|Ms Impossibly Nice holding Burnt Snow|
I'm learning a lot about this having-a-book-out malarkey - primarily because I've been on my very first book tour, attending the Melbourne Writers' Festival and the Brisbane Writers' Festival as part of the PanMacmillan Australia entourage. This means I've stumbled into a world of festival appearances, talks, signings, panels, author dinners, literary conversations and lots of bonding with the shockingly friendly and supportive world of Children's/YA novelists. Before I do a whole post on this subject, let me just say that if you strike books by Kate Forsyth, John Danalis, Fiona Wood, Steph Bowe, Kirsty Murray, Melina Marchetta, Leanne Hall or Belinda Jeffrey BUY them. Not only are these people great writers, but they're NICE and have GREAT TASTE IN FOOD. Belinda and John in particular - for who could ever forget the bonding had over the unbelievable feast provided by this restaurant? Absolutely noone who ever had the good sense to consult the waiter at European about their tasting menu, oh my.
So I'm learning a lot about what it takes to sell a book to the world. The first rule seems to be CONSTANT TALKING which, though I have a natural talent for talking incessantly about anything to hand is actually really tiring when you do it for three hours at a time without a break. The other great occupational hazard here is Signature Wrist, which is the painful tradeoff for the miracle of avid and enthusiastic readers wanting you to sign their copy of your (my!) book. If anyone out there has suggestions for how I can stop feeling like my writing career is about to be destroyed by tendonitis much in the same way Luke Skywalker's swordfighting career suffered a setback at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, please let me know.
The other thing I'm learning is how enormously hard a publicity team at a publisher's works to sell a book. Whoever said "You don't judge a book by its cover" clearly was not employed professionally in the publishing industry. Burnt Snow's publicity campaign includes an ad in this month's fabulous Frankie magazine, as well as - OMG - a book trailer on the YouTubes, which, of course, you can look at RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.
Have you read Burnt Snow yet? The video promo process was interesting because, as we were using actual human models for the animations, there was a rather heavy discussion around the issue of representing the "hero", Brody Meine. It was an interesting discussion to be a part of, just because it became apparent how everyone who reads a book imagines the characters in their own way - for me, as the author, it was interesting to hear people go "that's not Brody" or "that's so totally Brody" about a character who was, once upon a time, a figment of my imagination. Does the way you see a character get influenced by video promos or film casting? Do you cast actors in your head to play the parts? Are you ever cranky with who gets cast in film adaptations of books because they don't match the character in your head?
Obviously, I am way interested in this phenomenon right now and would love to hear your thoughts. Also looking forward to seeing you at Shearer's Books in Sydney on Wednesday and OMG book launch! Eeeee!