Release Day for The Companion!

Posted by July 23rd, 2014 16 Comments »

The CompanionJuly 23, 2014 — release day for The Companion, coming to you today from Dreamspinner Press. You can read the first two chapters here.

Well, I’ve got a great cover, an interesting (I think, anyway!) story, promotional blog posts organized. Hopefully some review sites will pick up the book and say nice things about it, causing millions of eager readers to buy their own copies.

I’d like to say that the project is now out of my hands, but in current-day publishing the burden of ongoing publicity sits in the author’s lap like an eight hundred pound gorilla, and he’s there for the life of the book.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. More like a friendly five hundred pound gorilla, very into hugs, sharing bananas and checking my hair for lice. For me the gorilla, friendly as he is, takes a lot of attention and energy, even for me just to keep breathing. Five hundred pounds is a lot, and I’m not a big guy.

I know it would be more social of me if I checked him for lice, too, but that’s still beyond what I’m prepared to do for book promotion. Just one step beyond checking for lice (and eating what you find, which gorillas expect) is doing drag karaoke with smudged mascara in a seedy bar at closing time, hoping someone will invite me to go home with him. I cling to the tattered shreds of my self-respect as it is… But I do share bananas with my gorilla. What can I say, it’s a start.

The only things that really are out of my hands are making word changes to the story, and whether people will like the story or not. There’s not a single thing I can do about those things. I’ve got twitter and facebook all primed, and most of my guest blog posts written. But right now all I can hear is — silence. As if I’m waiting for a storm to hit. Or maybe a movie deal! Uh-huh. In the meantime, it’s just me and my gorilla, hanging out, being friendly. I’ve got one banana left, and we’re probably going to have to share it before the first review comes in.

I should be patient about this. After all, the book took over a year to write, and then from contract to release was another seven months. But I’m fresh out of patience at the moment. Right now I want an avalanche of enthusiasm and gushing reviews to pour in on me and my gorilla friend, generating enough sales to keep us in bananas forever. Or at least until the next book is out.

I know there will be more rounds of publicity, more tweets, and hopefully a bunch of positive reviews. But right now it’s the middle of the night — 1:00am on the 23rd — with hours of darkness before the New York Times lands on my doorstep with its glowing review of the book, its crafted prose smooth as silk and oh, so clever in restrained, literary one-upmanship that lets everyone know they’re just a notch or two below the Gray Lady’s standard vocabulary. The review will be above the fold. Of course.

I’m not holding my breath for that. Or to be more accurate, if the five hundred pound gorilla in my lap actually allowed me to breathe, I would choose not to hold my breath. As it is, that’s already been decided for me.

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16 Responses to “Release Day for The Companion!”

  1. July 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Sugar, I can’t do anything about the gorilla – if there’s a key to promoting one’s books, I haven’t yet discovered it – But I can tell anyone who’s interested that it’s a terrific book, filled with the kind of insights that you only get from a developed soul like Lloyd’s, and an exciting story to boot. I recommend it highly.

    Good luck!

    Victor

    • July 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Thanks Victor! That means so much to me. Thank you.

  2. July 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Best of luck with the new book, Lloyd! Hope it exceeds all your expectations!

    • July 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Exceeds my expectations? Ooh, that’s dangerous territory! A movie deal and a villa on the Mediterranean, and a…. Oh. You said expectations, not fantasy. You’re a smart guy! Thanks for the good wishes… 🙂

  3. Martha Miller
    July 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I know it’s a good one! I’ve read parts of it and I’m thrilled it’s all out there now, ready for me to devour. Congratulations on a successful publication and double congrats for balancing that cute gorilla on your lap along with all your other duties. I wouldn’t mind having him on my lap for a while.

    • July 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you — you helped make it good, Mattie! (Who is a founding member of the Oregonian critique circle I mentioned in the acknowledgments). I’ll be happy to rent my gorilla out to you, too! I’m surprised at how much more friendly he is this time. I chalk it up to giving him bananas… and taking part in the grooming ritual.

  4. July 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Dear Lloyd, I haven’t read your book but loved your post 😀 Wouldn’t you write 100 books if you knew someone capable would take care of the marketing? I can totally relate … It all does beg the question as to why self-promotion is so freakin’ soul-destroying. Is it the ego who stares out with dread at the potential battering … or some message from the Self who simply refuses to put on that red dress and step out into the night? I suspect its a bit of both. Regardless … its a necessary (if painfully scary) right of passage. You just have to be willing to do it … then be surprised at the experience.

    I wish you the very best!

    • July 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Marco — yeah, it’s a necessary and painfully scary rite of passage. There’s something about the mix of art and money that we have to grow into to be fully professional. It feels like selling myself, and guess what — it IS selling myself! This is the first book where I’ve actually felt like the gorilla and I were something of a team. That’s a big step forward for me.

      Thanks for your good wishes!

  5. July 23, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    The gorilla never does lose any weight, unfortunately, but he does learn to put the banana peels in the trash. Good luck to you and the book.

  6. Theresa Wisner
    July 24, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Best wishes on your release, Lloyd! My “hope to publish one day” gorilla is big enough, I can’t imagine the size of yours. I know that your stellar writing will find an eager audience.

    • July 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Thanks, Theresa! Now it’s time for my ad in the classifieds: “Author in search of audience. Will even do drag karaoke for new readers.” LOL

  7. July 24, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Lloyd,
    Well, happy 20th anniversary to Peter and me–twenty years ago, you showed up with a case of champagne and “came out” to me, and I said, oh, yeah, that’s cool, what kind of champagne did you bring? Not knowing you were also alcoholic, but as I was neither gay nor alcoholic, I couldn’t know what kind of internal self-talk you might have had to go through. I was just thrilled you cared enough to show up and to fold Peter into your life.
    And a double decade later, here you are all clever with the banana jokes, all hip to the Twit, ready to go mano a mano with the self promotion machine cuz that’s how the world has changed; that’s how you gotta peel your banana and eat it, too.

    Because I am your Amber Sister, I can hardly wait to download my own copy, review it and Tweet my wisdom to the world. Shadow Earths be damned, we are True Amber!

    • July 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you, my Amber Sister! We’ve seen several worlds build, dissolve and reshape in the forty plus years we’ve been friends and writing allies, haven’t we? It took me five more years after your wedding to get sober, but this Amber is far better for me than any of the previous ones, and I think the same is probably true for you, too. Very thankful for that.

  8. Rose Meeker
    July 26, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I’m becoming positively fond of that gorilla! I hope he does well for you. And keeps you in bananas. And that you find a discreet way dispose of his lice.

    I read the first two chapters, can’t wait to find out what happens!

    • July 26, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      The gorilla is my friend… that’s my mantra these days! Hope you enjoy the book.

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