So get a load of this: parents are not clamoring for material about how to survive/manage their lives with an addicted daughter or son, nor, particularly, are bookstores. At least not yet.
I say “not yet” because I am turning into a veritable marketing busy body in Louisville, KY. And now I am going to indulge in my bratty little speech: it’s not because I want to but because I have to. There, I’ve said it. BUT, am not alone.
Few writers distill experience into words to become marketers. We are living through something, empowering ourselves, remembering, and imagining — a far cry from beating the bushes to get people to pay attention to what we’ve written. The enormity of it for me: after living a couple of decades with an offspring struggling with alcohol, entering Al-Anon, taking another four years to rearrange my perspective, committing it to words, then finding a receptive publisher (BLESS, CRP!), I have to sell the sucker!
So here is how it’s going out here in the bushes: Carmichaels Bookstore in Louisville is holding off on a book “event” for IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU — EXCEPT WHEN IT IS! but are carrying it, and I thank them for that — just doesn’t feel like an oh-goody-let’s-show-up-for-this topic with coffee and cookies. I have to agree.
Most parents are out hanging in the shadows and, if they start hurting enough and work up the sheer nerve, may reel into an Al-Anon meeting or some kind of counseling for help and perspective on their out of control, strange lives and families. Who wants to raise their hand and say, “Yeah, it’s me over here, one of THOSE parents!” My marketing guru, Patrick, warned me about this and he was right.
After limping away from the bookstore last week, I “googled” all the appropriate agencies I could find in the Louisville area and began calling them and making personal visits, books and news releases in hand. Now we’re talking, people! The Jefferson Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center looks promising, as does the Center for Behavioral Health KY. Am I up for freebie presentations? You bet — if it will open doors, reach parents I am writing for, and sell books.
My next front is the TV and radio stations. I have been advised that many news agencies are looking for non-profits to include in their programming. Well, I am no conglomerate, and my topic may just qualify all the non-profits who serve my potential readers.
You know what? This is starting to be fun! I am no longer operating in a vacuum, a tree falling in the forest with no one around and a question hovering in the air: was a sound made? I have jumped into the flip side of the writing business, tucked in my lower lip, and am eager to rock outside my office. Because I know it has “legs.” If I can get this book up and running in Louisville, KY, it can begin running anywhere, because, of these findings provided directly from Intercept Interventions:
• Among the Nation’s alcoholics and problem drinkers as many as 4.5 million are adolescents and adolescents are disproportionately involved in alcohol-related automobile accidents; the leading cause of death among young Americans 15 to 24 years old.
• The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that more than 80% of those incarcerated in adult & juvenile penal institutions were there directly or indirectly as a result of the disease of addiction.
• More than 29% of the teens in treatment are dependent on some form of prescription medication, some of which include tranquilizers, sedatives, & opiates.
• Approximately 14 million Americans, 7.4% of the population, meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
This touches a whole lot of parents, and I’m heading back to the bushes!