I have, however, managed to take the large black dog on his daily walk in the local countryside, chopped up a bunch of firewood and stacked it, had a shower, unsuccessfully tried to call my aged mother in England, successfully called my doctor to find out what the bloody hell is going on with my medical records (long story and not enough time to tell it now), and most recently, been on the receiving end of a call from my publisher.
Now...a call from the publisher is usually a good thing, and in this case I was expecting to be talked into (I had already done most of the convincing that it was a good idea all on my own) a proposal to have my book placed into their spring catalogue for book buyers. I quite like the idea. HOWEVER...it turns out that it's not as easy as that. Because of the way that I have my royalty agreement structured, it seems that I would have to re-negotiate the price for the book if I want to put it into the catalogue (and pay for the privilege, by the way), Since I feel that the publisher's price already isn't quite what it should be, I'm not enthusiastic about raising the sticker price. Hmm.
The other option is to offer the book in the catalogue on a consignment basis - not exactly the work of Lucifer, but the truth of it is that if I do so, I will end up having to buy tons of books up front, effectively lend them to a book store and hope that they get sold. If any don't get sold (tut, tut), then I have to accept the returns and basically sit on the little swine (and since I may have to sell the furniture to pay for such a scheme, that may literally be true!). The entire financial risk will be born by yours truly - and I can't help thinking that it all seems a little upside-down. The little guy completely at the mercy of the corporate world. Hmm. Again.
This is the kind of thing that I tend to deal with rather badly. My instinct is to crawl into my favourite cardboard box (I call it Fred) and sit there sucking my thumb until I start to think more rationally again. Right now I feel disheartened - my naïve feelings are that promoting a book should surely be more simple than this. There are, of course, simpler ways to go about it, and since absolutely everything that the publisher does seems to involve the exchange of moolah from one sweaty palm to the other, I think I'm going to have to go rogue and do it all myself.
I'm not looking forward to that.