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  • Writer's pictureTERRY ANN MARSH


It finally happened!

I signed a book deal (Brandylane Publishers). They found an illustrator for the book. There is a tentative release date we are moving towards, and I can start saying, “My book should be released soon after the New Year.”

And now, at last, I can do that which I have been waiting to do – book signings, appearances, readings and so on, because, after all, before I was a writer, I was a children’s entertainer. Now, I can play to my strengths! I can contact all those schools and libraries that I performed at for years and ask if I can come read my picture book. (I’ll be dazzling!) Sing a song or two. (Just like old times.) And walk away with five to ten new names to add to my growing email/contact list. (Everyone will want to be on it).

Except … COVID.

There are – for the moment – no school visits or book signings. The local children’s bookstore is not waiting breathlessly for me to come and do my shtick. There will be no razzle. And definitely no dazzle.

Nope. Everything is now going to be done online, where I am a stranger in a strange land. An alien wandering amidst 0s and 1s, confused at every turn.

I panic at the prospect of a Zoom meeting. I cringe at the thought of my 60ish face in one of those weird computer close-ups, reading glasses slipping off my nose, trying to look and sound writerly.

I wonder. If I snap a few pics of avocado toast and a latte, and put them up on Instagram, will it impress anyone? #avacadotoast #poser

I’ll be impressed, but only because it will mean that I remembered my username and password, which is most unlikely.

So, I will not jump into my book promotion with both feet. I’ll wade in and try not to fall on the slippery rocks of 2020. I’ll do my best to navigate the 0s and 1s and have them work for me instead of terrifying me. And perhaps, I’ll finally do what my youngest daughter suggests every time I ask for her advice (she is a ‘branding’ pro) … I’ll take a class.

The events of the last 9 months have been, at different times, transformative, frightening, mind-blowing, overwhelming, and so on. We’ve learned a lot about what we can do and who we are when pushed hard, and a great amount about what we truly consider important.

If I look a little goofy online when I attempt to promote my book, so be it. If I can’t amass thousands of followers on Facebook or twitter, it’ll be okay. I know what’s important to me.

My faith, my family and my friends.

But also … I wrote a lovely picture storybook and it has an editor, an illustrator and now, with a little perseverance and a bit of trial and error, it will have a promotional platform.

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