When two days after posting the videos of Anthony Newley starring in the stage musical Scrooge I then (yesterday) posted one of Tommy Steele in the revival, I initially titled the piece, "The Return of Scrooge." But then I realized that was the title of my novel, so I didn't want to get too confusing and mix media. Besides, while I enjoy videos of Anthony Newley and Tommy Steele, I do have my priorities.
Last year, when I wrote the book, A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge, it didn't get published until December 1. This is referred to in publishing circles as A Really Bad Thing. There's no time to promote it and really do much of anything with it because -- well, when December 26 hits, sales will plummet, akin to Wile E. Coyote going over the cliff after the Roadrunner. Happily, the book did passably, hitting #2 on the Amazon Hot List for Humor, but a week later -- poof, goodbye.
The one saving grace is that I had full confidence that Christmas would come around again. So, I started making plans to promote it again a year in advance. A few months back, for instance, I started researching and then contacting online book reviewers. You have no idea how bizarre it is to write someone in the sweltering July about asking them to read a book about Christmas. But you have to give them time to a) respond, b) read the thing, and c) write the fricking review. And you want to time it all so that readers have the time the get it in advance of Christmas, so that they can send it out (perhaps hopefully) as a holiday gift.
Timing is not perfect for these sort of things, and (with this book) it is SO much better to be a month early than one day late. And so, among other things, I set up what is known in the online book world as a Virtual Book Tour. Basically a range of reviewers confirm to do a review on a particular day. And that tour started today.
(Yes, I know it's October. But you not only want to get the reviews, but hopefully build up word of mouth, which will build upon itself. And that takes times. It's all part of a campaign...)
Anyway, the first review just appeared. I don't plan on annoying people here with each review when they are published, but honestly I would be foolish to not mention them when one comes along that most particularly brightens my day. (So, in truth, I hope I do annoy people here with each review...)
In all honesty, much as I hope everyone loves the book, I know that's not going to be the case. On its Amazon page, there already are a couple scathing comments. Happily they're in the vast minority, and it has a 4.4 rating out of 5. But all I always say I ask of anyone is that they be a) honest, and b) polite.
And so, in that regard, I was pleased with Day One. So, here is an excerpt from Bibliotica.com. (You can read the whole review here.)
"In A Christmas Carol 2 Elisberg has not only given us an entertaining read, he’s helped the story live in contemporary times, showing us that the best path is neither abject poverty nor total profit, but a balance of the two.
"Those who are familiar with the original Dickens work, or any of his novels, will gain the most enjoyment from Elisberg’s so-called revision, but even readers new to his work will get a laugh or two.
"Writing pastiche is hard. Writing effective parody is even harder. Elisberg has managed to do both, successfully, and I enjoyed reading it very much."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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