Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Rock in Every Pot

Canada Day weekend and it's a hot one in the Nation's capital. I'm sure that like me, everyone is happy for a break and a change in focus as we celebrate the onset of summer and a more relaxed few months.

I've been writing. Not as much as I would like, but there's just way too much to do in my free time these days. Just watering the garden and keeping the plants alive takes up a chunk of time every evening. I've written about 13,000 words in my latest manuscript, but have put on the brakes as I go back to record plot and character outlines. I know this organization will help me moving forward since this is proving to be a complicated story on some levels. I might need to cut out characters or a storyline at a later date, but for now, I'm keeping everything and everyone in to see if the tale comes together. I know where the plot is heading but this is a bit like diving off a cliff - you know the water is a distance below, but just not sure if you'll make a solid dive or a belly flop. Ahh, the adventure of it all.

The business of writing is taking up a bit of time as I head to the September launch of Second Chances. I've been updating my website with the help of the designer in Toronto - just minor tinkerings to add the latest news to the main page and the Goodreads link. Jared says an overhaul would take time but we might aim to do one in a few years. I've also been to and fro with Collected Works bookstore, attending fellow author events and lining up publicity for my launch. I have to visit them this morning with a few questions about posters, which Dundurn's creative team is working on. The list goes on.

After an meandering-kind of evening out in Westboro with our neighbours (which included sitting a stone's throw from Jose Canseco in the Royal Oak), I watched Bill Murray on Letterman talking about publicity for his films. He said, "The best publicity is a good film". I've heard similar advice about books - just write a good book and publicity will take care of itself. Meaning, word of mouth will make it a best seller. Maybe, it is that simple, but I don't think so.

Do you remember the pet rock? It was marketing to the masses at its best. Suddenly, everyone thought they had to own . . . a plain old ordinary rock, and people were willing to pay good money for one. There was no 'quality' or use to the item, but it caught on, sort of like a Chia pet without the vegetation. I've read bestsellers that frankly aren't well written or interesting, and other books that should be bestsellers but consumers skip over. I have no answers to the marketing mysteries, but it makes for interesting study.

So, heading into the heat to start the Saturday errands. It's days like this I think having an air-conditioned car might be pleasant, but it's worth remembering that people pay to sit in saunas, and I get this experience for free every time I drive to the store.

Happy Canada Day.

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