Ever since the release of Dirty Shirt, I have been forced to do a fair amount of public speaking and presentations. It is one thing to write in a bubble, as I am doing right now in my living room with headphones in, but quite another to take your work into the world. It is also absolutely essential for any author to get out there and push their book once it is published. In many cases this requires writers to go WAY outside their comfort zone and do fun things like readings, signings and schmoozing with the public.
Now, I'll admit that the idea of this requirement was one of my biggest fears when I first heard that Dirty Shirt had been accepted. I don't much like the spotlight and other than a few work presentations, I really haven't done much public speaking since college. It's not my favorite thing to do. I'm a bundle of nerves and it typically shows.
However, now that I have been at this for coming up on three years, I have become much more comfortable at public appearances. In fact, in a couple of days I have another poetry reading in New Berlin at the library for an hour. Unlike my Dirty Shirt presentation, this one is just reading some of my work and talking a little about the inspiration behind some of them. My Dirty Shirt schtick is much more involved with slides, mixed with readings and other things.
So tonight I was able to book another Dirty Shirt book signing for September 1st, 2017. This time it is in Minnesota at The Paperbacks Plus Book Store and represents only my second signing in my home state. On top of these two appearances, one is in the works for Tribeca Gallery and Books in Watertown, Wisconsin sometime in May (or, worst case, July).
The kicker is, I never thought I would be doing book signings and appearances as long as three years after a book comes out. I figured a good year and things would dry up. While I understand you are never really DONE selling your book, I figured the opportunities for selling it would become much less frequent than they have. Not a bad thing, mind you, just surprising.
Even more funny is the fact that just about the time the signings slow to a snails pace, my next book will come out. (I am hoping for a year end acceptance and a spring or early summer 2018 release.) So if I think that soon enough I'll have time to breathe and relax for a bit, I am dead wrong.
At that time, it will all ramp up again. All the peripheral stuff that goes with promotion, including lots of soliciting of bookstores, libraries and the like, will become my "other full-time job" as I like to refer to it.
And you know what? I'm really okay with the thought of that. It's what it's all about.
For more about my coming events, visit: http://sites.writerjimlandwehr.com/events