Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dear Readers...

... of The Buddha Diaries,

This morning I thought I might just take a few minutes to bring you an update on the progress of my promotional efforts on "Persist." It happens to be what is taking up most of my time these days, and I have to say that I'm rather enjoying it.

I sometimes stop to ask myself why I'm spending so much time and energy on work that, after all, is now completed. The book is written, published. It has started a journey of its own. What I myself can do seems puny beside the money and support systems that go into the promotion of the major publishing houses. (Consider that dubiously famous "rogue" and her best-seller!) And yet... I've always felt it a bit soppy to refer to a book as "my child," but I do feel that kind of responsibility for it: I put it out into the world, it's up to me to give it the fair start it needs--or at least the best I can. In my case, no one else is going to do it for me.

That said, I'm really thrilled with what I've managed to achieve thus far. I decided, first of all, against the traditional "book-signing." I have done enough of those, and the only one that ever worked was when I put out the book on David Hockney in the Abbeville Press Modern Masters Series. I was astonished, then, when I showed up for the event at Book Soup in Hollywood, to find lines around the block. But they had showed up for the superstar artist, of course, not for the author! The more successful book-signing events have been those combined with a talk, a lecture, some discussion. I remember one such event at the Bodhi Tree, on the publication of my memoir, "While I Am Not Afraid." A hundred people showed up for the talk I gave about the book and the experiences that led to it.

So that's the route I'm taking this time around, with "Persist." If you were reading along last week, you'll have heard about my talk at the Inside Edge. I have the second in the series coming up this Sunday, at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach (for Orange County residents, it's at 1PM.) And another dozen already scheduled in the next couple of months, at various locations, some academic, some groups of artists or writers. I'll be posting information as they approach. It's good to realize that these events are not merely about selling books. As long-time readers will know, I have a great, abiding desire to feel that I'm doing something with this life I have been given, that I'm making a contribution with this one talent--with words--with which I have been endowed.

I know, also, that I'm not able to make much of a dent on my own. I'm grateful for any help I can get along the way. If it's in your heart, there are ways in which you can lend me a friendly hand. I hope it's okay with you if I lay a few out:

* If you're a fellow-blogger, a mention on your own blog would be appreciated. If you think you might be able to write a review for your readers, send me an email (my address is in the right hand sidebar) with your street address and I'll send off a review copy. I'm offering up to ten freebies for this purpose.

* Importantly, you can also order a copy at, or even at Amazon. The latter, I believe, is slightly slower, but it works. Please consider this. I'm not one for the hard sell, but every order makes a difference. And once you have read the book, I'd welcome your participation on Facebook and Goodreads discussions.

* You can inquire about the book at your local bookstore, and act surprised when they've never heard of it! You might tell them that you've heard good things about it...

* You can send a link to this entry to creative friends who you think might resonate with the title. (Actually, the title and subtitle have already proved good friends to me. I have only to say the words and a smile of recognition will inevitably appear.)

* You can send out information via your Facebook page ("Persist" has its own page on Facebook, and there's information about the book there, along with links to other sources of information); or via Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

I hope you won't mind my making these suggestions. I do understand that this medium can be easily misused, and that it can be an annoyance. I trust that's not the case here. And I do need to live up to the injunction that is the title of my book...


mandt said...

Now I'm intrigued by your piece on Hockney----some of his work is very reminiscent of Umehara Ryuzaburo. Did he spend time in Japan?

Jean said...

Peter, I'm half-way through reading 'Persist' for the second time and adding comments and reminders to myself in the margins (those who find this very bad behaviour - sorry!). I've probably read too many books of advice and inspiration on life and writing (I probably read too many books - need to slow down) and a lot of them wash over me. This book is elegant and satisfying and moves me, and I know some of it will stay with me.

My blog has been sadly neglected and sporadic for the past year and I have few readers left. I will be mentioning and linking to you book, but I think I'll leave a proper review until I can write it in the new blog I'm slowly hatching, which I hope will have a sort of loose theme about imaginatino and creativity, where and how they sit in life - so 'Persist' could not be more central to this, of course.

I loved watching the video of your talk at The Inside Edge, too. So good to see and hear someone I'd only read. Speakers who are quiet and gentle and nonetheless compel the listener's attention are always the ones who impress me most.

PeterAtLarge said...

mandt, I'm sure the Hockney book is still available. He has been more interested in--and influenced by--Chinese art, I think, than Japanese. But I am sure he has spent time in Japan, and his interests are wide-ranging.

Jean, thank you so much for the warm response. I have been catching up, this morning, belatedly, with the lovely pictures on the blog. I loved, particularly, the poetic series on the melting snow; and the grisaille picture of the road to Waterloo, with that splendid dash of color. I look forward to your new blog--and thank you again for the kind words about "Persist."