Dundurn is a small (but highly-respected and growing) publisher. The money they have available to promote their lines is limited so they’ve invested a lot of time and effort in spending their promotion dollars wisely.
It’s for this reason that there will be no book tour for The Unwritten Girl. Book tours aren’t very effective in any event, unless the author on tour already has a name for themself (a classic chicken-and-the-egg scenario). Erin already has tales to tell about successful and not-so-successful readings conducted as a part of a book tour, and nothing is more discouraging than reading before an empty bookstore, so I’m happy to hear that Dundurn has had a lot of success sending out review copies and blitzing the media instead.
Dundurn’s promotions department has been great to work with. Even though they know their stuff, they’ve been very good about allowing me to help them brainstorm about where and how we can get the word out about the book. I’ve told them to milk my blogging contacts shamelessly, and already we’re considering ways we can get the media to pay attention, which is, of course, easier said than done.
The problem is similar to what I described on Sunday regarding finding hooks that schools and libraries might be interested in. The media is interested in the stories behind the books rather than the books themselves. If we can feed them a good story, we might get some air time or column space.
The local media, like Rogers Cable, might be interested just in the fact that a local author has published his first book. This would be very useful in promoting the Waterloo launch I’m planning. We might also interest the media in the story of our literary family. With my mother being a writer and Erin being a poet, this concentration of writers might be unusual enough to warrant an article. We’ll see.
Another idea, after talking a friend and blogging content, might be my fan fiction history. The media doesn’t usually pay attention to fan fiction, unless it is to cast a somewhat raised eyebrow at this example of weird teen culture, but it could interest their readers to learn how many professional authors and screenwriters got their start in fan fiction. There’s Stephan Moffet, the writer behind the acclaimed British comedy series Coupling, andd Mark Gatiss, a writer behind the BBC’s League of Gentlemen. There’s Russell T. Davies, the creative genius behind Queer as Folk, the Doctor Who revival among professional credits too numerous to list. All of these people came up through Doctor Who fandom. On this side of the Atlantic, there’s Peter David, a longtime Star Trek and Doctor Who fan, whose fan fiction led him to screenwriting credits, book deals, and to being one of the premiere writers for Marvel Comics. There’s a whole generation of authors, screenwriters and producers who have blurred the lines between amateur and professional publication.
Might be worth a story.
It’s still early days, so there may be other ideas we haven’t thought of yet. But Dundurn’s strategy of sending out review copies is tried and true, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.
If you have ideas about who might be interested in hearing about our story, and what stories we might be able to tell, I’d be glad to hear them.