I’ll never forget getting my first box of books in the mail. It was such a thrill to see my name in print I opened the box and there it was. The book that took me nine years to write and design could now be held in my hands! I looked through it and it looked pretty similar to the pdf that I sent to the publisher. We had gone over the manuscript several times on the phone together till we got it as close to the way I wanted it as possible. I got the cover photo of the girl from the Internet and they made her an anonymous composite, putting unique skull shaped paradise in the background and the parachute straps on her. It’s interesting. The new e-book has a dark-haired Asian girl on the cover instead of the blonde one originally on the paperback. I keep forgetting to ask the publisher why.
After I got all the books out of the box, I decided to hold a few book signings. A friend of mine bought quite a few books for me so this became possible. I had wanted to go on a book tour across America but I just landed a new girlfriend at the time here in San Diego and started a new job so I kind of missed that window of opportunity. I had tried to be part of a bus tour for authors, but I never heard back from the guy arranging it. So I got out the yellow pages and called up a few local bookstores. I got one at a pop culture bookstore called “Ducky Waddles.” I also scheduled a booksigning at a Borders here in downtown San Diego, which unfortunately no longer exists. I also scheduled a book signing at a Borders in Las Vegas.At the one in San Diego, there was a live reading with an electric guitarist playing in the background. But the place I sold the most books at was a cafe called “Hot Monkey Love.”. It was named after a rock band. I also got a few favorable reviews there.
After awhile, I heard about virtual book tours. So I talked to my publisher about it and they offered to put me in the mix for several thousand dollars that I don’t have. That’s usually how they offer to promote it. Pay them cash. Even for positive reviews, which I refuse to do. I think I still get more sales when I make personal appearances. The virtual thing gets me noticed but in person appearances create more sales so far. I even signed a copy for Lawrence Ferlingetti once. And I met his lovely daughter during a poetry reading at Van Gough’s Ear cafe in Venice Beach. I also got to show “Naked Skydiving” to a movie producer who liked it but didn’t think it was visual enough. Most print on demand books like this one need money to promote them. I’m considering a move to republish on Amazon so this may not be as necessary. (To Be Continued)