Finally did my…

Finally did my application for ArtWallah -- the deadline is today. I hope they accept me; it'd be nice to have an excuse to go to L.A. again, and it's the July 8th weekend, a week after my book comes out, so the promotional timing is perfect. This summer's schedule is getting increasingly complicated, though -- Kev's conference in Banff is July 9 - 16, our party here in Chicago is tentatively on July 23rd, Kevin's sister is getting married in Los Gatos on August 13th, and I'm reading at KGB in New York on August 17th. Those are the fixed dates; any book tour stuff will need to be scheduled around that. I foresee much airfare in my future.

Tedious logistics this paragraph; feel free to skip to the next: I had hoped to keep the coastal stuff loosely grouped together, but I'm not sure how feasible that will be. It's looking like Los Angeles July 7 - 10, followed by Bay Area/Portland/Seattle/Calgary/Banff running from July 10 - July 18 or so. Then Chicago/Iowa City/Salt Lake City/Madison/Milwaukee stuff from July 23 - August 10. Then back to the Bay Area August 13th weekend. Then New York, D.C., Boston, Philly/Hartford from August 17-25, perhaps? But the Roosevelt semester starts somewhere around there, so I might just have to go out to New York for a day or two, then come back and do the rest of the East Coast on some later weekend.

It's entirely unclear how much of this HC is paying for. There's an interesting question about how much money an author should spend in order to promote their work. I wish there were a ballpark guideline, something like 5% of one's advance, or some such. There are all kinds of ways that you can spend money to supplement whatever your publisher may or may not do for you -- you can spend money on promotional items, or author photos, or travel expenses to expand your book tour. It's clear that spending some money will help sell some books, but what isn't clear is what the dividing line is between productive spending and just throwing good money away. Frustrating.

And of course, you need to make similar calculations regarding spending time -- every minute you spend on promotion is a minute potentially taken from writing, or at least it feels that way. In actuality, I think a fair bit of the time I do writing-business stuff I wouldn't be in the head for writing anyway. But it's certainly true that travel tends to just knock me out of writing head entirely, so that I have to assume that if I spend six weeks on book tour this summer, that'll be six weeks not writing. :-/

Must go put various things in the mail (Karen, that reimbursement check is going out today, in a long postal tube, along with some birthday goodies; Jason, I'm finally sending you back your chapbooks, sorry for the delay). Then make lunch -- lemon risotto-stuffed green peppers, I think. And then probably the cafe, this afternoon and evening, to hopefully actually do some writing.

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