The Long and the Short of It
01/06/09 18:02 Filed in: Fatted Calf Blues
After two weeks of down time since my Montreal trip (spent mostly recuperating from a cold), I am now ready to embark on the Toronto leg of my promotional tour for Fatted Calf Blues. It will be a busy time with two readings on my first day - the Unionville Library at 2:00 p.m. on June 3rd and later that evening at 8:00 p.m. the Pivot Reading Series at the Press Club. Then I will have a free day to see friends and also to finally meet my agent, Denise Bukowski, with whom I signed last year.
On Friday I am off to Hamilton for the Jewish Literary Festival, where I will be reading a poem that will be published in an anthology called From Sinai to the Shtetl and Beyond: Where Is Home For the Jewish Writer? compiled by the JLF organizers, Lil Blume and Ellen S. Jaffe.
On Sunday I will be reading at a Hamilton series called LitLive, as will some of the other writers who are participating in the JLF. My second week will be easier, with only the Toronto launch of FCB on Tuesday June 9 at Scratch Espresso Bar at 7:00 p.m.
While I am looking forward to my Toronto trip, I can't help wondering if it is all worth it. Promoting Fatted Calf Blues has been an interesting experience and it has opened my eyes to the hard work that goes into putting together a tour (even one as small as mine) and trying to get a book into the public eye.
The question remains whether I have made any kind of dent at all in the public's awareness of my book. There hasn't been one review so far, which is disheartening, although I did hear from someone who writes for the Toronto Star who says she will be reviewing the book. I don't mean to indulge in self-pity, but how can I compete with the promotional machines of the big publishing houses like McClelland & Stewart or Random House?
That's why I have to take positive signs where I can find them. I happened to be looking at the web site for the Governor General's Awards for Literature to see when the submission deadline is (not that I don't trust my publisher to keep up on these things, but there is nothing wrong with a writer taking a healthy interest as well.). After a little navigating I happened to find the list of books that have been submitted (just press the "GO"button) and there was Fatted Calf Blues near the bottom of the Fiction Category (the list is in alphabetical order by publisher).
Well, didn't that give a jump start to this road-weary heart! It's a long list and there are books from the big houses and small indies alike, first time authors like myself and veterans of the literary wars with a number of titles under their belts -- all of us on what seems to be an even playing field. At least I can say to myself that I'm still in the game somewhere. For the time being anyway. Until the short list is announced in October. But that's far off in the autumn and summer is just about to begin.