A friend of mind poked me on Facebook not too long ago and asked me for advice on promoting a book he'd written. It's a good book -- I've read it, and I loved it -- but for some reason his publisher seems to have assigned his promo to Malfunctioning Eddie, and as soon as the initial sales burst dropped off by two or three books, sprockets started popping off everywhere. It's his first piece of standalone fiction. Having an overactive imagination is a prerequisite for a writer; it's great when you're crafting a novel, not so good when you get out of the shower in the morning and find you already have three or four urgent voicemails from Chicken Little that are long on hysteria and short on details. Eventually, he realized he was spending far too many billable hours going back and forth between calming his publisher and running down the checklist of heart attack symptoms, and that it would be easier to do it himself.

So he asked me what he was supposed to do. I am apparently the person who knows the most about promotions and social media in his circles, minus the 'help' who seems to maybe need a few more Valium to cope with life, the universe, and everything.

That left me scratching my head. I tend to think of myself as a hermit, and much of the time, I am. I can and have gone days at a time without talking to anything that has fewer than four legs, if my work schedule lines up just right/wrong with my roommates'. Self-check lanes at the grocery store are a glorious thing. I whine a lot when I have to leave the house, because that means I have to put on real pants. I would turn down an invitation to the Presidential Inauguration if I'd already hit my limit of socialization for the week. How the fuck did I end up the local expert in promotions? How the fuck did I end up good at it?

This is not the first time this has happened. One of the other actors in the summer PMRP Super Sleuths show just moved here from the other coast and used to do burlesque, so I got him to hang around and meet Dale afterwards. Dale told him that I was basically the community networking person. I had a pretty savage brain cramp when I realized he was probably right. I am continually amazed at how little the members of la burlesquerie know about each other's goings-on -- I assume that if I've picked up the info, it's probably common knowledge, but that may be overstating the case. Dex seems to think I live on Facebook, which I don't, mostly because I'm too skint to turn on the 3G data plan on my phone.

I've been told I must lead an interesting life. One of the Circlet authors was impressed that I knew so many creative types. I'd only mentioned the Post-Meridian Radio Players, and the cosplay photographer who write YA novels, and... oh. Er. I was declared winner of Porn Camp 2014 partly because I admitted to spending most of my free time with the burlesque dancers and circus performers. (Also partly because I showed up in the Black Widow costume after being dared to, but I'm me and I would wear that catsuit to lunch on a perfectly normal Wednesday if you asked me nicely.) I told my blog that the PMRP wanted radio scripts and was promptly referred to another author who, as it turns out, is or was the longtime partner of one of our Circlet writers, and...

...you know what? I have absolutely no idea how I got here. I never do. I was the kid nobody would talk to until I got to high school and started making friends via modem, and now I'm sitting in the middle of a web of very weird -- but highly entertaining -- people, knotting things together and plinking at strings. I almost want to march back and present my mother with overwhelming evidence she was wrong when she cast me as the book-smart social idiot, but knowing my mother, she'd just claim she thought I was the social one all along, because the structure of her reality is about as resilient as hot taffy, and it was clearly a trait I got from her. So forget that; it would probably end in punching.

At least I recognize the pattern. It's the same one I use when gathering information. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't actually know everything -- I just know where to look everything up. Likewise, I cannot personally entertain your party guests by juggling flaming poi, but I can certainly direct you to someone who has that skill.

Comments

  1. But, what about this book your friend has written? Please tell me more! I'm always on the lookout for cool new reading stuff :)

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