Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Sound Of Silence

Silence is rarely a good thing.  Your boyfriend gives you “the silent treatment.”  The club is so quiet, there’s no vibe.  You are walking down a dark street late at night and don’t hear anything but your own heartbeat.  Or you stroll through the dead silence of a cemetery. Too quiet! But silence by the pool—away from all distractions and abstractions—can be a beautiful thing.  Meditation and silence go hand in hand.  So do silence and a peaceful sleep. Ah, good silence.

But we all hate the silence when it comes from the news media.  No one wants to be greeted by nothing, especially when that’s all that awaits an outreach of calls, emails, and book mailings to journalists, talk shows, and bloggers.  The silence can be deafening and strangling.
You want the media to welcome you with open arms, to throw a parade of praise, and applause for you.  Short of that, you’ll even accept rejection, but no one wants to feel they are ignored. 

To not hear an answer or reply to your query or pitch feels demeaning, even insulting.  You know they are busy and can’t send comments back to those who solicit them but at the same time it feels like a rude exchange.  You send them your life’s work and they just snub you.  It’s like, losing weight and dressing up in your wardrobe’s best threads and not being able to elicit even a stare from a passerby. 

But, I’ve learned a longtime ago you cannot take rejection personally.  I also learned that the more rejections you get the more likely you are on your way to the next step, which is either a “yes” by the journalists or your eventual abandonment of promoting that book.  One way or another, every rejection gets you closer to your destiny.

What people probably dislike the most is not rejection, but silence.  The silence lacks conclusiveness.  You wonder if they even received your packages or e-mail or if they had time to look it over and properly evaluate it.  You want feedback so you can improve how or what you present to the media.  What you really want is a chance to bitch-slap them and forcefully explain they judged you too quickly, too harshly.

Books are an extension of their writers and publicist.  Reject the book and you reject them. 

I guess silence speaks volumes when it comes to book publicity.  Eventually you have to assume silence means “no.”  And yet you still hold out hope—maybe if I pitch it this way or that way they will respond, or so you wish.

Right now I’m embracing the silence of not having my two young kids tear up the house.  That’s one kind of silence I’ll never reject.    

In Case You Missed These Posts:

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Interview With Indie Publishing Blogger Kathy Reinhart

1.      On your blog, ( you interview an Indie author each week. Why do you choose to focus on them? As a published author myself, I know how hard it is to get your name and your work out there, in the hands of readers. I guess this is also my way of paying it forward. There are so many out there that plug their own work a dozen times a day, their Twitter feeds contain the same tweet over and over, but they never plug anyone else. I believe to receive support, you have to be willing to give support.

2.      What have authors been sharing with you about their publishing experiences. There will always be exceptions, but for the most part, their experiences have been positive. What I hear most often is how authors are giving up their dream of being traditionally published and going by way of digital, some of the reasons being: much lower cost to see your work in print, much faster to see your work in print, depending on the price there’s a bigger royalty on an eBook sale than a paperback and most say they sell 5 to 10 eBooks to every paperback. I can’t disagree, because I sell 7 eBooks to every paperback.

3.      As an author yourself, tell me what type of challenges you feel all authors face today? Aside from personal challenges such as writer’s block, time constraints, lack of ideas, etc,. I think the biggest challenge we all face is marketing. It used to be the publisher took care of much of the marketing, but now, authors have to handle most of it themselves. And when an author self-publishes or publishes strictly digital (Smashwords and such), all of the marketing falls on them. Many don’t know where to begin.

4.      Any advice for a struggling writer? First, write, write, write! You can’t be a writer without writing. Second, I know it can be hard to balance writing with marketing and networking, but you have to make a schedule that works for you and the time you have, and stick to it. I see so many writer’s who fall into the Twitter-trap or are held hostage by Facebook. Yes, get yourself ‘out there’, but don’t get lost out there. Every word you write on Facebook is one less you’re writing in your book.

5.      What do you love about writing? I love getting lost in another world, seeing life through my character’s eyes. But mostly, I enjoy falling in love with my characters or growing to hate them! I have that mental image of them when I begin, but by the end of the story, I have formed bonds with them. Sometimes, when the work is complete, I hate saying goodbye (the reason some authors write sequels!)

6.      What’s your newest book about, and what inspired you to write it?  My latest release is titled, ‘Lily White Lies’ and is what I consider light reading. Here’s the blurb:

Meg Embry has finally faced up to the fact that the shine has worn off her engagement ring, her family members are the equivalent of comfortable strangers and her dreams are running faster than she is. Change is imminent, but where does she begin? With the support of her two closest friends, one who’ll make her laugh and one who’ll let her cry, Meg faces life head on and learns that sometimes, love, family and betrayal are bound together by lily white lies.

When I wrote it, I had just had a riding accident. My life was also in chaos and it helped to transfer many of the things I was thinking and feeling to someone else, so to speak. It almost felt like I was unloading my burden onto Meg, which made it easier to deal with for me. Sounds a little crazy, I know, but I think many writer’s would understand.

7.      How have you marketed it? I have done some of the social networking to market it, I have worked out a way to sell books with many of the local businesses, like wineries, café’s, niche outlets. I supply them x number of books and they buy them outright at a discount, then resell for a profit. It has been working pretty well, but because I buy them direct, the sales won’t boost my Amazon ranking. Personally, I don’t care what the numbers are, but in this game, numbers are either your friend or your enemy.

8.      Where do you see book publishing heading? Traditional publishing will never completely go away, but they are losing their foothold on the industry faster than you can say eBook. Digital publishing has given so much of the control back to the author, and depending on the price of your eBook, an author will make more on eBook sales than they will on traditional sales. At least it’s worked that way for me.

Also, I believe publishing digitally greatly reduces the amount of stress one can go through when it comes to traditional publishing. There are those who swear by their publisher, but I hear the stories of many more who have been through hell and back. Actually, I am one of them. ‘Lily White Lies’ came out in paperback last June and to this day, I have not seen a single penny from my publisher. I have not received any of my quarterly statements and I cannot contact them by phone or certified mail. The only money I have seen is from the online digital sales and the retailers who placed my book on their shelves. There are many others with similar stories and once  you’ve heard enough of them, digital seems like the only way to go.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s leading book publicity firm. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person

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