Part one of a continuing story.
My plan was to carefully choreograph a connection to a friendly newspaper book reviewer. The truth is that I do not know one personally, and I have been dropping hints to everyone I know on that exact subject, but no relatives or friends have jumped up and said … I know a book reviewer.
There are web sites that list hundreds of book reviewers and how to approach them. But I do not play by normal rules. My main character in my book, Jack Rigby, has taught me to choose the other fork in the road.. the one less traveled. So I came up with an idea to contact Peter Boyles, talk show host on KHOW radio. Peter is the voice of Denver as he approaches not only local but international news and carefully explores all sides of those events intertwined with callers. He truly sets the water cooler talk of the day. I know he rides a motorcycle and I know he has been to Sturgis. The idea was to give him a copy of the book which I hoped would lead to us meeting for an in-depth talk. Then I would ask him which book reviewer in Denver would be most likely to enjoy the book he just read and give me a glowing review. Good plan… well thought out.. logical approach. But Noooooooooo. I did not do that.
Meanwhile I have been reading the book review section for months trying to disseminate which reviewer would be THE one to contact first. The main book review section of the paper comes out on Sunday but I loved to read the Saturday book reviewer Patti Thorn of the Rocky Mountain News. She always added something personal to her reviews that always made me smile and for a while it was as if her reviews were speaking directly to me. She is a brilliant writer in her own right. I was almost ready to approach her about my book but then she wrote an article about the books scattered all over her bedroom floor… the ones she just lost interest in. That was when I started to have second thoughts and pictured my book thrown to the side bumping up against the other hopefuls under her bed.
In reality I know in my heart she will be hooked if she just reads the first two chapters. But does she ride a motorcycle? If she does, then I know I would have a slight edge. Although motorcycles is one common thread throughout my story I know she will quickly see the real lessons of life that permeates throughout each chapter relating to making choices in life that one looks back on and either rejoices or regrets. I just want an honest opinion that would say.. It won’t win a Pulitzer prize but once I started it I could not put it down. It is a great story that had me scared one minute and laughing the next. That is all I want… even if it is just in an email.
So this morning I sent an email to Patti and I wait with baited breath … whatever the hell that means. Either she accepts my challenge to read an unknown writer or she deletes the email as junk mail. Patti… the ball is in your court….. kill me one way or the other… or surprise me.
Follow-up...... 3 years later
Patti thanked me for my comments about her articles. That was it. :(
Getting a response ... or ... NOT getting a response are not the only outcomes of this exercise. Taking the chance is the point. Putting yourself out there is what's important. I have sent my books to two other reviewers and got one better than average review and one glowing review that got exposure to at least a half million readers. I quickly learned that like everything else in life, and as the song goes = you can't please everyone so you got to please yourself.