Last month, I worked my tail off. I visited thirty-one blogs, wrote thirty-one new 500-word pieces, mailed scads of books and bumper stickers (only a few left to go!), and just generally wore myself out on top of everything else I usually do.
This month, I’m planting seeds in the form of little requests for your assistance. I hope they blossom into some big ol’ sunflowers by August.
I want to ask you to help me serve you better. I’ve made a decision to choose quality, not quantity. To not be so fixated on content that I forget the importance of context. And to dig deeper within myself instead of skimming across the surface with too many items on my to-do list.
This summer, I might even (gasp!) take a vacation or two and restock the creative well. They don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing, writers! I’m starting with the inside…and trusting that the outside will follow.
And now, here’s where YOU come in. I need to ask for your assistance on many fronts:
I’m Seeking An Administrative Assistant: I will mentor this person in his or her witing career in exchange for 10-20 / week of administrative work. This is a perfect opportuntiy for someone who is not feeling a money crunch right now but realizes that they can benefit both by assiting me and through my consultations on writing for publication and platform development. This is job for a nonfiction writer, since nonfiction writing is my specialty. The right person for this position will be organized, conscientious, and cheerful about administrative work. Beginning fall 2009, this person will have access to free classes with me. Details will be negotiated upon selection. A minimum one-year commitment is required. Please do not apply if this does not describe you. Send a short cover note and a resume to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes will be accepted for the rest of the month. The postion begins May 1st.
I Need Help With Book Promotion: More people than ever have been asking me for free help or input or advice since my book came out. As many of you know, I love reconnecting with my former students and am usually quick and generous with advice. Teaching as much as I do is very satisfying, especially when some of my former students are getting book deals and having books published (see these pictures from Sage Cohen’s book tour for Writing the Life Poetic). However, when you add travel and book promotion to writing, teaching and speaking, that’s when I start to feel the pinch. But how can I not go? I love to reach out and meet new writers. Over the years, I have answered literally hundreds of requests for assistance. Now I could really use five minutes of your time. Could you…
Ask Your Library to Order My Books!
Libraries are busy right now and therefore overdue fines are up and most have money to order new books. But they will likely only order books specifically requested by patrons. The good news is once you request my book through your library, it will probably go into the county or regional library loan program, which means everyone in your area can read it. If your library already has them: mission accomplished. Move on to the next way you can help.
Post Rave Reviews of My Books Online!
I’d love to be everywhere online. And let’s face, I’m a lot places. If you Google “Christina Katz” the pages go to Timbuktu. But the thing is, people don’t want to hear from me how great my stuff is: they want to hear it from YOU! And if you don’t get to them first, one unfortunate result I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing lately, is that some unhappy people would just love to spew their sour grapes in my direction. And when this happens, I have absolutely no recourse.
So, here’s what I ask: If you love my books and you have not yet posted this fact in writing online, NOW is the time to do it. The economy is down, the publishing industry is taking a big hit, and my books are impacted by this environment whether I like it or not. So no matter how good my intentions and how how hard I worked, if my readers don’t champion my books, they will fade away. And that would stink. Because I hear from people every day who love my books. If you are one of them, could you shout it from the rooftops online?
Support Independent Bookstores!
Ever since I started doing Amazon spikes, independent bookstore sellers have been asking me, “What have you done for US, lately?” I know you all know that I love libraries, but did you know that booksellers really need our support right now? In fact, booksellers are so pinched that they are sending books back to publishers much faster than they used to in order to only stock books that will move quickly. (Yes, that’s mostly celebrity stuff and the classics.) Mother’s Day is coming right up and Father’s Day is right after that. If you don’t have my books already, please consider purchasing them through your independent bookseller (or any booksellers, they are ALL hurting). If you already own them, please pass the message on to your readers (see below). I’d really appreciate it and so would booksellers.
Spread Enthusiasm About My Books to Key People!
Are you a journalist? A blogger? An e-zine editor? I have quotes, content, and interviews, which I’m happy to turn over to you and all you have to do in exchange is post my bio and link back to my sites. If you are none of the above, could you please tell a reviewer or a journalist or a book reviewer or anyone you think might be interested, how much you like my books? They are inundated with requests for reviews, so they are likely to appreciate your help vetting titles. No time? Try using Facebook or Twitter to buzz my books. If you are already on there it takes practically no time.
Long story short: if my books have ever supported you, could you now put your shoulder behind them and PUSH?
Thank you! Your assistance crosses many things off my to-do list, which allows me to concentrate on serving the work I do that best serves you. I appreciate your support!
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming, at a level of quality that I so enjoy bringing to you. Thanks for subscribing–and supporting!
Make good things happen!
Publisher and Editor