If you’ve followed along here over the last year or so you know what a struggle it has been to get my contemporary novels into the public eye. I’m not going to rehash all that right now (the posts are at the top of the ‘greatest hits’ list in the right hand column, if you are interested).
After long discussions with my agent and other writers whose opinions I trust, I have decided to invest in hiring an outside publicist who will be organizing the promotion of Pajama Girls. This is not an inexpensive proposition — I will have to spend somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 to have any chance at all of making a significant impact. But if Pajama Girls doesn’t do well — and it won’t, if marketing is handled the way it was for Tied to the Tracks — I’m unlikely to ever get another contract to write a contemporary novel. And I have some contemporaries I’d like to write.
This doesn’t mean I’d stop writing — I still have to hold up my half of the mortgage, after all. I probably could come up with another historical series that would find a home, and I wouldn’t be unhappy about that. The genre has been good to me, and the readers have been spectacular in their enthusiasm and support.But I would be unhappy to be stuck in any cubbyhole.
So I’m going to be working with a publicist, and I’m going to document my experience here on the weblog. Stay tuned.
Wow, that’s a huge chunk of change for a publicist. Hope that works out for you. I will be interested in hearing your thoughts on having a publicist.
I hope you’ll be happy with the choice – really excited to see what comes of this – particularly if we get to see you, say, on a book tour somewhere. I wish you good luck!
It would be a loss to the reading public if you were prevented from writing contemporaries – there were so many layers in Tied to the Tracks that it has taken me several readings to tease some of them out. The thoughtfulness of your writings and the beauty of your prose is unusual and precious. I really hope that this works for you. I undertake to hassle all the Brisbane bookstores I have access to when it comes out if I can’t see it (though when Tied to the Tracks came out I remember that it featured in the “New books” displays here and in Perth, where I was at the time.).
I know you prefer to use Rosina Lippi for your contemporary novels, but do you think you’d have more of a following for them if you published them under Sara Donati?
Well, if it gets you out there, that’s probably a good thing. I’m trying to think off the top of my head. The pajama angle is good for promotion, I think. Pajama parties, etc. Good luck!
Do or die? Then DO, of course! You’re doing the right thing, I look forward to hearing about your experiences, and I wish you the very best of success with Pajama Girls!