Tuesday, February 15, 2011

shhh, pass it on...private thoughts on publicity

By Nicole Seitz

God bless her heart, there's a cute little entertainment reporter who started talking after the Grammy awards last night and right in the middle started speaking gibberish, as if she was having a stroke or speaking in tongues, or one of those pig-latiny languages we used to make up as children.

You can Google it if you need to, but I feel for this woman. She's young. She's got a lot on her mind. She's got a big job, a very public job, and she's trying her hardest to get her words out there just right, and then all of a sudden there's a misfire. My prayers are with her tonight. Part of me knows how she feels. Part of me thinks we're all just one brain misfire from getting our words to come tumbling down around us in a jumbled mess....much like the main character in my latest book, The Inheritance of Beauty. Except Magnolia is almost 90 years old and wheelchair bound and trapped somewhere behind her eyes with thoughts of the past as clear as day and "I love you" on her lips but never making it to her sweet husband's ear.

I love being a writer and getting to be a voice for those who have no voice. It's rewarding--yes, rewarding is a good word--when you care about someone, even a character, and want to help them communicate their messages. Communication is important. It's part of being human. If you have something important to say, you must say it yourself as often and as loudly as you can. If you can.

This is the truth of being an author in this decade.

So speaking of getting the word out... What can I say? There is good publicity and then there is...well, you remember that game you used to play as a kid where you would say into the ear of the person to your right a sentence, and then that person would relay it to the next and then the next until the whole circle of folks had been whispered to, and the last one beside you on the left would stand up proudly and declare what it was you said...only it's NOTHING like what you said in the first place, and everyone just dies laughing?

"I have a new book out called The Inheritance of Beauty."
"I have a new lookout, call the caravans of beauty."
"Why haven't you put out all the caravans of booty?"
"Wipe your shoe poo out, all the bear ants are puny."
"Wipe your shampoo out, all the parents are moody."

Huh? Wipe your shampoo out? The parents are moody? Is that what I said?

YES, the parents ARE moody! Why? They're writing and trying to sell books!

Listen, if you're an author, sometimes you have reason to be moody. Getting the right people to read and talk about your book is not easy! Face it, you've worked so hard not only to write and sell the book but then then to work for a year with your publisher trying to get it out the door and into stores. And then when it's time, you want to take a deep breath and let other people take the reins and relay the message: "There is a NEW book out by an AMAZING author, and it's a GREAT book, and you should read it and tell EVERYONE you know!"

But sometimes, that doesn't happen, does it? Sometimes, you have to pick those reins back up. Sometimes you feel like that initial whisper into the wind got distorted or watered down along the way and if you don't get back out there and tell everyone again, "Hey, I worked really hard to write a great new book! Tell a friend!"-- that your words are lost out there like gibberish falling down around feet, like whispers morphing and changing shape in the wind.

As authors, we depend on our publishers and publicists and marketing people to get the word out, but being an author means you have a message...YOUR words. And sometimes, when all the hoo-hah has died down and the big events are over and publicists (God bless them!) have moved on to a newer book, there's still little old you, holding your microphone, trying to get your story out to another person who might need to or like to hear your message. And you just pray the words come out clearly...one. last. time.

I have a new book out called The Inheritance of Beauty.
I have a new book out called The Inheritance of Beauty.

I have a new book out called The Inheritance of Beauty.
Won't you read it?

shhh. Pass it on...

Nicole Seitz with Shellie Rushing Tomlinson at the Pulpwood
Queens Girlfriend weekend in Texas last month.
Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native, mother, wife, art teacher, illustrator and novelist. She is pleased to have just released her fifth novel, The Inheritance of Beauty, if you haven't heard. The book is getting very nice reviews from readers, and Nicole is happy about that. She also feels blessed to have amazing publicists, publishers, readers and a biased but lovely mother who tells people all about her books. Just yesterday she was on the radio show of one of A Good Blog is Hard to Find's best and brightest talents, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson. They had a very nice chat on her porch, and you can listen to it here. You can also visit Nicole's website at http://www.nicoleseitz.com/ and find her on Facebook and Twitter @nicoleseitz, if you're so inclined. Happy reading, friends. Spread the word.


River Jordan said...


I turned on the tv for 5 minutes to the news today - know what I saw? Yep, that woman glibfesting or something. Prayers - now, that's a good idea. I didn't even happen to think of that at the moment as I literally just dropped my jaw and couldn't believe it.
Your writing is beautiful and I know it will find a home in hearts everywhere. And somehow - when you promote your book it is with complete grace and assurance. How do you do that?
Looking forward to the read and to a visit.


Ann H. Gabhart said...

Great post, Nicole. And I'm sure a lot of ears are getting the message that you have a new book out and a lot of eyes are going to be glad they're reading your story.

Nicole Seitz said...

Thanks, River and Ann. I think what's key in promoting a book is believing in it. For me, I fall flat-on-the-ground in love with my characters and they talk me into telling just one more person. It's the only way I can do it!

I wish you all the best with your new books! Let me know if I can ever help spread the word...

Shellie Tomlinson said...

Oh, how I laughed as your book title went through the wheels of that childhood game and came out that the parents were moody! Priceless. Great post, girlfriend, and it is EASY to pass word of "The Inheritance of Beauty" along--love that Maggie, and George or course, oh, and Joe, and Ash, and wait-- I miss Annie...

Ana Raquel said...

Hi Nicole,
This article was a great read, with lots of good information. Thanks for taking the time to put these words together:-)
I got your new book last week, @ a Christian Store, so now I am looking forward to your Atlanta Book Tour, so that you can autograph it for me!
Ana Raquel

Nicole Seitz said...

Shellie, thanks for your ongoing encouragement! I just put together a little youtube video of our porch chat together. It's on my FB author page.

And Ana, I appreciate your willingness to come see me speak again when I make it to Atlanta. I pray you continue to take pleasure in books and authors and writing!

Rechelle said...

Congratulations on your fifth book release. It's always great to see another South Carolinian sharing literary success.

Nicole Seitz said...

Thank you, Rechelle!