I recall that early summer day in Chicago well. I was excited about attending Book Expo America, an annual conference for book publishers and authors to promote directly to book sellers.
It was my first book — a non-fiction title I co-authored. We were standing at a podium in the large arena with a long line of booksellers seeking autographs for their retail copies. We whistled at the line length and then we heard it: Laughter coming from the opposite end of the arena. Booksellers craned their necks to see what — or who — caused the glee.
It was Jonathan Winters. He’d written a book and was holding court at BEA. As he entertained booksellers with his jokes, I cringed. How in the world would we keep the people in line for our book? I didn’t need to worry because our publisher came to us and whispered that our line was longer than Winters’ line. Yes, LONGER!
I couldn’t help but gloat a little. Just a little.
Now I have a new book and this one is fiction. I’m working with my publicist on a marketing campaign and encouraging her to use Facebook. I watch as the Facebook tabs — “Buy the Book” and “Contest” and “Video — Book Trailer” — go up. Then I see it. In the right-hand side of my computer screen is an ad and it’s Jonathan Winters again. He’s wants everyone to LIKE his new film.
Well, hopefully there’s room for both of us on Facebook. I mean, with 650 million users, somebody has to like romance, right?