I could never sell Girl Scout Cookies
I started writing a newsletter for friends, family and readers a few months before the March 2013 publication of my third novel, ALL THE LIGHT THERE WAS. The sample below is what I posted to the NK Book Group list last week on the publication date of the She Writes Press paperback edition of ALL THE LIGHT THERE WAS. It’s a low volume mailing list–one or two emails a month–and if you’re interested in joining, send a note to nkbookgroup[at]gmail.com.
7 October 2014
Today is the official publication date of the paperback edition of ALL THE LIGHT THERE WAS. When I was a kid I had to drop out of the Girl Scouts because I was unable to sell the cookies, and pushing my own books is always embarrassing for me, but I’m going to force myself. Assuming that you already have a copy of the hardcover, please consider buying the paperback as a gift for a friend.
Just by way of explanation, the reason you should buy my book—or buy any book by a friend, or by any author whose work you admire—is not because I will profit financially. Most writers, myself included, are lucky, if you calculate the number of hours that go into the writing, to make minimum wage for the books they publish. The idea is, however, that by buying the book you are showing the publishers that you think they should invest in my NEXT novel.
Lately I’ve been hearing about the sorry state of publishing from agent and editor friends. When the subject turns to literary fiction, they grow absolutely grim faced. This is why, if I love a book, I buy multiple copies and give them to friends. For people who care about literary culture and serious publishing, I recommend that this holiday season you take a vow to give only books. (Myself, I’ll be giving books and beautiful handcrafted items from Sunbula Fair Trade.) On a brighter note, I’m thrilled and blessed that all three of my novels are available in paperback, ebook and audio editions.
I had a great trip to Los Angeles this past weekend for the Armenians and Progressive Politics Conference at Occidental College. I was on the keynote panel on Friday evening with my friends Khatchig Mouradian and David Barsamian. I’m also excited to be working with friends on Project 2015, an effort to organize a mass fly in to Istanbul of Diaspora Armenians for the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2015. It sounds a little sad, but it’s actually going to be an amazing act of memorialization and resistance. (More on this at it develops!)
October 12, 2014