Tuesday, April 26, 2005

First Book Jitters

so i'm finally figuring out that not everyone has a book coming out, that it's not some everyday thing, and that i need to be more proud and outspoken about it. but outspoken to whom? if not everybody publishes books, how can they relate? will they think you're just bragging? do they really know?

so here in l.a. i have a friend, liza palmer, who has a book coming out late summer: Conversations With The Fat Girl. liza and i vent, talk, laugh, e-mail, worry... about everything related to our books. it's our first book experience. first book jitters. you only get this experience once. and my friend tayari jones says to enjoy the ride, enjoy everything about it. she's on book two now. do i even have a shot at a career in this? is there life after down for whatever? don't wanna be a one-hit-wonder (assuming dfw is a hit). these are the things first-time novelists think, wonder, fret about... it helps to have a clicque of writers/authors... outside your regular friends, family, and support network.

the other day i finished reading "playing with boys" by alisa valdes rodriguez, and was reading her back flap bio information. and i noticed that the person who designs her covers is the same person who designed mine!!!!! i was so beside myself with happiness. something in common with one of the most popular authors out there. i guess i look for small little victories everywhere. artist is michael storrings, along with kristine noble on mine. see any similarities? ok. maybe a stretch, but still. gotta get the book, pwb, if you haven't already.

so yeah, back to Book Expo America. i'll be in NYC in june for the event. book people everywhere-- booksellers, distributors, agents, authors, editors, you name it and they're there. i was totally surprised they (kensington) put me at an autographing table. i guess that means they don't mind putting me out front representing kensington, huh? that's cool. let me stop. i worry too much. i'll be in nyc for ncore (national conference on race and ethnicity in higher education) at the same time. running from conference to conference, hotel to hotel. always running. always working (out). hope it pays off.

as for new york... and the summer... i'm like... i need like a billion dollars to do everything i want to do to shine this summer... facials, teeth whitening (professionally, not crest white strips, lol), new casual and professional clothes (my sister pointed out that it wouldn't be cool to be photographed at different events in the same outfit... that's what sisters are for, huh?), and travel money. first timers sometimes front a lot of their own costs of promotion, unless they're the boy/girl wonder of the literary season. in my head, yeah. in reality, hmmm.... :-)

and i found out that liza and i check e-mail like a billion times a day waiting for some new word from nyc -- our agents and publishers. and we save all the notes. and sometimes re-open them as if they're new. just to feel like there's something new. there's a lot of silence. that's okay. it means everyone is getting their time, place, and attention when it's due. mine is july. it will pick up may and june.

first book jitters. it ain't cool. but it is cool.

in may i'll know everything that's happening. everything will be confirmed. i'll know where i'm going to be.


Anonymous said...

Wow!! what an exciting time coming up for you!! I wish you much success.

I love the artwork on the cover. I wish it was a poster.

So don't worry too much! I believe you're in good hands.

Remember: What you believe is what you'll experience. So stay positive always.

Kev C
From Atlanta

tayari said...

Hey Fred, here's some advice from me as I am on tour #2. Don't spend too much on clothes. You won't see the same people twice. Get a few outfits that you feel good in and just wear them over and over. You don't want to be lugging a lot of stuff around. (You can have your dry cleaning done at the hotel. Your publisher expects you to, so don't worry about the bill.)

And don't worry about your teeth. You will find that people will welcome you with open arms just as you are. Think about it this way: the only people who will even make the effort to come to your events are people who wish you well. The haters will be at home watching reality tv!

Have a good time! Don't work too hard. (I need to take my own advice. I am just about 1/3 of the way through my tour and I am laid up with laryngitis!)

Liza Palmer said...

I wish I had time to read this entry - but I gotta go check my email...again and again and again and again...

I'd laugh if it weren't so tragically true.

(Jane of Carmen and Jane)

Liza Palmer said...
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