Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tipping Points and News Guy Stalking

I was so very, very good yesterday. I had an epic to-do list, and I even managed to get all of it done, plus I took a walk and got even more exercise than I bargained for when it started thundering when I was ten minutes away from home. I walked back quite a bit faster to beat the little pop-up storms we've been having.

Looking back at what I wrote yesterday, I think I may have left the impression that y'all aren't doing your part to spread the word or that I'm not grateful for everything you have done. I am so very grateful, and my publisher and agent are really impressed with how active my readers are. Really, what I was trying to get at was that I didn't want my entire marketing plan to be "readers will tell their friends." There's equal amounts of opportunity and frustration in seeing how few people have heard of my books as well as how interested most people seem to be when they do hear about them. That makes me feel like there's this huge untapped market of people who'd be all over them if only they ever heard about them. (And I guess that's better than everyone having heard about them and just not being interested.) So I then try to come up with ideas of ways to broaden the scope. I haven't managed to find the magical combination of factors to create a tipping point.

I'll be doing some different things this summer, starting with A-Kon, the anime convention, where I'm part of the faculty for the writing workshop. That's a huge convention, with something like 12,000 people, and they come from all over the world, so that should bump me into a few other loops of people. I'm also going farther afield with science fiction conventions, heading all the way up into Oklahoma. A lot of the same people seem to keep ending up at the cons in the general region, but there are sure to be locals who don't travel down to Texas.

Now, in other news, a break from book, book, book, me, me, me, for a book report. This one is a perfect example of how scattershot the book promotion effort can be because this book is so right up my alley, yet I never heard of it until I found it, sadly, in the B&N sale section, which means that it may be hard to find now, and it's a little late for anything I say to give it a boost. But still, in case it sounds fun to you and you can find it, Babe in Toyland by Eugenie Seifer Olson may be the book I hit people over the head with when they start to go on about how all chick lit books are just about women obsessing over shoes, getting dumped by bad boyfriends and hanging out with their gay best friends. It still has a lot of the classical chick lit elements and tone, while being very different. For starters, the main character works for a toy company, a career you don't see a lot of. She's obsessed with scented bath products instead of Manolos. She actually spends a lot of the book volunteering in the cancer ward at the children's hospital instead of just going out drinking and shopping (something I don't see a lot of in any books). She hasn't really been dumped. Instead, she's developed a huge crush on the local TV weatherman (and now you see why this book appealed to me). I admit that I initially bought it because I wanted to see if there might be any strategies I might use in my crush on the local weekend anchorman, but I ended up really liking the book as a whole.

Sadly, I didn't learn anything I might use in my own quest. She just sends anonymous poems and then later sends messages in the poems to get him to wear a certain tie on certain days if he likes the poems. That strikes me as something that would be treated as possibly dangerous stalker action by the station. Besides, I e-mailed him directly once (commenting on the newscast and mentioning that we went to the same journalism school rather than gushing about how he's my one true love), and if that didn't get anything going, I don't see how anonymous poems would help much. Still, it made for a fun weekend read. It was just what I needed for my Sunday of relaxing.

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