As you probably know by now, I am all for helping fellow authors and friends promote their work. As I wrote to Sam Barry this morning, 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.
Here’s part one of my Q&A with Sam, in which I push him to the limit to share his promotional ideas.
AllBusiness: Why did you write a harmonica book?
Sam: How to Play the Harmonica and Other Life Lessons is the book Herman Melville always wanted to write, but never got to because of all those novels. But seriously, I wrote this book after becoming stalled on a novel I was working on. It was my sweetheart Kathi Kamen Goldmark’s idea initially, and once I started it really came together beautifully. I am very proud of it. As for my day job, I work in marketing for HarperCollins.
AllBusiness: In addition to all of your friends and willing family members, who else should be helping you spread the word about your new book?
Sam: I am going to ask some unwilling family members to help, too — particularly my children. As far as I am concerned, everyone I know is welcome to help me spread the word about this book, except for people who don’t like me. This means family, friends, colleagues in the book and musical worlds, other authors, students, and all my pals on Facebook.
AllBusiness: Will you be blogging about your experience as you let more and more people in on the joys of playing the harmonica?
Sam: I am already blogging about the joys, the heartaches, the triumphs, and the tragedies of playing the harmonica on my Red Room site. I am blogging about anything that seems funny or interesting to me, and I am getting some readers. It’s really cool.
As you try to wait patiently for part two of my interview with Sam (Thursday, July 30, 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.