Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book talk and a video that I'm wondering if you'll get

Last night I got the sweetest email from a young woman who recently read my book.

Hi my name is Rochelle. I came across your book and could not put it down. I enjoyed every moment of it. Thank you for the laughs.  I have but a few questions that I can't seem to ignore.
Do you now have a good relationship with your ex husband?  Is he better off in New Zealand?
I am sorry to pry, but I guess by the end of your book I was hoping that he stopped being such a 'Bastard' lol.   I want you to know that I am extremely happy you accomplished so much since YOU decided enough was enough. I will pass your book around to women who I think will benefit from reading such an inspirational book. You were very strong when dealing with your divorce and I take my hat off to you.
One last thing, I really admire the love you still have (had) for him. I believe you are a great writer and woman.

I'm always so moved when people actually take the time to write to me.  Of course, I wrote back and expressed my appreciation for her reaching out and making my day.

Mike told me quite a while ago, and with a perfectly straight face, that I will someday get to the point where I'll be too busy to respond to every reader I hear from.  I laughed, thinking that will never happen.  Mike is sticking to his prediction, and I guess I should think big and get on board with it as well.  Although right now sales are down a bit, overall my book has been doing incredibly well.  When I can ride Amazon's algorithm in just the right way, sales go through the roof.  Relatively speaking, of course.  But in the past 6 months I've had more sales than the first two and a half years of my book's release. 

You probably know that Bastard Husband: A Love Story is just a little self-published book.  I queried agents for two years with no success before deciding that my story was doing no one any good sitting in my laptop (which B.H. bought for me, post-divorce) and decided to form a publishing company and publish it myself.  At that time self-publishing was still kind of a last resort for aspiring authors.   

How times have changed.  This week's Time magazine has an interesting article about the state of the publishing industry today and the impact self-publishing has had.  "Self-publishing is no longer a mark of shame but a route to freedom, affirmation and a potentially vast pool of readers..." it says.  

Here's more:
  • Since 2006, annual production of self-published titles has more than tripled, to now more than 200,000
  • 30 of Amazon's top 100 sellers in October were self-published, and that self-published titles regularly appear on the New York Times e-book best-seller list. 
  • One study estimated that traditional publishing houses missed out on $100 million last year because of self-publishing

The article talks about one successful self-publisher and points out that "every book sold represents one more reader than she would have had if she had continued to accept the publishing industry's rejections."  No kidding!  That damn thing took me five years to write--twice as long as I was married to B.H.--and it would have been a shame if I'd just given up after amassing two years of rejections.  When I get emails from readers like Rochelle, or get Facebook messages or new "likes" on my Bastard Husband page, I know that all the work was worth it.  

There is a downside:  traditional publishers typically do some promotional work on the author's behalf, but being self-published, I own the rights to my story and any money made goes right to me.  And when Amazon's algorithm smiles on me, sales can be pretty sweet. The reason I'm telling you this is, if I can do it, so can you.  Writing a book takes a tremendous amount of work, but so does anything worthwhile. 

I am always so grateful for all of you who read my blog, and if you bought my book, too, I love you even more.  Anything you can do to help spread the word is so very appreciated!  Please do pass my book around to your friends, consider giving it as a Christmas present, and if you have a few minutes, Amazon reviews translate into more sales--even a couple of sentences would be awesome.  If you're pressed for time, just click "Like" on my Amazon page.  From what I understand, that will help get the algorithm's attention, too.

Changing subjects...  If you know me at all, you know I'm not a Christmas person.  It's a religious holiday, and I'm not religious--that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  But the other day one of my comic friends posted this on his Facebook site, and I immediately posted it on mine.

I was wondering how many of my 686 Facebook friends would get it.  I found this hilarious, but if you weren't around for the early days of Saturday Night Live, or don't know much about Andy Kaufman, this would be pretty meaningless.  My favorite part is the false start at :28 seconds.  Stupid!  But I laughed out loud, and only five of my friends "liked" or commented on my post.  (My blogging buddy grrouchie is one of the cool kids--no surprise to me!)

Humor is so subjective, no?  Weird.  A while back Mike and I were toying with the idea of creating a dating website that would match people up by their sense of humor.  But then I was like, how can we do that when we're not even humorly compatible ourselves? 

Yep, I hate to admit it, but I'm married to a guy who doesn't like Louis CK.  I know, right? I can hardly believe it myself.   If we'd seen each others' online profiles, maybe we wouldn't have bothered.  Mike does have a great sense of humor (he'd have to, to be married to me), but we don't always see eye to eye on what's funny. 

And no, he didn't get the Andy Kaufman clip.  I still love him, though--ha!--and let's hope his prediction about my book comes true.



grrouchie said...

Linda, this is from memory....
However that Video is really true to Kaufman's original vision of the Mighty Mouse theme.....
Which I believe was the 1st ever SNL.

In Kaufman's Mighty Mouse Rendition he also "false started" at that exact same spot and as such I really chuckled (along with you) at 28 seconds...

Debbie said...

Linda, I totally get how great it feels when someone takes the time to tell you how your words helped them or made them laugh. I think you are hilarious and smart and ingenious and I am damn impressed that you got you book published!!! YOU DID IT. YOU. CUZ U B AMAZING GURL.

Hope all has been well with you and Mike at the Love Palace. Wish we didn't live so far apart! We could have a drink every now and then complain about EVERYTHING together!


Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ grrouchie: Oh, that false start is just brilliant!

@ Debbie: The guest room at the Love Palace is ready and waiting whenever you want to come for a visit. I miss you! XOXO