I believe the time has arrived to express my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to all of you for your generous encouragement and support of JESTERS’ DANCE.
And if you are reading this blog, then I remain even further in your debt … this time for your continued curiosity.
When I published my cathartic advertising opus, a couple of months ago, I had no idea what to expect and what putting it out there might bring.
I can tell you now it has been one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my personal and professional life. And in the most unexpected way.
It has often been said that for a dedicated author writing is its own reward, and that writers write because they have to – slaves to an unappeasable master.
But I wouldn’t be entirely honest if I didn’t admit, initially at least, that images of bestsellerdom and movie offers regularly danced in my head. And that fantasies of fame, fortune and unabashed adoration lit my dreams.
I mean, why else would you perform a lonely penance before the keyboard each day? Why else would you don the hair shirt that writing so often feels like?
But once the euphoria of seeing my words in print and the joy of staring at the swanky cover of JESTERS’ DANCE subsided (it really does feel pee your pants good), I realized it is you that has made this entire adventure so thoroughly enjoyable.
Seriously. The very best part of this whole e publishing odyssey has been your heartening response to my work and the thoughtful feedback you have been so generous in providing.
Oh, to be sure, there have been a couple of sidelong glances. Family is especially good at this -- brothers and sisters are the very best at inflicting self-doubt.
And I do believe I saw a woman draw her child close at the supermarket the other day. Okay, so the novel has a couple of characters that are especially dark.
I have also recently received ‘the look’ that accompanies minor celebrity. Or notoriety. Or worse. I am especially grateful, here in our small community, that I can’t read minds.
But for the most part, I couldn’t have imagined a more welcoming reception for my first published effort. For that, I am humbled.
I have received so many kind words and compliments that my head spins. Most are of the variety that make me want to curl up in your lap like a kitten and purr for more.
I have been sought out and found by friends near and dear; and by others from long ago and far away. I have a certain former creative partner’s lovely wife in mind.
The reunions -- by email, LinkedIn and Facebook have been wonderful. Now I’m beginning to understand why these Internet tools are so popular and powerful.
I have received phone calls and messages at odd hours. You know who you are. I suspect this is really a phenomenon of middle-aged sleep habits and the difficult times in which we live.
I have been reviewed on-line … often brilliantly (the reviewers, not the book). Some of you really should be doing this for the Sunday Times … though I am just as indebted for a quick shout out and a couple of stars.
I have received corrections. Sadly, there are too many. But this kind of input is invaluable as well. Certainly, I’ve learned some important lessons for next time.
I have heard from my many special friends in Calgary, where I worked for twenty years, eager to know who is who from real life and if I named any names. It’s a novel not a roman à clef. Though trust me, you’re all in there somewhere.
I had an ingenious former colleague post a terrific review on his Facebook wall … from Singapore. It helped me garner sales in London, Helsinki and Rome. Unbelievable.
From two special people … a very accomplished couple … she gave me the chance to guest blog to her impressive audience, while he had JESTERS’ DANCE catalogued at the library of the prestigious university where he teaches. Priceless.
The former Chairman and CEO of the greatest advertising agency in the world likened JESTERS’ DANCE to “the gin and vermouth of an adman’s martini … its wit served up dry.” How’s that for a compliment?
But perhaps the most gratifying comment is one that I have heard repeatedly, in several different forms. Collectively you’ve told me, “As I was reading it, I forgot it was you.”
I believe that qualifies me as an author or, at the very least, as a successful storyteller. And that, of course, has been my goal all along.
You have all been so very generous. Not only did you buy my book, but also you took the time to read it.
Whether in bits and bites (many of you said it was tough going for the first few chapters) … at the beach … or at bedtime, you gave me ten or fifteen hours of your precious time. That is so gratifying.
And what has all this meant to sales – the barometer against which success is conventionally measured?
I’m presently in the hundreds … very soon the thousands. It ain’t Grisham. But as an independent author, marketing and selling a book is akin to dropping a pebble into a pond.
I now occupy the second or third ring … nicely beyond family, friends and casual acquaintances. The exciting part is that I am beginning to be discovered by the world at large.
And that is where you can truly help me. If you have read and enjoyed JESTERS’ DANCE, would you please post a review on the site where you purchased the book?
This is the social marketing equivalent of you telling two friends, and them telling two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on. Your reviews are invaluable to my ability to break through.
Honestly, those little stars make a huge difference in my search position, my potential audience and, ultimately, my sales ranking -- in other words, the Promised Land of e publishing.
Either that, or simply recommend JESTERS’ DANCE to a fellow reader. I remain hopeful a ripple may yet become a wave.
In the meantime, I am deeply immersed in a new effort. It is a very topical story entitled THE LAST CANARY and it exploits my intimate understanding of the energy business. As you may recall, I’m married to it.
I’m also busily trying to formulate a strategy for the release of my previously completed novel, HANGING LIES. Its fate will be determined soon, to be sure.
Until then, I will continue to be sustained by your kind words and encouragement. Please know that I am eternally grateful.
As always, I would love to hear from you.
R. Bruce Walker is the author of the recently released novel, JESTERS’ DANCE. Visit with him at www.rbrucewalker.com, or via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.