|Julia's cover, revealed!|
It's a phrase used often: "There's no such thing as bad publicity." The original quote is attributed to Irish poet Brendan F. Behan who put it a little differently. He said (according to wikipedia, anyway) "there's no bad publicity except an obituary."
But is it really true?
Almost a year ago now I had a little brush with this phenomenon. My novel had just been acquired, and hit the P.W. ticker tape with its 25 word description. I'd wanted to sell a novel since about the 3rd grade, and I thought a little celebratory happy dance in my kitchen was warranted.
But the very next day, a foodie website (of all places) wrote a short but snarky post about my book's announcement, in which the blogger proclaimed that my book's tentative proto-existence had actually wrecked his/her day! (The post was anonymous, of course. I have no idea who wrote it.)
Now, I understand that if I'm lucky my work will be reviewed, rehashed, discussed and perhaps even attacked. But I hadn't expected to see it happen until after the book was printed. I wasn't ready. And so this peculiar episode sent me into a tailspin. For a few ugly hours, it didn't seem to matter that the poster's assumptions about the book's content were wrong, or that it was quite obviously a slow foodie news day. I felt doomed.
The next week I got an unfamiliar email from Google Analytics: "Intelligence Alert!" It turns out that my quiet little author website (used as a repository for my journalism clips) got dozens of hits off of the snarky food blog post.
This was a complete shock. Really? There were 50 people interested enough to click the link that the snarker had so thoughtfully provided?
Slow news day, indeed.
So now I want to thank the guy, but not for the web hits. Those are immaterial. I'd like to thank him for reminding me that word of mouth works in mysterious ways. And that authorship is a marathon, not a sprint.
Here, then, is my cover art, officially official. The book won't be published for another seven months, but at least she has a face. Many will love her, and maybe a few won't. Either way, I can take it.