More than 25 years ago, while traveling in Scotland, I watched an elderly gentleman chisel a name into a black granite gravestone. He sat on a stack of upholstered stools; he held a chisel in his left hand, a mallet in his right. The craft and care he took with each and every letter seemed reverent. Each cut of the stone seemed important. Holy, almost. Continue reading
At the beginning of 2017, as I committed my annual goals to paper, I scribbled this quote by author Emily Liebert across the top of the page: “Jump at every opportunity. Throw everything at the wall.” The sentiment reflects the reality of book marketing, which is that the bulk of promotion is the responsibility of the author.
The process of writing the book Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate was easy enough for an introvert. Working alone, on my laptop, was safe and comfortable. The thought of being on live television to promote the book, however, or being interviewed on live radio or standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people was something else. Those things were far, far out of my comfort zone. Just thinking about being so public could make me break out in splotchy red hives. For every one thing that could go right, I imagined ten things that could go wrong and forever live online. Yet, I also knew I had to do this promotional work if I hoped anyone would learn about the book. I needed to jump at every opportunity and throw everything against the wall. So, I embraced the mantra “jump and throw.”
My publicist secured a segment on a local network television station’s morning show the week the book was released. It was an incredible opportunity. In preparation, she suggested I make flash cards and practice succinctly answering questions the co-anchors were likely to ask: Why did you design a font? Who was Marcel? What was in Marcel’s original handwritten letters?