With my third novel coming out in two years, MORE THAN THIS (Touchstone, August, 2008), I‘«÷ve had to get pretty creative to get the word out. Being an author is almost like being an army of one, even with all the support I‘«÷m enjoying from my editor and new publisher, most of the work still falls on my shoulders. They have a lot of books on their plate, I have the one (this year) and I want to make sure it does as well as it can, not only for me but for all the people who have invested their time and money in my writing endeavors.
I‘«÷ve come to terms with the fact that I not only have to write the book, but have to be its biggest promoter‘«Ųnot an easy thing to do for someone who spends most of the hours of the day by herself. I‘«÷ve gotten very used to only having myself to answer to. I take a tea break when I want to, I wear whatever I want to work and I‘«÷m the one who decides when it‘«÷s time to call it a day‘«Ųeven if it‘«÷s 2 in the afternoon or in the morning.
In short, I‘«÷ve become a hermit of sorts, but I can‘«÷t always hide out in my office. Nope, not if I want to sell books which is what it all comes down to.
I was at an event a few weeks ago with fellow author Mary Castillo (Switchcraft) working our shared table. We chatted with attendees and encouraged them to take a chance on our books with their hard earned money and limited time. One of our visitors was Lara Rios, the author of Becoming Americana, who was there as a civilian. She asked me, ‘«£Doesn‘«÷t it make you uncomfortable to have to do this?‘«ō I thought about it for a second and realized that even if it wasn‘«÷t my favorite thing in the world to be doing, I was having a lot of fun.
One of my first jobs was at the mall working at a store that sold all manner of fancy foods and nuts. Since we couldn‘«÷t hide behind the counter and expect to get paid, we‘«÷d each take our turn standing in the doorway offering the people who passed by free samples. It got to be a competition of sorts to see who could entice the most people to take a detour and come inside. What I discovered is that most folks just want to see a friendly face who knows what she‘«÷s talking about and offering free stuff didn‘«÷t hurt either.
It‘«÷s the same when it comes to selling books. I have to be in a good mood (it makes everything easier) and really believe in what I‘«÷m pitching. It may take a moment for me to get into the rhythm of things, but I always find that people are genuinely interested in finding out what my stories are about and how I came to be a writer. So even though I enjoy my solitude, there‘«÷s a lot to be said about getting out into the world and tooting my own horn. After all, if I don‘«÷t do it, who will?
So taking what I learned at the mall and what I need to do as a novelist still building up my bonafides, I‘«÷m going to offer four advance reader copies of MORE THAN THIS. Since I don‘«÷t believe in making people jump through hoops, I‘«÷m going to make it easy. Just visit the contact page of my site, http://www.margocandela.com/contact.html, follow the simple directions and enter by Wednesday June 25th. I‘«÷ll draw four names on Thursday the 26th and if one of them happens to be yours, you‘«÷re a winner.
As for me, it‘«÷s back to working on my fourth novel, but maybe I‘«÷ll take a break for a nice big cup of tea first.