"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I wanna be loved by you (boop-boop-de-boop)

It's Day Two of muscling through my press kit, and the fog is lifting even if the spirit is not. I've got a bio, and all the book information, I just need to write the press release and the pitch letter, both of which are giving me the fits.

I can write about imaginary characters having escapades. I can write stories of funny and stupid things that I've done, or about the silly slips in communication between me and the rest of my family. But it's difficult to separate myself from my work and write words of praise to entice people to buy my book.

Don't misunderstand - I love my book. It's not a literary tome; it's a quick, summer read that's perfect for an afternoon at the beach, and I don't see anything wrong with that. The characters are engaging, the plot is solid, and there's plenty of humor (of course). But how do I write up a kit about Freezer Burn that makes bookstores want to stock it, the media to laud it and women to swoon over it? Okay, I don't need swooning, but you get the idea.

I need to sound like I've got the greatest show on Earth.

Wish I felt less like I was walking on shakey ground.

In addition to substance, I also want the kit to have a clean and polished look to it, whether it's my online kit or my hardcopy one. It needs to be well organized,

yet have lots of visual appeal and promise rich rewards.

Coincidentally (or perhaps it was serendipity), my horoscope had some interesting words for me today, words that may spur me to complete my task:

"Why are you trying so hard to be modest about all of your accomplishments? It makes no sense to be humble now. Let everyone know how proud you are of yourself -- you'll get no denials from anyone! You will join the ranks of friends in high places, because your credibility and influence are about to increase dramatically. Start acting and looking the part. It's a great time to invest in building your wardrobe into something more impressive."

Sounds like I'd better get that press release written, 'cause I gotta go shopping! Later, kids!


Elle Parker said...

It really is a daunting task and I wish you all the best!

Elle Parker

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'll be anxious to hear how successful your press kit is in getting media to pay attention to you and your book. My first efforts worked best in my old home town (which is also where the first mystery was set). The other good press came from the places our mystery panel did presentations and book signings. The rest of my press releases were a waste of paper and printer ink. I'm trying different tactics the next time around.


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Cute post. I agree, writing a book is so much easier than writing about said book.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Jina Bacarr said...

You're on the right track re: press kit. Very impressive.

You need a hook for your press release--something in your story that ties into a hot news topics of the day...

Or something in your own life that gives the reader something they can identify with on a personal level.

Make'em laugh or make'em cry... both is better yet!



Dani said...

I recently read submission guidelines from a literary agent that asked for:

One-Sentence Pitch: This should describe the hook of your project.

One-Paragraph Synopsis: This should briefly summarize the full scope of your manuscript.

This has become such a great exercise for other things, too. In fact, the blog book tours class will get this assignment soon! So if members are reading this, you have a heads-up. Gayle might be able to use it to start her press release.

Straight over from a Twitter link, baby!


N A Sharpe said...

I think one of the hardest things to do is PR be it for your book or yourself. To me it seems like quite a daunting tightrope walk to sing the praises of either without sounding too over the top. Best of luck my friend.

NA Sharpe

Enid Wilson said...

Hi Gayle

I like your picture story and your horoscope is spot on, don't be too modest.

In Quest of Theta Magic

Anonymous said...

Splendid post and yes - ya gotta toot yer own horn! Love the visuals too - they always add to make a post more entertaining.

Alexis Grant said...

I enjoy following along with you on this, since I'll have to create my own press kit at some point. When a press kit passed my desk in the newsroom, the two things that counted most were getting straight to the point and a clean page, one that wasn't difficult to look at. That means keeping it short.

If you ever want a journo to look it over for you, I'm happy to do it. Good luck!

Karen Brees said...

With that press kit under your belt, Go Forth and Conquer!

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