Posted by: Shula Asher Silberstein | 7 January 2011

Promoting Shades of Gay and Staying Afloat


So I really don’t feel like working today.

Ever since Shades of Gay came out a couple weeks ago, I’ve had this constant conflict between what I have to do for it and what I have to do to keep things afloat. To make a decent living with Demand Studios, I need to write about 8 articles a day. I usually get it done… eventually. But it has become harder and harder to get started.

My brain is full of things I need to do to promote Shades. I’m trying to set up some book signings and get known throughout the state of North Carolina so I can hopefully move on to other states, trying to advertise, trying to sell copies. Trying to donate something to the Trevor Project and still have something left over. Trying to keep up with orders, and so forth.

This is a new phase of my life and I WILL be successful. I just am trying to figure it all out. I’m glad I at least work for myself, where I can’t get fired for being distracted from my dream.

I wake up in the morning and it’s hard to get going at all because there is just too much to do. I know this book can be extremely successful if I put the work into it to make it successful. It’s just a matter of finding the time.

And of being patient. My original dream was, it seems, a little silly… I publish the book and all these LGBT people who have been following me on Facebook and Twitter would rush to Amazon or to my website to buy it. It seems what’s really happening is that more and more people know about it through every marketing activity I engage in so that eventually it will reach a critical mass and I will see results.

Last night Gavi and I went to the open mic at Royal Bean like we do every month. We brought five copies with us and I read from Chapter One. I’m pretty comfortable with this group but I was more nervous than usual last night. First of all, for some reason there were three times as many people as usual and as much as I tried to think, just that many more opportunities to sell books, I couldn’t see it that way. Also it was getting late and my name hadn’t been called yet. (We all put our names in a bag and each reader pulls out a name when he is done.)

Right before I got called up, the leader asked if we wanted to continue because we were running over time and there had been so many readers. Fortunately for me, everyone did. I could feel my heart beating as I walked up to the mic as if I had run a marathon and I was trying too hard to concentrate on what I was going to say in my intro. After a minute or so I remembered I plan to do an audio book version and got into the text and read it the way I wanted to read it for recording.

Nobody bought the book last night but we got one solid “maybe” and several people coming up to us to look at it and ask about it. So I’m sure we will get some sales out of it and we got our name out there, which is more important.

I’m really excited about doing my own book reading. I’m going to be doing a book signing/release party in about a month. In the meantime, I am trying to work up the courage to contact independent bookstores by phone and ask if we can do signings there.

Now to get rid of this cold I seem to have developed this morning so I can do my actual paid work before we go to Temple tonight…

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