Post-publication chronology

Date Progress

November 7, 2002

This is my last update to this page. I kept fairly busy this fall with four appearances in support of the book. While I was treated well and enjoyed myself, the results of the appearances were disappointing. I still watch out for new reviews, but it is time for me to move on and concentrate on new projects.

August 21, 2002

I talked to Jerome Weeks, book columnist for the Dallas Morning News and an alumnus of Sam Freedman's book seminar, about how to approach newspapers about coverage for my book.

August 20, 2002

Nicole Turgeon sends me a letter saying that Upheaval from the Abyss was not selected forNorthwest Bookfest this year.

August 19, 2002

Cyndi Hughes, director of the Texas Book Festival, sends me a letter saying that my book was not selected for this year.

I call Diane DaCruz about arrangements for my appearance at the Boats, Books & Brushes festival.

I call June Russell-Chamberlin about a possible review in Mercator's World.

I also faxed several reviews to John Verhoff, producer of Hardcover History on the History Channel, in the hopes that Upheaval from the Abyss might be selected for the program.

August 16, 2002

I haven't heard from Nicole Turgeon about the Northwest Bookfest, so I call her back. She says that so far I am not on the list, but there are still some slots open. The situation does not sound encouraging.

August 12, 2002

I speak at the Mariners' Musuem. I don't sell many books, but I do have a good time and get a lot of questions from the audience -- that is always nice. (Even though it was brought in a couple of days previously, I did not ask to see the turret from the USS Monitor. I look forward to the day when I can.)

August 6, 2002

I call Nicole Turgeon for an update on the Northwest Bookfest. Some authors are already listed on their web site. She says she'll check and call me back.

I also call Jann Malone at the Richmond Times-Dispatch to again plead for some kind of coverage. I send her an e-mail with links to the Upheaval from the Abyss web site.

August 5, 2002

Diane DaCruz e-mails me to tell me when I am scheduled to appear at Boats, Books & Brushes. I get back in touch with her to finalize arrangements.

August 2, 2002

I find that the Southern Festival of Books has updated their web site with a list of participating authors. Yes, I am on the list.

May-July, 2002

During the latter half of May, we moved. I also began an intense teaching schedule at two community colleges. Alison's car died and had to be replaced early in June, my car died at the end of July -- and our dog died on July 31. Needless to say, I had little time to think about marketing.

Much of what I have for this time period is pretty sketchy. I didn't have time to keep detailed records of my efforts.

July 3, 2002
(I think)

I engineered the nomination of my book for two awards, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Award for Excellence in Ocean Science Journalism, and the Library of Virginia Literary Awards.

June 23, 2002

My appearance at the Virginia Festival of the Book is rebroadcast on Book TV.

June 14, 2002

I haven't heard anything from the Mariners' Museum about my possible lecture there in August, so I call them to make sure that everything is still on. Kim Gove confirms that I am on schedule for 7 p.m. on August 12.

I submit Upheaval from the Abyss for consideration by the National Press Club Book Fair and Authors' Night, New York is Book Country and the Northwest BookFest.

June 1, 2002

My appearance at the Virginia Festival of the Book is rebroadcast on Book TV.

May 28, 2002

Robert Cheatham, president of Humanities Tennessee, sends me a confirmation letter for my appearance at the Southern Festival of Books in October.

May 25, 2002

Joe Worzel, one of the main characters in Upheaval from the Abyss, and one I really wanted to please, emails me to point out a few errors -- but says I did "an excellent job."

May 15, 2002
(I think)

I contact a local arts publication, 64 Magazine, as well as Mark Burgess, who runs a Virginia-based online review site, Commonwealth Review, to see if I can get some mention in their publications. (64 Magazine subsequently bit the dust -- I don't think it had anything to do with me. And Commonwealth Review is now Parson's Review.)

May 14, 2002

A note about my book appears in The (Shreveport, La.) Times.

May 11, 2002

My appearance at the Virginia Festival of the Book is rebroadcast on Book TV.

May 10, 2002

I learn that LSU-Shreveport will discuss my book in the Autumn issue of the alumni newsletter.

May 9, 2002

Following an article in Publishers Weekly about how hot books on maritime history were, I wrote a press release for my book. I send it to quite a few places. Locally, I send it to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond.com, Styleweekly.com and Richmond Magazine. I also send the release to public relations people at the University of Virginia, UVA's Graduate School of Art and Sciences, one of the UVA student newspapers, the Cavalier Daily, and to my former schools: Columbia University, George Mason University, the University of Oklahoma and Louisiana State University in Shreveport. I also sent the release to my former newspapers, including the Newport News Daily Press, the Morris County (N.J.) Daily Record, the Charlottesville, Va., Daily Progress and The (Shreveport, La.) Times, as well as one potential review outlet, Explorers Journal, published by The Explorers Club.

May 6, 2002

I call the organizers of New York is Book Country to find out what I need to do to be considered for their festival.

May 5, 2002

I call Barbara Fine, former owner of The Map Store (and my former boss) and obtained a list of contacts that might be able to help promote my book.

May 2, 2002

I continue working through the list of people sent review copies for my book. An editor at Nature does not remember seeing the book, but says she might be interested. I send her an e-mail with the link to my web site.

