Blurbs and Pods and Tour Dates, Oh My! [#9]
I got a reminder to sleep and hydrate now that we're about two months 'til pub day. The TikTok Guys and I are having fun times. And just for subscribers, the tour dates are here...
Annyeong from my Los Angeles home base, where I’m fielding a lot of correspondence from Texas. The FLAWLESS book tour is over-indexed in Texas because that is my home state (despite being born in St. Louis, I claim Texas since I mostly grew up there). It’s also where I worked as a journalist in Waco, Austin, Dallas and appeared on the airwaves in Houston and San Antonio. So that’s a lot of sources who became friends over the years.
I’ve begun talking with some podcasts about the book and that’s useful practice for the tighter interviews that are coming up around launch. Interview podcasts allow for so much riffing, and for refining ideas as fresh questions and follow-ups come up. One recurring theme this spring is the way AI improvements show up in filters like the Bold Glamour filter on TikTok, which illustrates the a concept called the technological gaze. It both feeds demand and creates demand for the standardized, ideal look of the moment, and it filters for smoothness, thinness, and youth, three of the four pillars of global beauty I write about in FLAWLESS.
Conversations recently published:
Your New Life Blend, with Shoshanna Hecht, which gets into a lot of the concepts explored in the book.
IdeaMix with Sam Jayanti, which is more about my background and international journalism and lessons there, with some discussion about the book.
WHYY’s The Pulse, for their episode on Skincare and the Quest for Eternal Youth.
"Doing 10 interviews is a waste. Doing 1000 can give you a fighting chance."
— an email from my author friend Dan
Speaking of publicity…
Fellow authors have different takes on what is useful to do in promoting a book, and what can be de-emphasized. Friend Dan, as noted above, goes with the kitchen sink approach, doing anything and everything, and talking to anyone. Tim Ferriss eschews wrangling book blurbs, or doing book events because they are “low margin” for him, in that it doesn’t move that many sales, and his metric for success is being a bestseller.
This gets to my recent conversation with editor Cassidy Sachs, where we get to what “success” means to her, and to me. Do I want you to buy a copy of Flawless? Yes! Do I want the word-of-mouth on it to be positive? Yes! But perhaps because I’m a millennial burned out by hustle culture, I’m less interested in raw selling and more interested in meaningful experience and connection, which is why I’m doing some things Tim advises against. Like events.
Maybe it won’t “convert,” but I want to see my loved ones and former high school English teachers at bookstore events in Texas. I love the community around books in Seattle, and the robust AAPI community there, so I am going to Seattle. The Korea Society is hosting in New York. The Asia Foundation is hosting in San Francisco. Public radio stations are generously teaming with local bookstores for other events around the country. These are such affirming, validating connections of mine who are showing up for the book, and for me. They may not have a large dollar figure attached to them, but the ‘showing up’ is deeply meaningful to me. I hope you’ll come out to be part of the conversations.
So without further ado … here are the TOUR DATES! I will announce this widely on Monday, but you’re getting it first.
RSVP for the New York launch (where you can also RSVP to watch on Zoom if you unable to attend any of these in person).
RSVP for the LA launch and get yourself a book bundle with the ticket.
The other links are at elisehu.com/events and if not there, they’re coming within the next week!
A Note About Blurbs
Book blurbing is a little ecosystem, wherein existing authors or bigger names are asked to not only give their time and energy reading a forthcoming book but also, if they like it, to write a review of it that can be used for promotion. Nerdette from WBEZ has a great recent episode about the business of blurbs, I recommend it! It feels cringe to have to ask for this, though everyone who blurbed Flawless was so gracious and generous in not only reading and writing blurbs but getting them in right on deadline.
Tik Tok Toking Away
I’m having so much fun making short videos leading up to launch. The collabs with Luke and Rishabh are the second most fun I’ve had during this publication season, second only to recording the audiobook. The trailer is out, so is a little “multi-step skincare routine” parody, and today we released my book cover evolution, which I hope you enjoy.
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Thanks as always for reading all the way til the end.
See you on the tour, and in the next update, I’ll have a list of ways you can support Flawless for the price of zero dollars. Like forwarding this newsletter or subscribing to it. And if you have $29, please preorder?