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Archive for March, 2009

I am a Licensed Realtor

March 28th, 2009 Comments off
I searched myself on Google recently, which, awkwardly enough, is something I do fairly often these days. Mostly to see if my site is getting picked up correctly in all the search engines, but also because, in searching myself  a month ago, I found a nice blurb about the book. It was actually a blurb posted on Twitter, and I tracked down the woman who wrote it − Stephanie Anderson, from Word Bookstore − and she was nice enough to offer to write an extended blurb, so that’s been reason enough to keep searching my name. The perpetuating fulfillment of my calculated self-absorption. But in searching myself I kept seeing an Eric Barnes, real estate agent, appear above me on Google. It was driving me nuts. People, I’m trying to get ready to sell some books, and this jack-ass is somehow listed above ME? (Thank god I’ve never told anyone I have these sorts of thoughts.) Finally, having seen the Realtor’s listing above mine way too many times, I clicked on it. It turns out that, in fact, the Realtor IS me. I’m a licensed Realtor. Or, at least, there’s a Web site out there that thinks I’m a licensed Realtor. I wish the book had been about real estate. An error like this could have dramatically improved my search results. I emailed the site and asked them to remove the reference, not thinking they would, or that if they did, it’d take months. But it’s already gone. (It was here.) All this makes me think about Twitter, mostly because I can’t stop thinking about Twitter, so most things make me think about it, but also because of all this self-absorption. I can’t connect with Twitter. I can’t follow the conversations. I can’t get with the erratic flow of comments, observations and chronic self-absorption. And that’s coming from someone whose existence is often based around erratic comments and chronically self-absorbed activities. All that changes when I find something nice about the book. And I liked the Litchat I did, because then it was more of a focused conversation. Not to mention a conversation focused on me. But in the normal course of the day, I can’t figure out what I should do with Twitter. I am consumed with this − will my failure to develop the right Twitter strategy sink the sales of Shimmer? And somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m starting to worry about Craigslist. Shouldn’t I have a Craigslist strategy?
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Readings, Canada, LitChat & Early Reviews

March 8th, 2009 Comments off
There are more early reviews coming in from booksellers who’ve been sent advanced copies of the book, which is great. I can’t quite find away to thank these people enough. You can read them here. I still receive rejections on short stories almost every day, though. It’s a good thing, probably. A bit of karmic balance in my otherwise self-absorbed universe. I’ve decided that one reason it takes so long to publish a book — the full year from when the publisher buys the manuscript to the book actually being available in bookstores — is that it gives time for essentially non-self-promotional people like me to develop the ability to turn every email, conversation and interaction into a not-so-subtle pitch for their book. Necessary, I know, but still vaguely uncomfortable. As I like to announce to Elizabeth on a fairly regular basis, “Hey, it’s been at least 30 minutes since we’ve talked about Shimmer.” (To which Elizabeth usually responds, “So, what are you making us for dinner?”) Thank god for Elizabeth. Some of the initial dates and places for readings and signings are set up: Davis-Kidd, Memphis – 6 pm, June 30 That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, 7 pm, July 7 Third Place Books, Seattle, 7 pm, July 14 Powell’s Books at Cedar Hill Crossing, Portland – 7 pm, July 15 More to come…. And it looks like I’m going to the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Summer Institute in June. I’ve never had a bad time in Canada. It’s just a deeply pleasant place to be.  The book, by the way, is being published by McArthur & Company in Canada in partnership with Unbridled Books, the US Publisher. Lastly, if you’re on Twitter, take a look at #LitChat. Or here’s their Blog. They were nice enough to have me host a discussion about Shimmer last week. It was great, strange, and all about the book. Questions from strangers and not so unknown strangers about when I wrote the book, what I think about Madoff, how the timing of a book about Ponzi schemes could not have been better, and so on. Thanks to LitChat and everyone who participated.
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