And please: spread the word to your friends. I’d appreciate anything you can do through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog or website. If we’re going to make a difference in the world we need to communicate with as many people as we can. Let’s get busy, allies!
What’s a virtual tour, you may ask? Being new to this myself, that’s the first question I asked. Over the course of about 6 weeks I’ll be visiting more than a dozen different websites and blogs. I’ll do online chats and interviews and contribute guest blog posts and essays. We’ll discuss Inheriting the Trade and related issues, of course, but also the craft of writing, the process of getting your book published, and the experience of traveling throughout the United States speaking at colleges and universities and other venues. I look forward to a lively set of conversations at the various sites, and to meeting new people online who are interested in confronting the lingering trauma that racism (and other forms of oppression) continues to have on all of us.
A word of advice for you writers out there working hard to become published authors: take advantage of the opportunities available to you. I subscribe to several e-newsletters of folks who are in the business of book marketing and publicity. In mid-July I received John Kremer’s “Book Marketing Tip of the Week” in which he announced that a literary publicist was offering a free virtual book tour. The entry deadline was two days away. I entered immediately.
A few days later I received a phone call from Stephanie Barko, the literary publicist offering the contest, telling me that my entry had been selected from among 77 qualified entries. I was thrilled, of course, and then we went to work. Stephanie began putting the tour together. I don’t believe most people would know just how much work it is to put such a tour together; arranging for books to be given away by Beacon Press and audio books to be given away by Audio Book Stand; coordinating the schedule; contacting dozens of potential websites and blogs. For any authors looking for a literary publicist I highly recommend that you consider Stephanie.
Mostly, I hope to reach people who haven’t heard of Inheriting the Trade before; folks who are interested in participating in a deeper conversation about race in America. This is an amazing time in the history of our nation. We have great opportunities to heal from historic traumas that we have inherited. Let’s not squander this moment.
A huge thank you to Stephanie Barko. And many thanks to everyone who reads this for your interest in this work and helping to spread the word. We’re all in this together. So on with the virtual tour!