I’m getting very excited about the launch of my novel Backward Glass, but to be honest, I’m also a little apprehensive. I have some excellent reviews (starred from Kirkus, very positive from Publisher‘s Weekly, and a tweet that the Booklist reviewer loved it, though no actual review as yet…) and yet at the same time, I worry that I’m about to place a tiny drip into a vast ocean. People who have read the book have liked it — I just really want to make sure a lot of people read it.
So, David, how can I help?
I’m so glad you asked. My friend Christopher Barzak (who gave a really generous blurb for Backward Glass) did this great post on his blog back in March when his (highly recommended) collection Before and Afterlives was about to come out, suggesting some things that friendly folks could do to help him make a splash. I thought it was a great idea, and so I thought I’d try the same sort of thing. Here is a list of things you could do if you’d like to help out.
- Buy the book. Read it. If you like it, review or rate it somewhere. Goodreads is awesome. Online book retailers are fantastic.
- Buy the book as a gift for someone who might like it. Reviewers so far have made some very generous comparisons to The Time Traveler’s Wife, Back to the Future, The Wonder Years, Doctor Who and Stand by Me. You pretty much have to know people who liked at least one of those, right? If you know someone who doesn’t like any of those, maybe buy them a season of Doctor Who and The Time Traveler’s Wife as well as Backward Glass. Because that would just be the right thing to do.
- Suggest the book to some parents of teenagers. Backward Glass is supposedly pitched at a teenage audience, but to be honest, what I tried to do with that books is create a classic, the kind of thing you can read at any age. Most kids probably shouldn’t read it younger than twelve.
- Buy it as a gift for your kid’s teacher. Or librarian.
- Suggest it to your local public library. If you’re within fifty miles of me, tell them you can get me there for the nominal fee of nothing at all.
- Suggest it to your kids’ school librarian. You might want to mention the Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly Reviews. It’s harder for me to do school visits, but I can try — especially for elementary schools when my high school students are writing exams. If they’re too far away, I Skype. Again, nominal fee of not a single penny.
- Ask for it at your local bookstore.
- Read it in public places, arranging your body language so as to be very approachable to strangers who might wonder what you’re reading. Laugh or look concerned — while reading, not at the strangers.
- Tweet or Facebook pictures of yourself reading the book.
- Repost or Tweet this. Share or Retweet some of my other Backward Glass related stuff. Your friends and followers are no doubt people of taste and discernment.
- Come to the launch if you’re local. It’s at the Kennedy Commons Chapters, October 19th from 1:00-4:00 pm. I’ll read a little bit at the start, so feel free to miss that if it’s not your thing. From 1:30 pm onwards, I’ll just be sitting at a table signing books and talking to folks. I’d sure appreciate it if you can come by. I’ve always had the dread of throwing a party that nobody comes to, so I’m really hoping for a crowd that day.
- Go to my author Facebook page (www.facebook.com\DavidLomax100) and like it. Share some stuff there with those discerning and tasteful friends of yours.
- Are you a former student of mine? Get some of my other former students on board. Tag them in posts: “Hey, remember old Mr. Lomax from back in [insert unbelievably distant date here]? He’s got a book coming out. Let’s go to the launch and have a mini-reunion of the class of [unbelievably ancient date] at the Starbucks at Kennedy Commons on October 19th, somewhere between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, at which point we can all buy his book and see how old he looks.”
- Are you a former colleague of mine? Same as above, but without the “old” bit. Because teachers never age, right?
- Are you my enemy? Come on by, because, hey, maybe nobody else will show up, and you can have a bwah-ha-ha moment. (This, by the way, is my wife’s greatest fear.)
- Do you know influential people? Influence them. To do some of the items on this list.
- Are you a time traveler? If yes, please drop me a note to tell me how the launch went.