This is really the first time in my relatively long publishing career that I have devoted so much energy to the post-publication work in connection with a book. I have, true enough, done readings before, from my early books of poems; and book-signing tours, largely local, for my two novels. I discovered long ago that the writing is the easy part of being a writer. That the hard part comes afterwards, in finding the agent, the editor, the publisher...; and then, after the book is published, to bring it to the attention of potential readers, because even the large publishing houses do little for their authors--unless they happen to have a prior track record of financial return, like John Grisham, or celebrity, like Sarah Palin. If there are profits involved, that's a different story. For most of their "mid-list" publications, however, it's a matter of throwing them all up against the wall, to see what sticks.
So it's commonly understood, these days, that the author is largely responsible for his or her baby, after birth. And it seems that this particular baby, Persist, is close to my heart--otherwise why would I be so persistent in working at its promotion? Why this book, among others? Because it says so much about who I am, and how I have chosen to live my life. Because it describes those places in which I feel closest to other writers, other artists, who share a common predicament and must each find a way to face it, in their own way, if they are to remain authentic to the person they know themselves to be. Because my journey, as a writer, has led me through so many byways and so many obstacles, and persistence has often come hard.
Perhaps, too, it's because the response I have begun to sense feels so heartfelt and genuine. Creative people of all kinds know exactly what I'm talking about--people in all media, of all ages, at many different stages along their own path. They see something of themselves in what I have written, and respond with recognition and appreciation. That's truly gratifying, to feel that I'm speaking to people who really want to hear what I have to say. What could be better, for a writer?
So here I am, doing everything I can think of to help the book along. Put simply, I believe in it. And it's great to feel its momentum, to know that it's going well.