One of the more difficult aspects of following the production mode that I’m in for fiction is generating publicity. Sure, writing a novel takes its time and there’s a toll on energy. And when you go from writing to production, with all the editing, proofing and developing copy in the size and style you want, there’s more time and a toll. At least I have Karen to assist with the editing and proofing, for which I’m eternally grateful, because I am the world’s worst at proofing my own work. Appalling would be a polite description.
Then comes a range of ideas to promote the novels, starting with a launch, moving to publicity through news outlets and radio stations, and visiting various places to present on both novels. They each, again, take time and a toll. Sometimes there’s a sense total frustration and I ask myself, “Is anyone listening or reading?” For example, I have written to ten radio stations in Perth. Only one replied (720 ABC) and suggested I sent the information I’d forwarded to administration to four producers of programs at the station. I appreciated the response, but haven’t heard from any of the four producers, or any other station apart from 101.7 FM (see below).
Now I know radio stations must receive heaps of emails, twitters, letters, texts etc and I may not be “news”. A lot of people are doing what I am so why would a radio station respond to me. I guess my logic is that radio stations are in an area known as “communications”, and from my perspective, they are only partly communicating. Putting out information is part of communication, but listening, making sense of it, assessing value and responding are other parts. Perhaps we are at the point where information overload is causing us to become “givers of information” and forego such things as listening, making sense, assessing value and responding. Or, if we are to be able to do anything other than give information, it has to be on Twitter and done in less than 140 characters.
Now, having said all that, am I depressed and do I want to quit? No. It’s a challenge. It’s a bit like Avon Valley Football Association dreaming one day of defeating the Dockers or Eagles, but isn’t dreaming good fun. Will I keep going? Of course. I have stories to tell that I think are worth hearing, and as I long as I believe it, I’ll plug on. And along the way, I have had some successes with publicity: not huge, but they are successes in my view, with articles in Southern Gazette, Great Southern Herald, Joondalup Arts in Focus and, hopefully the Avon Valley Advocate, the possibility of a review in the West Australian, and an invite from Tony Howes to appear on 101.7 FM on Saturday 29th August about both novels. Maybe you’d like to listen in at close to 11.00 am.