Running Out of Ideas

I had lunch today with Chris Bigelow, my publisher at Zarahemla Books. It was fun, as it always is. We shared gossip and talked about future projects, both joint and individual, and about my recent review of Doug Thayer’s book The Tree House (also published by Zarahemla Books) — and about the fact that we seem to be running out of ideas for ways to publicize No Going Back.

Here’s a short list of some of the things we’ve done:

  • Did a paper on my book at last year’s Sunstone (pre-publication).
  • Contacted Utah newspapers (including campus newspapers, which turned out well) and sent review copies to everyone who expressed an interest.
  • Contacted Mormon book blogs and provided electronic review copies to those with an interest. Again, this worked pretty well in terms of getting reviews, though I don’t know how many sales that translated into.
  • Contacted some of the readers of my book who were particularly enthusiastic late last year and mentioned the Whitney Awards nomination procedure (at least five readers not connected to the book’s publication have to recommend it in order to get the committee to look at it). This got the book considered by the nominating committee, which in turn led to it being listed as one of five finalists for its category.
  • Sent out flyers to LDS institutes throughout the U.S. So far as we can tell, this was a dud.
  • Attempted to get some kind of event going. There was the book reading/signing at King’s English, and there will probably be an event this coming Tuesday in Salt Lake City. (Watch out here for more details!)
  • Attempted to get reviews in places like BYU Magazine, with mixed success. (I think I mentioned that Richard Cracroft planned to mention the book in his column, but the editors pulled it due to controversial subject matter.)
  • Distributed free electronic copies far and wide within the Mormon same-gender attracted community (e.g., through North Star).
  • Mentioned it in personal newsletters to friends, on blogs where I post, etc.
  • Mentioned it in various discussion threads on Amazon.com.
  • Gave copies to all the people who read the book and commented on it in manuscript.
  • Sent electronic publicity packets to Utah libraries, with unclear results thus far.

There’s more stuff than that, if I wanted to get more detailed. Like the time I talked to someone sitting next to me in stake choir. (He wound up reading and then buying a copy.) Or getting a couple of copies placed into my local LDS bookstore back in Minnesota (which still haven’t sold, as far as I can tell), and getting a “local boy” review in my local newspaper in River Falls, though I doubt it will lead to many sales.

It’s unclear exactly what we can do from here. Like I say, there’s this event up in Salt Lake next week. And there’s another couple of reviews supposedly in the works at some point, though I don’t know if they’ll reach anyone who hasn’t already read about the book. But we do what we can.

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3 Responses to “Running Out of Ideas”

  1. Wm Morris says:

    The most logical next step is to write another book in the same vein and/or as sequel. And when that book comes out, price the e-book of No Going Back at $1.99. But I know you aren’t, at this point, real interested in doing that.

  2. I think you’ve done the best job of any Zarahemla author on publicity. I wish I could afford to hire you to handle publicity on other titles…

  3. LauraN says:

    If Becca ever finishes the book, I think she will find some of her fellow grad students at Yale who would be interested in reading it. But at the moment, she is too busy reading about women fighters in civil conflicts–compared to which NO GOING BACK is quite a jolly romp. But we’ll just have to wait for her to get around to it.

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