Mark Terry

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Book Promotion Dance

August 3, 2007

Whew. My blog is back and working again. I've been trying to post here for a couple days.

Yesterday was cool. I drove down to Woodhaven, Michigan--south of Detroit--to the Comcast studios to tape a couple interviews with Jim Hall, who hosts a couple shows for the cable network. One was a short interview, about 7 minutes, that will run on their original content show, FOCUS. The second interview was longer, about 20 minutes, which will run on Jim's CULT POP show. I'll be able to post the interviews here and I'll find out when they're running later this month so any of you who live in the Detroit area can catch yours truly running his mouth.

Here's the thing. As I'm sure I've made clear, either by being straightforward about it or by my subliminal (or otherwise) attitude, I'm not a huge fan of book promotion. I tend to view it as a necessary evil. Over the last couple years I've come to terms with it, the internal argument being something like this:

Either do it or don't do it, but if you do do it, stop whining about.

I think the second part of that goes something like this:

You have the option of not writing fiction and even of writing fiction and not promoting it. But you know damn well that if you do no promotion the odds are that you won't be regularly published because your sales will suffer, so... shut up, make the best of it, and do your best to promote your books.

So I just want to say for the record that I had a hell of a good time yesterday.

Jim Hall and his director Jerry (sorry, didn't catch the last name, Jerry) were fun and friendly and made me feel very relaxed. This is my third TV interview and I've done a couple radio interviews and a fair amount of public speaking. I don't get too nervous about it. I say "too" because clearly I was a bit nervous before getting in my car to drive south, but once I was on the road I was fine. And once I was there I was very relaxed. Some of this may be because my father was a semi-professional photographer and I grew up with a camera in my face. Some of this may be because I find the technical end of TV kind of fascinating. What goes on behind the scenes is so different from what appears ON the screen that I have this real curiosity to just sort of absorb the whole experience. Also, probably even more so, Jim and Jerry did such a great job of making me feel comfortable and not getting stressed about things.

After all, most of us like talking about ourselves (some more than others) and the biggest danger is running on and on and on. At least for me. Sometimes, if you can get me in a talkative mood I notice that I speed up and I wonder if people think, "Gee, speed kills, Mark." But if I can just rein that in, things are pretty cool.

So yeah, I had a good time. Very cool. Thanks Jim.


Mark Terry


Blogger Shannon said...

That's good news, I guess if you have to do something it's best to try to have fun with it. I know if I ever get to the level in writing where I have to do an interview, I will have to be

7:12 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I admire you your public speaking ability. I can barely private speak, let alone public speak. I'd have to do Speakmasters (what's it called?) for a year and practice for months, LOL.

I have a student who speed talks. I bet you're nowhere close. He's positively intelligible, and I used to practically hyperventilate, trying to follow him! I could really feel my blood pressure rising!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

It's called Toastmasters and I haven't done that, but I've heard a lot of really positive things about it because it essentially trains you to talk publicly in a really safe and easy-going environment.

I've had my periods where I got uptight about public speaking, but now I'm increasingly, "Fuck it, what's the worst that can happen? They get bored?"

I finally decided after attending dozens of boring lecturers (often my college professors, but later on dozens of horrible speakers at conferences, both scientific and writing) that I could do better and work largely on entertaining myself, which seems to work well.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Jim Hall said...

Thanks Mark, the interview was a lot of fun, and I think your fans will love it. I will keep you posted on dates and times, and I will provide you with the interview to air at your web page. Thanks for the fun afternoon.

7:06 AM  

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