Have a new date for the publication of “Warming Up” by She Writes Press, now set for March 1, 2013.
This gives me some additional time to make a plan for promotion of this, my second novel to reach print. Promotion is essential to publication, because publication by itself is an empty reward. Without distribution and sales and some feedback from people who’ve actually read and enjoyed your work, it’s a little like that tree falling in the forest.
There is a thrill to publication, no doubt about it. I remember the day in 1989 my lovely, linen-covered volume, “The IEG Legal Guide to Sponsorship” appeared in my office. Thrilling to see touch it and feel something which borders on…on what? Permanence? Impossible for a legal work, of course, the law evolving as it does. Immortality is too grandiose. A contribution? Like, I finally created something? I don’t have kids, so the book was my “child”? Perhaps that’s the feeling, but that feels a bit precious. Maybe my books are my children. I dunno.
Getting the invitation to publication is thrilling for an author, very satisfying to the ego, and certainly the culmination of the many many hours of the writing process. But, in its own way, the excitement of seeing one’s words in print is fleeting. There was more than a year between the notice that my latest story, “This Change Not Come From Sky” would be published by the Tampa Review and the arrival of the lovely, hardbound volume a couple weeks ago. It was in print–I was published in a well-repsected literary journal–well before I knew it.
And thrilling though it was, not much in my writing life changed as a result of either the notice or the fact. A few lines on a resume. Applause at my writing group.
The best part was getting some unsolicited feedback from people who sought out the volume and read the story. Readers are what make publication so satisfying: when a reader says, “you’ve told my story,” or “you understand me,” or “you inspired me.” That happened to me at a Women’s Bar reception recently–a gentlemen I don’t know came up to me to say he was following my “Amicus Scriptor” column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. How much fun was that?
So publication is grand, but empty until you hear from a reader. Putting off the publication date of “Warming Up” to allow time to develop a promotional plan makes good sense to me, because it means more people ultimately may read the novel, and so the pleasure of publication will be a little greater and a bit more lasting.
Meanwhile, what does a writer do after notice of a publication date? Probably the same thing as post-publication. Or post-enlightenment.
Back to the keyboard.