It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp
I’ve been told several times that life does not get any easier for an author once their book is published. I heard this advice from famous and not so famous published authors. I seriously remember replying to myself, “What in the hell do they know? If I could just get my book published, life will be amazing.”After sevenish years of working my butt off, my book was published and life did become amazing.
Then about a week later, I became a pimp.
To spread the word and sell books, I’ve been pimping out me and my book like a walking beer vendor at a baseball game. I’ve pimped myself out to bookstores and conferences and twitter saying, Someone! Please take me! Hey YOU! You are going to LOVE my book. Please put me and my book in your store! You won’t be sorry. I even tried pimping myself out to Oprah. So far, she isn’t interested in my services.
I’ve filled out countless event request forms, telling these bookstores how great my book is and how SO MANY people will come and buy not only my book, but other books and the store will get rich. A couple of bookstores said they’d let me hook up with them, but most said it just wasn’t in their best economic interest. Then The Tattered Cover Book Store said, “YES.” Holy shit the Tattered Cover??!! I hear incredible things about the Tattered Cover. I brimmed with confidence and enoughness. I couldn’t wait for the big day. I needed to fill that store with people and book buyers, so I started pimping hard. I wrote on twitter and Facebook and even made a cute little picture meme and posted it on Instagram. I tagged everyone I knew and every firefighter and police officer in the Denver area thinking some of these people have got to be interested. I bought my plane tickets and made hotel reservations. Right before I got on the airplane to Denver, I snapped a selfie and posted on SM with the caption, “My first ever business trip.” Yes, I was rather please with myself.
I planned the whole day out so an hour before the big event I showered and did my hair and put on some decent clothes. I pumped myself up by giving myself a pep talk and practice run through in the hotel room mirror. I just knew I was going to wow a large room full of people and sell a bunch of books and make the bookstore rich. When I arrived, the bookstore manager was setting up chairs and the sound system. As he plugged a microphone jack into a receiver, he asked me if I would like a podium or a tall chair. “Oh ya I’m going to need the podium.”
Meanwhile across the street, like literally across the street, the first pitch of the Colorado Rockies vs the Huston Astros game was thrown out. Two people walked in and took a seat in my audience and then a little later another person walked in. I talked about my book and performed a reading to three people. Well, also the bookstore manager and the lady looking for a book in the section next to the empty chairs, but I don’t even think she was listening. After my reading to the three amazing people, we started a good discussion. Shortly after, people looking a little frazzled from being stuck in horrible traffic walked in. Those two were also amazing people. So now I had five amazing people and a cool bookstore manager in my audience. I sold five books and flew home the next morning.
Just about every day I spend hours on my computer thinking of clever social media posts and who to tag to get to spread the word about my book. My friends pour love all over me, which I am very thankful for, but most of the time I feel like I am throwing my soul money into a dilapidated car that just has no hope of going anywhere. I really just want to post, “For fuck’s sake and my sanity, please buy my book and tell a friend.” I ask myself if I should quit and just be happy that my someone wanted to publish my book. But then I think of all the stories of people who wanted to quit some difficult endeavor but kept on grinding away and eventually became a success. And no matter how hard I try to forget about it, my stubborn and prodigious belief in this book continues to cause me to put on a purple fur hat and pimp on. It is hard out here for a pimp, so for fuck’s sake, buy my book and tell a friend.