Deep down inside we writers know that those pie-in-the-sky dreams we all harbor of getting our books reviewed by the New York Times, or featured in Oprah Magazine or on NPR’s Fresh Air are, for the most part, just that: pie-in-the-sky-dreams. A few years back here on Writer Unboxed I gave a glimpse of why.
But let’s fess up: somewhere even deeper down inside, right next to the ache in our heart we’ve been trying to assuage throughout years of solitary drafting, querying and facing the sting of rejection over and over again, is a dense nugget of hope that those pie-in-the-sky dreams will come true. After all, the the New York Times does review a good handful of books. We tell ourselves silently, “one of them could – and should – be mine.”
In my work with authors, I hear this wish articulated over and over again. And I want nothing more than for that wish to come true. When it does — whether we’ve landed a story for one of our authors in The Washington Post or a feature on BuzzFeed, or firmed up an interview with NPR or MSNBC — my team and I text each other in excitement. We stop everything to watch or listen to the interview live. In part, our excitement reflects the fact that this type of high level coverage is painfully rare.
You might think that if you don’t make it to that level of coverage, you’ve failed. That your publisher or publicist has failed. As Kathy Sherbrooke, author of the exquisite debut Fill the Sky recently said to me, “We tend to associate success with what we see “regularly,” i.e., in the major press outlets that we frequent: major newspaper reviews, coverage in significant trade publications and TV interviews.” [Read more…]