Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shameless Promotional Campaign

I have to do more to promote this book.

Word is getting around. Its gotten a lot of reviews. Really good reviews. Its online. Its in bookstores all over the country. I have received beautiful communications from people whose lives have been affected by it. I also found, some time ago, that even though the book had been out for several months, some of my best friends were unaware of its existence. Perfect strangers had bought and read intimate details about my life, while people I see and/or talk to every day still hadn't gotten it.

For reasons that are explained in the book, its not so easy for me to go on a lecture and book signing tour. But I could send around a few promo copies, like to my diocesan newspaper for starters. And then I have this 24/7 window on the world, my laptop. I'm not an expert at using it, and I don't have the patience or disposition for savvy marketing in any medium. But I can do something. As G. K. Chesterton famously said, "anything worth doing is worth doing badly." So I just plunged in and started swimming.

I liked to hang out on Facebook, so I started there. Facebook is a good medium for people with disabilities. Even on days when you can't get out, you can still "sort of" get out--at least out of your own head. I can tell that its also great for stay-at-home Moms, who can start to feel brain-damaged when all the interaction they have all day is with those lovely, huggable, wonderful, cute, food-flinging, screaming, whining, mess-making pre-rational midgets entrusted to their care. Its nice for people working in the office (in fact I am beginning to wonder if anyone is working at the office these days; they all seem to be on Facebook). Its great for scholars and writers, because procrastination is just a click away. No, actually, if you have as many intelligent friends as I do, you receive links that enrich your research (i.e. take you off on interesting tangents that you can justify wasting your time on by calling them "research"). Seriously, I have had some good "discussions" on Facebook that have stimulated my thinking, and have helped me on more than one occasion to break out of writer's block.

I decided I would promote my book on Facebook. It was a good idea. Now the book is pretty much known among my friends, acquaintances, and in the circles in which I have had contact over the years. And other promotional opportunities have arisen. I was on a radio program last month. A feature article about me is scheduled to appear in the next couple of weeks in my local diocesan paper. An article in a national Catholic magazine is in the works. We are even arranging for me to do a couple of book signings, and I am feeling pretty well so I may be able to do a few more. And, interestingly, the book itself has given birth in the past two months to a kind of rambling sequel: this blog. Well, its a different medium and a different range of subjects but it maintains my desire to engage others with the story of my life and God's mercy, and to say--in one way or another--Never. Give. Up. So it has been very fruitful thus far.

Still, I am restless. This little book about my struggles with physical and mental illness has touched deeply so many people who have read it--not only Catholics, but non-Catholics as well. It has struck people who are suffering and people who are not (particularly) suffering, because it is a book about being a human being. And I think of the vast multitude of people who might benefit from reading it. It really has nothing to do with any desire of mine to be famous (I don't have the energy to be famous). But it does have to do with something that has been entrusted to me; something for which I feel responsible. Its not only that there are a lot of people out there suffering internally, and this book might one day help someone to decide not to kill themselves (although that may happen; perhaps it already has). It is because there is something here about suffering--extraordinary and ordinary suffering--that people need to hear.

So I want to start a Shameless Promotional Campaign. And I need your help. Click the link at the top of the page and order the book. Read the book. Tell your friends about it. Post this link wherever posting is done. Email it to people you know. If you know Web Magic, use Web Magic to increase its visibility in cyberspace (keeping in mind that the budget for this campaign is $0.00). Help me network. I am even willing to consider speaking and promotional events, insofar as I can manage them. I want to open myself up even more to the opportunities to get this book into people's hands. As much as I can. Its worth a try. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Of course, its worth more to do it well.

Besides, we need the money.

So join me in the Never Give Up Shameless Promotional Campaign.