Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Life on the (short but sweet) book tour

I just finished the first phase of a whirlwind publicity tour. In three intense weeks, I covered vast sections of my home county and one nearby city. I chatted on three radio programs, two television shows, and in one newspaper interview.

I made three "public appearances" and approached numerous busy bookstore managers to "sell" myself. It was a true multi-pronged "promotional" blitz, which is even more impressive if you count my campaign of shameless bragging about good reviews to random strangers.

(I've gotten to be an expert at working reviews into conversation. I will say: "Make that mocha a skinny, please, and did I mention that Kirkus Reviews called Cover Girl Confidential a "grand frolic?" Or "I'm here to pick up my dry cleaning and did you happen to see that Romantic Times called my new book "highly amusing?")

It's been great fun and a tremendous opportunity. And yesterday, I heard evidence that it had paid off, at least on a local scale. When I introduced myself to one of the book store managers, she said: "I know who you are. Your book is flying off the shelf! It's THE book to read on spring break."

I will be replaying that moment in my head for the rest of my life.

Even if it was a bookstore that is about four blocks from my house. Ahem.

And the bookstore where all my friends shop. Ahem, again.

But still! That moment may be the closest I ever get to living the life of a celebrity like my main character, a glamorous cover girl named Addison McGhee.

But the best part of this whole promotional experience, aside from the excuse to get multiple manicures, is that I get to hear from people who actually know the characters I've created in my books.

It's pleasantly jarring to realize that the characters who, for so long, lived only in my twisted imagination are now becoming "known" to other people as well.

It was fun, for example, to be interviewed by a morning radio show host who is also an expert in etiquette. She asked unexpected questions about one small part of my main character's life experience, her reliance on a dated etiquette book to teach her American culture. (Addison came to the United States as a child refugee.)

And when another interviewer started asking me about Addison's relationship with her old world parents, I delighted in discussing the ins and outs of the psyche of someone who I MADE UP.

How cool is that?

And did I mention that Publishers Weekly called Cover Girl Confidential "witty and irreverent?"

Beverly Bartlett


Diane Perkins said...

Well done, Beverly! I'm impressed with the radio and TV interviews. And just putting yourself "out there."

I am basically a very shy person, but this romance writing thing has gotten me to talk to anybody! It still amazes me.

Shari Anton said...

I've never been shy (I hear some of you laughing :)), but I've never been one to talk about my accomplishments. I'm of an age when this was known as bragging, which wasn't acceptable behavior. That was something I needed to get over very quickly!

Nicely done, Beverly!