Two people helped me launch this book: The publisher Harvard Square Editions and my ex-wife.     

Two weeks ago, as I began to prepare for my book launch party (to be held this coming January 10th and 11th), I had some serious help. Up to that point, my publisher told me what to do, then I’d get to work. Let's be honest, without my publisher, my book would still be buried in a drawer in the basement of a cellar. Basically, it comes down to three things: “exposure, exposure, exposure.” But how does one promote?

I received aid & advice from my best friend/mother-of-my-child ( -ex is such a pejorative word, because once you have a kid with someone, you’re more like -foreva’s rather than -ex’s).

I call it “Am-Insta-Chimp”, a term for promoting through social media and email. The Publisher hooked me into Amazon and Barnes & Noble, thus making it official. Then, I put that link on my author’s page website (professionally done through Pueblo Web Designs, not some self-made crap because people can tell the difference!). Next, she told me about MailChimp and I sent out 700 promotional emails to all my contacts. MailChimp is great for mass emails that won’t end up in the Spam folder.

Lastly, she designed my book launch flyer using Desktop Publisher, making it look clean for Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter. Ugh, I hate Twitter but you gotta do at least three social media avenues. Facebook for the old school, Twitter for the big league and Insta for the new kids on the block.

Suddenly, a lot of people knew about the book. Building momentum for a book launch is tough, and you have to BEG for reviews. And I didn’t even mention Goodreads and the free book giveaway, because I totally missed out on that. Only so much one person can do. 

When fellow HSE author Michael A. Ferro (Title 13 - see middle of tree below) told me in the beginning, “You’ll have to do the heavy lifting,” I didn’t know that I would be doing ALL the work (writing, editing, promoting). And you never know, you just might get a little help from your -ex!

Which leads me to the top of a Christmas tree. 

 

For the past few years, I construct a Book Tree for Christmas and decorate it with lights and purple-tinted ornaments. This year, I was excited about my daughter coming home and together placing my new novel on top of the pile of books. To celebrate the completion of a long process. Yet, I do not want the attention, only the interaction.

And so, it doesn’t belong on top of the tree. I'm not a fucking star and the book is not mine anymore.  

However, I remember what my friend David Wagner told me at Barnes & Noble during his book-signing: “Promoting can be Fun!”  Sitting there and selling books or not selling books, just talking to people about the process of it all, the excitement of not attention but interaction. 

Like Julia Alvarez said when I sat next to her and commented on the long line waiting for her signature, “Meeting all these people, it’s so exciting. You’ll see how it is.” 

She’s right. Interaction. Connection.  An honest moment. It’s not about me or my book but I get to listen and feel other people’s story, to help them carry their burden and celebrate their success.

Exciting indeed!