As you probably know by
now, I am all for helping fellow authors and friends promote their work. As I
wrote to Sam Barry earlier in the week, this is what friends do. So when I
heard that his new book was about to be released I knew I’d want to feature his
work here in the form of a Q&A. Sam Barry, one of my co-conspirators in the Rancho La Puerta “Reads & Writes” week, has a new title that will be
published next month. It’s called How to
Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons (Gibbs Smith, 2009). With his
partner, author Kathi Kamen Goldmark, he writes a monthly column in BookPage called “The Author Enablers.”
Kathi and Sam have a book on writing and publishing that is scheduled for
release in June 2010. Sam is a marketing and promotions manager at HarperOne, a
division of HarperCollins. He also is a musician and music teacher who plays in
and around San Francisco in the band Los Train Wreck and tours with the
all-author rock band the Rock Bottom Remainders, and is a regular performer on
the national radio show West Coast Live.
Sam is the father of two children, Daniel and Laura.
the last part of my Q&A with Sam in which I push him to the limit to share
his promotional ideas . . .
Allbusiness: How available
are you as an author? I know you write a column in Bookpage with Kathi Kamen Goldmark, another successful author, and
the information you provide seems to make publishing and all its mysteries a
little, well, less mysterious. Do you think offering that sort of access helps
you as well?
Sam: Yes. Our readers are great. They keep us plugged into what’s happening in
the larger culture, and we’ve made some wonderful friends.
Allbusiness: What kind of success are you having promoting your book through
your blog, Twitter, and other social networking outlets?
Sam: So far, so good. It has piqued some interest out there.
Allbusiness: I wonder if in the course of your promotional efforts people will
actually get to hear you play the instrument? I’ve heard you play harmonica and
piano and you’re a master. I especially like how MANY DIFFERENT harmonicas you
own. Is one really so different than the next? (Clearly, I don’t know how to
play harmonica and would be na?ve enough to ask such an annoying question . . .
Sam: I recently made eight short videos, which I am going to put up on
YouTube and promote through my blog, Facebook, and any other way I can. They
are mostly funny and about the message of the book, but three of them are me
playing with a wonderful guitarist named Todd Swenson. They all feature the
book’s title and cover image at the beginning and end, and the hope is that
they will get around the Internet a little.
As you try to wait patiently
for part three of my interview with Sam (Friday, July 31, 2009), here are some
links with more information:
His blog “The Daily Sam”
“The Author Enablers,” the advice column for aspiring writers that Kathi and
Sam write together for BookPage
To get updates about his San Francisco band Los Train Wreck and especially to
get notified about the monthly jam at El Rio, sign up at Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Records; Sam promises that signing up will not result in your
receiving emails about inexpensive Viagra.