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« THE DOCTOR IS IN | Main | The Morning Edition »

March 21, 2008


Lyn LeJeune

Man! do I agree with you. First, that regret sucks. I've always told my kids never to regret anything you do (unless you have hurt someone on purpose), to take it as a learning experience and grow your life. So, when I started writing I did what all the "sages" and agents, etc. recommend: build your resume. I had many short stories published in academic and non-academic publications, wrote a book, sent out to agents, got two good agents but no sale, then wrote another 2 books and now have a third agent and have my fingers crossed because, yes, the vagaries of publishing and it's all a crap shoot (that may be why my latest and best novel takes place at the Texas Hold'em tables). I went back and took my most loved book, rewrote, then contact the New Orleans Public Library Foundation, published the book (see where the book is in both of our names, Lyn LeJeune and The New Orleans Public Library Foundation) and donated all the royalties to NOLA to help rebuild the public libraries. So, I did two things...and I'm feeling good; on the one hand my fate is in my hands, on the other my fate is in the hands of, well, fate and the reviewers, publishers, all who will roundly ignore a new writer no matter how good she is!!!!
Lyn LeJeune at and I'm even giving some books away to anyone who loves New Orleans. Contact me at merci! it's a novel about and for NOLA

Jersey Jack

Amen, MJ. So many new authors are in denial about this. They think promotion is about ego.

David J. Montgomery

Great post, MJ.

One of the things that really annoys me about book promotion is when authors use inappropriate times and places to attempt to push their book. One of the most important lessons that authors need to learn, I think, is that there's a right time and a right way to promote yourself -- and doing it the wrong way can do a lot of harm to your image.

Jeff Nordstedt

I love this!


No kidding David. It annoys me too!!

Katharine Weber

There is a difference between talking about one's book and talking about oneself. There are writers who really don't get that.

And as with anything we feel passionate about -- politics, movies, our pets and children -- let alone our new book -- it is a social liability if every conversation anyone has with you inevitably leads to the beloved subject at hand. One key to being socially graceful in general is the ability to be interested as well as interesting. If you are always talking about your book in some way, it's hard for anyone to know that you are interested in other people's stuff.

Christine Fletcher

Thank you for this post. I've got pre-pub nerves like you wouldn't believe (actually, I'm sure you would) and I needed to read this. And re-read it. In fact, I'm going to print it out and put it on my desk. And keep moving forward.


Have you ever considered writing a post entitled, "What In the World Else Joe Could Do to Market His Books?"

Seriously. For those of us who look to him as the everything-possible-one-could-do guy, what more should we add to our list?

Or was I the only one who's jaw dropped? And thought, dear God, I have to do more than that?

Zoe Winters

Great post! And, hahaha I love that you said "fuck" in your blog!

Binnie Brennan

Thanks for your insight, MJ. THe rules of the marketplace are changing so rapidly; we have to stay on top of these changes in order to survive.

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