Barometric Pressure

I have a new publisher, a new website and lots of new advertising opportunities, including a full page color ad insert in Kirkus Review’s newsletter which will be distributed at Book Expo, and a ‘book tour’ with Pump Up Your Book this summer.  I’m also a sixty-one year old woman who doesn’t want to learn HTML, Photo Shop, or any other technical genius that will make me a better ‘marketer’ for my book.  I was an OR nurse for thirty years; isn’t that enough technology?

However, what I am learning is it doesn’t make any difference how much you ‘hire out’ the work. If you want to be a successful self-published author, you had better learn how to update your own website, photo shop a cover mock up for your book, and more. You better reread your final interior proof one hundred times, because no matter how much you pay for copy editing, you will get your hardcopy proof in the mail and find out that you have used that hundreds of times too often, or put commas in too many places, or my worst mistake; use sole rather than soul.

The Greeks of Beaubien Street is in the hands of the new publisher and I am anxiety ridden. Getting used to a new routine and new people, is so difficult. In my former life, I discovered that I preferred to stick with the tried and true rather than venture out. I stayed at a job I didn’t like for years because the fright of starting fresh somewhere else was too difficult.

My little problems are nothing compared to what my friends are going through right now. Life threatening illness, the loss of a spouse, unemployment, legal issues, the list is endless.  What I have noticed is how one reacts to the trouble says a lot. I have a friend who is bald from chemotherapy for breast cancer, and everyday she crawls out of bed and drives an hour to her very physical kind of job. It’s not one at which she is able to sit at a desk. She alone supports her household, and the job provides her health insurance, so she doesn’t have the option to stay home when she feels bad.  In spite of her situation, my friend is the most upbeat woman I know. She hasn’t whined or complained once, and the only way I will know that she is feeling less than stellar is she won’t talk about herself.  I  imagine myself in her situation and the complaining I would do. We talked this week and she said that if she makes being upbeat and positive an act of her will, she is successful, and then she feels better. If she gives in to self-pity, the effect is immediate; she feels awful and makes everyone around her feel awful, too. She still has children at home and an aged mother who lives with her and its important to her that her family stays hopeful, as well.  Cancer is not her identity, nor are her other problems. We have to work at not allowing those things which will tear us down to become our identity. Because if we do, we succumb to feeling sorry for ourselves. Someone else is always worse off.

So the pressure is on. My husband told me yesterday when he was listening to me having a disagreement with the person who designed my website that I am turning into a real !@#$%^&* and he is glad we don’t work together.  That got me thinking about the fine line there is between standing up for yourself or being an aggressive shrew, being positive or feeling so sorry for yourself that it paralyzes you.  There is just so much a stake right now, and I’ve spent so much money and put so much work into everything that I want to get it right. I can’t afford to have any craziness around me, or any negativity. At different times in my life  my friends have been there for me when my glass was half empty, and now I need to knock it off, belly up to the bar, and get it right.

2 Knit Lit Chicks Podcast


                                                                                                 My friends, for the most part, love Pam of Babylon.  A few are less than thrilled; I think it is difficult for women to allow themselves to just be and not have every single thing they do lead to something more.  A dear friend who is an attorney and an advocate of women did not like the character Pam.  I could hear fear in her voice when she explained why giving someone like Pam a voice is dangerous, in her opinion.  I think she will see in subsequent books that Pam is stronger than we see on the surface.

Pam is not great literature, but once all four books are put together, it definitely has a moral.  Something good about the negative reviews from friends is that it has proven to me that I don’t have that horrible syndrome; Isolated Adoration.  It’s also helpful when a stranger gives me a good review.  You don’t have to love me to love my book!

Authors, especially new, self-published authors, depend on word of mouth more than anything to get exposure for our books.  I have found that my reader’s enthusiasm sells more books than expensive advertising.   My sister thinks that negative reviews are just as helpful.  I personally don’t care for them, but it is part of the risk taking of putting yourself out there, vulnerable.  So when I received a warm, friendly message on Ravelry from Barb, owner of 2 Knit Lit Chicks Podcast, I was so excited!  I’m not good at  self-promotion, and here someone I didn’t know was willing to give me a little air time. My friend Maureen, a New Jersey buddy, contacted Barb and told her about Pam.

Equally exciting was finding out Barb lives in San Ramon, California, the town we lived in briefly when Jim was San Francisco Chief of Communications for Associated Press.  We have family on the peninsula so the chance that I might actually meet her someday is exists.  It is such a small world.

If you are knitter and/or a reader, listen to 2 Knit Lit Chicks.  It is the first podcast I have heard and I think it is addictive.