News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local Interest

October 19, 2008

The Off Season: A writer’s shameless self-promotion scheme

It may be of dubious authenticity, but years ago I heard a story about Mike Royko, the wonderfully acerbic columnist for the Chicago Tribune, who, when asked how he made writing look so easy, supposedly said: “It is easy. Every day, I walk into my office, sit down at my typewriter, and bleed from every pore of my body.”

For anyone who has every tried it, whether it be for a sophomore English class exam, a job interview “Tell-us-more-about yourself essay,” or a note for a child returning to school after an absence, you know that writing isn’t very easy at all. At least, good writing isn’t…

That’s why I am as proud as a new poppa about the recent release of my book, “The Off Season, The Newspaper Stories of Mike Lunsford.” I wrote every word of it — well, all but the Introduction by the Tribune-Star’s editor, Max Jones. I re-edited the book, too, and designed the cover, with the help of a beautiful Salty Seamon watercolor. It looks pretty slick, if I don’t say so myself.

I also have found out in a little more than a week, as a writer with a book on the market — a pretty limited market right now — that a little shameless self-promotion is always in order. I am discovering it to be easier and easier to somehow work that single fact into any conversation.

For instance, in casual discourse in the grocery store: “Yeah, the weather has been beautiful these past few weeks … pretty enough to sell my new book. You did know I had a book out, didn’t you?”

And, “The economy? It is bad, isn’t it. You’re lucky that I’m only charging $15 for my new book; I just happen to have a copy here.”

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