everyone, especially someone we all know.

To help determine if you have the mental and physical constitution to be a blogger, here’s a revealing questionnaire based on a draft of Isaac’s I found in his Thinks Out Loud working file. (See, Isaac, I am giving you credit where credit is due.)

Choose the answer for each question closest to your personal version of the Truth. (Remember, cheaters never win, though they do sometimes come in second.)

–tallboy

I like to blog because

1. Why is this even a question? Blogging simply Is.

2. I think I have something to say.

3. I got laid off from The Daily and this is my only outlet for investigative reporting and the detailing of public health warnings.

Readers of my blog

1. Are important, no vital, to me, my raison d’être.

2. Are certainly welcome to visit. We’re all in this together. I love comments, even weird ones.

3. Consist of my second cousin in Spokane, my roommate, and an adolescent hacker from somewhere in the Midwest.

My level of blogging activity:

1. Every couple of minutes, pretty much nonstop, alternating with Twitter.

2. Two or three times a week or as the muse moves me.

3. I most recently posted during Obama's first year in office.

When someone flames one of my postings

1. It runs right off my back like Evian.

2. I try and understand the flamer’s point of view

3. It hurts, it really hurts.

Scoring

For every 1 you answered give yourself 3 points. Every 2 gets you 2 points. And a 3 equals 1 point.

Now, add up your score.

4-6: You are an anti-blogger. I’ll bet you didn’t even finish the quiz or add up your points. In fact, you probably didn’t even read this posting.

7-9: You are a bloggette, a wee little one afraid to even stick that baby toe into the big cold lake.

10-11: You are a demi-blogger, and I mean that in a nice way. Is that a new typeface? It looks good, really.

12: You are a blogging fanatic who lives for the next posting. Some might call it an addiction. You call it a calling. But don’t forget to take out the compost and recycling.

     So, there you have it. To blog or not to blog? Let’s hope we’ve answered that question.

LABELS: GEEK HUMOR, BLOGGING QUIZ, TIME SINK

VIEW COMMENTS (42)

StrongArm AUG. 23, 2011 AT 9:29 AM
Hey, I got an 11 and I’m not even a blogger. Maybe I should be.

BlueRibbon AUG. 23, 2011 AT 12:50 PM
Don’t believe in tests and scores. Visit my blog, Destiny’s Pile.

Heiress AUG. 23, 2011 AT 2:31 PM
HA! A perfect high score for a perfect lady, assholes!

SHOW MORE COMMENTS

TO BUY THE NOVEL THINKS OUT LOUD, GO TO THINKSOUTLOUD.COM. 
". . .READERS WHO ENJOY OFFBEAT AND ORIGINAL STORIES WILL BE ENTERTAINED." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

A Blog (Novel) Is Born, Part 2

I’d been blogging two or three times a week for about a year and a half, mostly social and political commentary. Sometimes I was pretty good, other times rather lame. I’d say I was a minor blip on the blogging screen with several  thousand hits a month, depending on how much commentary and other interaction I did in the comments sections of related articles and other blogs.

One of the main features I became aware of was the number of hats a blogger wears: idea generator, researcher, author, editor, marketer, self-critic. Then I started thinking about veering away from my blog as commentary and doing something untried, approaching blogging from a different angle. What if I created a blog about blogging, a pulling back of the curtain to reveal what really goes into a blog, kind of a reality-blog show? That sounded promising. . .until I actually thought about the content. If I were going to be truthful about how I blogged and included all the steps leading up to a posting, that would probably be a contestant for the “Worlds Mostly Boring Blogs” contest: Woke up, checked Huffington Post. Saw article about latest Obama birth certificate rumor.

Beyond boring. No, a blog about blogging, at least for me, would never be launched into the blogosphere.

I went back to commentary on contemporary issues. Until a night in August. (I wrote most of my entries in the quiet of night.) I was casting about for a topic when (and I need a leap of faith on your part here) unexpected words entered my mind and flowed through my fingers onto the keyboard. Here is the original text:

Break time:  Guest bloggers coming your way!

Blogging can be taxing! After months of facing the daily pressure to perform, I'm taking a week, maybe two, off from blogging to pursue non-electronic forms of entertainment, relaxation, and procrastination. And discovery, both inner and outer. Truth be told, I need to figure out why page views seem to have peaked and are now beginning to decline. Not to mention, most of my visitors seem to be from former Soviet republics. Have I in some way peaked in my own life? And in a larger sense, if I were to really stop blogging, what would become of me?

On a more immediate front, to keep the pages fresh, a bevy of young Guest Bloggers I found on Craig's List have signed on to keep you in the know.

Stay tuned.

The “I” in the above posting was not me, the me sitting at my desk, in my house, in Seattle. It was a different voice, a character (who turned out to be Isaac). This other character, not me, was burned out and about to go on sabbatical and end up in Polynesia. Who these new bloggers were, I didn’t know. What they were up to, I didn’t know. From this moment on, the blog took on a life of its own. Thinking Out Loud became the novel Thinks Out Loud, a blog at first.

More at: thinksoutloud.com

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK AND AMAZON: If you order Thinks Out Loud from Amazon Prime, you will be receiving an older version that is out of date and whose printing is lighter than the current edition. If on Amazon, order from the Thinks Out Loud option which will be the newer better print version. You can also order the newer version directly from the publisher via this website, thinksoutloud.com,  or from your local bookstore, which will either have the book in stock or available via a quick special order from Ingram, the wholesaler. 

A Blog (Novel) Is Born

During Thanksgiving 2009, I was talking with a friend about writing. And I was casting about, trying to come up with some different approaches to reach a reading public. My friend said, “What about a blog?” And I said, “Never thought about it.” But right then and there I did start thinking about it. I told her I wouldn’t be the kind of blogger who reports what I’ve had for lunch or how I spent my summer vacation or when I realized I was a writer. She said that was fine; I could write about anything. She was right, but the thought of trying to come up with connected thoughts about something/anything seemed intimidating. I said I would think further about it and that, in theory, I liked the idea: the sense of direct connection with readers, of their ability to respond in a comments area, of my words going out into the electronic universe. I just didn’t know what words to send out.

A week later, I gave it a tentative try. Following an easy step-by-step process, I had created a basic blogsite via Blogger. Here was my first baby step:

What Is Your Pet’s Eco-footprint?

In Time To Eat the Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, Robert and Brenda Vale argue that the resources required to feed a dog equal about twice the eco-footprint of an SUV. Based on their research, my daughter's cloud minnows have a footprint of a Vespa LX150.

Posted 5th December 2009 by Martin Perlman


That was it.
Not exactly brilliant but it was a start. This first posting set the tone for the ones that followed on an irregular basis, weekly, sometimes twice a week: The Future of Reunions in the Digital Age, Facebook Connects to the Other Side, Clouds R Us (more on that one later).

I alerted friends and family, and, to reach a larger audience, I found web articles on the same subject (Reunions, Digital) and in the reader comments area made a comment and added a link to my post. People visited. Some commented. I was a blogger.