Tuesday, May 22, 2007

At the Beaver Without My Tiger

So my sister called me yesterday and she says there’s this big write up about me in her hometown paper—screaming headlines, color photo, the works.

I had not idea there was an article being written, and, secretly, I’ll tell you that I liked the idea of journalists taking the time to write about me of their own volition. It’s a career first—kind of made me feel like a celebrity author—especially because of the fact that I’m off on a book tour.

Now before you start thinking “wow, selling a whole 6 books last weekend at that Girl Scout Fest must have gone to her head”, I guess it’s time I’m up front about the facts. The entirety of this book tour is playing out in the town I lived in when I graduated high school, where my parents have lived for 20-odd years and my Dad works at a radio station.

This is a pretty small place, and a local-girl-made-good story plays well—thus the screaming headlines, the fanfare at the local library and the radio talk show (although I might add that the talk show is NOT on my dad’s radio station, thank you. Just one of his friends.)

But, in the spirit of things, I’m still treating this with the utmost of professionalism. That’s why I suggested to my husband that we update the company website last week. Now, in his defense, the site is pretty current. All the major bases were covered. I read this great marketing book (Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul—great read, I highly recommend it.) and I actually followed the chapter on building your online press kit pretty faithfully.

Except for the part about getting some professional headshots.

No, I’m afraid the only picture on our website is of me, heading out my front door with a bag slung over my shoulder at a jaunty angle—with Tony the Tiger poking his head out the top.

Now at the time of the photo, I was working on a long-abandoned non-fiction project in which my childhood Tony—complete with Labrador attacked, surgically altered face-- was a key player.

This (being of course the only available photo) was the one the editors chose to run alongside the screaming headlines.

My sister was quick to point of the difficulties with this. There just no context, Sister, she said. You’re coming with books about summer camp, and Africa, and teen angst. Next to the headline AUTHOR TO SPEAK AT THOMAS BEAVER LIBRARY it just looks like you’re heading out the door to catch the train with your sleeping toy.

So I call my husband—“you know how you said that working on our website wasn’t a priority because there was only one hit all week?”


“Well guess what?”

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