Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fire Pearls Marketing Efforts

Work on Fire Pearls: Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart continues. For those of you who think that publishing a book is hard work, wait until you try marketing one! Nonetheless, progress is being made.

Upcoming: Fire Pearls will be featured as a Valentine's Day tie-in for the newsletter. Fire Pearls will also be featured at a Valentine's Day Coffeehouse at Cecil Community College, North East, MD, also as a Valentine's Day tie-in, complete with chocolate and flowers. I have also submitted the pdf to to be processed for their 'Search Inside the Book' program. This allows an excerpt of the book to be read online by a prospective buyer. I have faith that the quality of poetry is such that should a reader read it, they will want to buy it!

I am also working on getting review copies out. This requires proofreading and personalizing the press releases as I am including them with the review copies. I have made splash sheets to go with them saying 'LOCAL AUTHOR' and "GREAT TIE-IN" with listings of upcoming relevant observances, including Valentine's Day, Poetry Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Mother's Day, and June Weddings. I'm a little disappointed that Fire Pearls seems to be getting pegged as a Valentine's Day product by mainstream media, but I suppose it's better to be seen at Valentine's Day than not seen at all. I remain confident that should the book come to reader's attention, it will interest them.

Due to the individual attention I am providing the review copies, and due to the fact that I work fulltime (and sometimes more), plus serve on the board of a directors of a local museum during a Capital Campaign, I don't have as much time as I would like. Still, every week I do something to get Fire Pearls noticed in the world. Oftentimes what I do results in email and mail going into the great round file in the sky, but I do it. This is the kind of thing where persistance pays off. Frankly, if only 5% of the effort results in something tangible, that's still pretty good. All it takes is one Oprah to notice the book...

Yes, I've submitted my 'suggestion' to Oprah's Book Club. Haven't heard back and don't think I will... but you have to try. It's their job to reject my efforts, not mine. This is something that many people don't understand. They think that you should try to guess in advance if you're going to be successful, and if you think you won't be, don't even bother trying. If you don't try, you won't succeed. I think it was Edison who said he learned more from his failures than his successes.

Marketing a small press book is no easy thing, and poetry is a notoriously hard sell. Tanka especially so. Currently, if a book of tanka sells 300 copies, it's a hit. My goal is to sell a 1000 copies of Fire Pearls . If I recall correctly, the initial print-run on Goldstein and Shinoda's translation of Tangled Hair was only 1200 copies, and it's been in print since then and is now considered a classic. I hope for something similar for Fire Pearls .

Having gotten my hands on most of the anthologies of English-language tanka published in the last one hundred years, I can say that Fire Pearls compares well. I have even laid hands on hard to find books such as Maple (1975). I haven't gotten hold of all the anthologies; several still elude me (see previous books wanted post), but I do have about 3/4 of the English-language anthologies ever published in my possession. Expect to see future articles derived from this research!


No comments:

Post a Comment