The greatest challenge to living with my illness, may ironically turn out to be a book entitled, “Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder.” Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great book. The problem is I wrote it.
“Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder” will be published by Harper Collins in October of this year. It is the result of six years of researching and writing about my illness. A lot of hard work went into organizing and shaping my material into coherent form, but I will probably have to work a lot harder to promote the book.
Recently, I got off the last of my galley corrections to my editor. My work on the editorial end is over. In a few weeks Harper Collins will send a disk to the printer. Last week, Michelle, a publicist from Harper Collins contacted me. For the next six or more months, she will be the most important person in my life, other than my family. Yesterday, she sent me a draft cover letter in regard to some galley copies that will be going out to publications with long lead times. I sent back my revisions, she repositioned a paragraph, and we had a lovely epistle. This is the first in what will be a long campaign to make overworked and jaded editors and producers sit up and take note.
Will she get me on Oprah? Get me a feature in the New York Times? Get me a spot on Imus? No, no, and no. The only way that could happen is if, right when the book came out, Tom Cruise were to renounce Scientology, apologize to Brooke Shields, and reveal that he is being treated with meds by a psychiatrist.
“Okay, Tom,” says my imaginary Oprah. “We’ve got a couch in the back room for you to jump on and a team from John’s Hopkins with a tranquilizer gun loaded with Seroquel. Now we’re going to devote the rest of the show to the most amazing author I ever met with the most incredible book I ever read.”
In my dreams. The reality is more like two minutes on some local talk show wedged between the latest Brittany Spears gossip and the traffic report. “Tell me, Mr McManamoose, what is the correct name for it – bi-bowler or manic-regression?”
Everyone I’ve talked to says if I want to get my book out there I need to also be working on my own promotional campaign. This is not to denigrate Michelle and her efforts. These are simply the facts of life. Michelle knows how to approach the mainstream media, macro style. But I know who my readers are and will be targeting my efforts accordingly, in a micro fashion.
My email newsletter and website will be the centerpiece of my efforts, plus an assist from my internet friends. Also, I am looking to line up a series of public speaking engagements next year, plus an underwriter to cover travel and hotel and expenses. I’ve already got a couple of psychiatrists interested in joining me in some of these engagements, and two of my readers are brainstorming with me on strategy, finances, and logistics.
So if I am successful, I will be all over the web with my book. I’ll be traveling all over the country to anywhere from 20 and 50 locales, talking to whoever shows up and signing books and trying to get the local media interested. In the meantime, I will be getting out my Newsletters and this blog.
Now you see where this is headed: Final destination Stress City. Can I hold up under the pressure and the additional workload? Nearly nineteen years ago I lost a job I loved when I flipped out after driving myself too hard. I’m a lot smarter now, but I’m not sure my neuro-endocrine system has taken this into consideration. I’ve already alerted my psychiatrist and given my wife and support group the heads-up. But I need to do better. I can’t credibly promote “Living Well” by neglecting my own advice.
I can see it now: “Living Well Author Living Badly.” Now THAT might get me on Oprah.
Learn more about bipolar disorder.
Find information about support groups for bipolar disorder.
Published On: July 17, 2006
Living With6 Chronic Condition Guidelines to Live By
Facing the challenges5 Rules for Bipolar Relationships