I have a PR person.
Well, not me personally; the publisher has assigned one to the book. This is a strange place to be; I’m used to doing everything myself–DIY. I publish a zine, for god’s sake, and except for one novel, I’ve basically been a self-publisher. Hell, even the first novel was more or less self-published, considering the smallness of the publisher and the fact that they went out of business after a year or two.
In short, having a publisher actually spend money on me is disconcerting. Makes my palms sweat.
Back in 2002 my wife and I organized the Big-Assed Famous Tour to support my first novel, Lifers, and a collection from my zine I’d put out through Tower Records called The Freaks are Winning. We did all the legwork: We put together press releases, contacted bookstores and local media, mailed stuff out, and cajoled friends and fans into showing up. Sometimes this worked great–in Philadelphia the Philly Inquirer did a review of both books that came out the day I read there–and sometimes it didn’t–absolutely no one showed up at Olsson’s Books in Washington D.C. when I read there (I read anyway, and my friends were saints for not pitying me). It was a lot of work for a very small payoff, but I was pretty proud of my little tour, to be honest.
Ah, but now everything is coming up Zoidberg for me, and about damn time. I’m done setting these things up myself, like a sucker. I think I just realized my entire inner monologue is culled from Simpsons and Futurama scripts. That can’t bode well for a writer, can it?
Of course, when I met with the PR person she wanted to know if I had any media contacts they could use, or if I had any ideas or suggestions. I stared blankly at her and then feigned unconsciousness until she left. I got nothin’, which is problematic. I mean, how do you turn someone like me into a sensation? I tend to drink too much, sweat heavily, and mumble when in public. My hair is an ongoing disaster. I’m about as glib and charming as a junkyard dog, and I am vaguely embarrassed about begging people to buy my books.
Yep, this is going to be a disaster. Come watch the fun!