So, most of the corrections have been made and Graffiti Grandma looks almost the way I had imagined her: good font, clean, readable pages, most if not all glitches caught and corrected. Except. Somehow she’s wearing a faded yellow nightgown of a cover, instead of the planned, vibrant, even shocking, orange ensemble. She will not reach out and grab any perspective reader not matter how hard she tries inside.
So she’s returned for a makeover. It will take another five days, then I’ll be sent another proof. And then I’ll be forced to face reality. I’m thinking of telling my publisher to take his time. I’m not ready to begin marketing.
I know this because I spent the weekend re-reading old articles from writers’ magazines, reading blogs, printing out email offers, looking for advice from marketing gurus who somehow know I’m about to launch a self-published book.
Launch. An interesting concept.
I’ve only launched one thing in my life, and the word pulls the experience out of the archives that have stored it for seventy years. World War II. My school was having a war bonds assembly. Each class was to give a short patriotic skit, and since our teacher’s husband was stationed somewhere in the Pacific, we built a wooden replica of his ship which we were to launch as we sang “Anchors Away.” Several of us believed we should be the girl to crack the bottle across its bow, but Shirley was chosen, probably because, rather than canning jars and milk bottles, she brought in a pretty perfume bottle bound in ribbons. At the end of our song, Shirley stepped up and took a whack at our ship, but the bottle didn’t break. Another whack. After the third attempt, the teacher grabbed a rope attached to the stern and yanked, and the ship, now dented with parts dropping off, slid down its slide and into blue painted waves. We clapped as the curtain closed. Shirley broke into wails, and some of us smirked as we patted her shaking shoulders.
What I need right now is someone to pull the rope for me. I do not need a perfume-bottle-with-ribbons plan, but marketing support that will get Graffiti Grandma to go down the slide and out into the great sea of books. Could I at this very moment be deciding to hire one of those people on the internet offering to do just that?
l also wonder if a few on-lookers will be hiding smiles when Graffiti Grandma’s curtain closes. No matter. “Anchor’s aweigh” means that the anchor is raised and clear of the sea and therefore, the ship is officially underway. I look forward to the voyage.