Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Author Frustrations

Book promotion feels frustrating these days. I worked almost two years to complete Shooting For Tiger and a week in New York and Philadelphia has showed me how much of a struggle it will be to sell it. Yes, I appeared on television and radio shows. Yes, I met with my publishers and came up with a plan for sparking additional coverage and excerpts. Yes, I sat in front of the pro shop at the Upper Montclair Country Club during the LPGA tournament last weekend and sold a total of 25 books.

My first three books received extensive reviews in publications ranging The Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal. This time, almost no reviewers have responded. Why? I’m not quite sure. Certainly, newspapers are struggling. Perhaps books on a sports theme gain less traction than ones on food and wine. Whatever the reason, it feels like an uphill struggle to get a full hearing.

When I took a book leave, I remember some friends asking whether I was crazy. Why put my full-time journalism job at Dow Jones in jeopardy for a book project which paid little and which offered little chance of true commercial success? The answer was that I needed a break and saw this book as a journey with my family.

And it has been a great journey. We traveled two months together throughout the United States, visiting parts of my homeland that I never have thought I would see – Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio – and much, much more. I was paid to explore a subject close to my heart – parenting. I also had the freedom and time to play many rounds of golf on terrific golf courses with my son.

Now my children have a book to treasure for the rest of their lives. Even if I sell no copies and never make another cent on this project, I feel blessed.

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