Success is What You Make It…

Prior to investing $$$$$$ to promote Who Are You People? I thought about how I would know whether the investment was worth it. I’ve never had illusions of best-sellerdome (well, okay, maybe a little) so, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would measure success.

Well, the book’s been out a month, I’m still in the thick of promotion, and I can honestly say the promotional efforts have been worth it. Not because I’ve hit the NY Times bestseller list, and not because the royalty checks are suffocating me. (In reality, it’s likely to be quite awhile before the advance if paid back.)

Instead, I feel the promotion is working because I’m enjoying the heck out of this process.

I love talking to people about pigeon racers and furries and Grobanites and all the other kooky but normal people I met in my travels.

I love hearing stories about other fanatics – Godzilla fans, Deadheads, the Weird Al Yankovich obsessive, the guy with two Jambo Juice tattoes, the geologist whose favorite things are at least 25 million years old… oh, don’t get me started.

I’m starting to see opportunities to develop a speaking career around the subjects in the book – outsiderness, fanaticism, passion, the changing nature of American communities.

I’ve learned I can do live TV and radio and not pass out.

And, I know I’ve done everything I can to promote this three-year labor of love.

But the biggest reason I know the book has succeeded is because I’ve started to hear from people who’ve read the book and tell me it’s touched them in some way.

Money, media appearances and bestseller lists are all great – but none of them are the real reasons writers do this work. Really.

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