I call Kathie Rowell, who edits the Living! section of The (Shreveport, La.) Times. She does not do reviews, but says they will write at least a short note in the paper if there is a local news angle. Since I grew up there, went to school there and used to work at The Times, I figure I have a decent chance at some kind of mention.

I track down the history editor at Eos, published by the American Geophysical Union, to find out of there were plans to review my book there. He said he had recommended against it. Why? I wrote my book in a popular style -- they didn't think it was technical enough for the scientists who read Eos!

I leave messages or send e-mails to editors at Science News, USA Today, and the Houston Chronicle.

I also begin compiling a list of potential awards my book might be eligible for.

April 30, 2002

I get busy again trying to rustle up some reviews. An editor at Science says he is undecided and tells me to call back in a couple of weeks. I leave a message with an editor at Scientific American. An editor at the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch does not remember seeing it (I request another copy for them since they are my hometown newspaper). Another editor, at the Newport News, Va., Daily Press has been looking for it but has not found it yet (she was not working there when the review copies were sent out). Finally, one editor, at American Scientist, says a review is on the way, probably in the summer.

April 28, 2002

The Writers Group at First Unitarian Church in Richmond holds a service. It goes well (we have a lot of talented writers there) and I sell out of books!

April 27, 2002

I don't sell or sign too many books at the Alumni Book Fair, but I catch up with a lot of friends and possible made some new ones -- that was worth a hell of a lot more that any sales.

April 26, 2002

Jessica Pellien sends me an e-mail message requestign follow-up information about some of my scheduled appearances.

I leave for New York for the Graduate School of Journalism's Alumni Book Fair at Columbia University. My train breaks down in Philadelphia -- I arrive in New York three hours late.

April 23, 2002

Kristina Bartlett, managing editor of Geotimes (a magazine I write for) tells me in an e-mail message about a story I am preparing for them that they will be reviewing my book.

April 19, 2002

No one shows up for my book signing at Book People. This is not the business for someone with a fragile ego.

April 18, 2002

I call Doug Brusa at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to find out if I would be able to sell books at the Lamont open house on October 5. He says the higher-ups there were not interested.

Then I e-mail Marla Melito at the Fall for the Book festival, which will be held from October 3 through October 6 in Fairfax, Va., and tell her that I would have no potential conflicts with appearing there.

I also e-mail Lisa Gillard-Hanson at Rutgers University Press to see if she can suggest which publications on our review list to nag about possible reviews. She responds the next day with some good tips.

April 16, 2002

I send e-mails out to friends and coworkers inviting them to my upcoming appearance at Book People.

I also talk to Nancy Tyler about the Boats, Books and Brushes festival; and to Serenity Gerbman about the Southern Festival of Books.

I call Marla Melito to find out if any decisions have been made about the Fall for the Book festival in Fairfax, Va., in October. She says the organizers are thinking about inviting me, and mention that Saturday, Oct. 5, is a possible date. I tell her that there may be a conflict with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory open house, which would likely be held the same weekend.

April 14, 2002

I, along with a few relatives across the country, wake up early to tape the program on Book TV.

Later that morning, I e-mailed Bob Evans, newsgathering editor at the Newport News, Va., Daily Press. Several years ago he told me that I did not have the writing skills for the science/environment reporter position at the Daily Press. I shared with him the words of Janice Shumake, who wrote the review that had bee published in the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier:

"David M. Lawrence does a masterful job of showing how ideas and theories turn into accepted knowledge. . . .

Lawrence summarizes a huge amount of information, biographical and scientific, to make this one journey understandable and readable for the average person. While this is obviously a simplified and condensed version of the science involved, he never talks down to his readers."

While I like Bob, I enjoyed the opportunity to serve him crow.

April 12, 2002

Again, while searching on Google, I learn that my session at the Virginia Festival of the Book will be televised early on Sunday morning on Book TV.

April 11, 2002

While searching on Google, I find a review of Upheaval from the Abyss that had been published in the The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier on March 10.

April 10, 2002

The Mechanicsville (Va.) Local, a weekly that covers the town in which I live, prints a story, "Mechanicsville journalist publishes first book," about me by area freelance writer Becky Wright.

April 1, 2002

Serenity Gerbman e-mails me to tell me that I have been invited to attend the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tenn., in October.

March 29, 2002

Nancy Tyler sends me a letter informing me that I have been invited to appear at the Boats, Books and Brushes festival in New London, Conn., in September.

March 27, 2002

Nancy Tyler e-mails me asking for my postal address.

March 26, 2002

I submit information about my book for a forthcoming "New Books by Members" column published monthly on e-mail distribution lists operated by the National Association of Science Writers.

March 25, 2002

I e-mail Andrew Cooper at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and sign up for one of the booksigning sessions at the Alumni Book Fair in April.

March 23, 2002

After crashing for the night with Mitra Kalita's parents in Princeton Junction, I meet Jessica at a diner in New Brunswick to pick up books, then drive up to Seacaucus for Beneath the Sea.

I thought when I signed on for the show that I would get some prime time at a prominent table in the book signing booth. Other people ignored the schedule, made themselves at home and never yielded the prime space -- even though they were schedule to be there all weekend. I was only up there that afternoon, and sold a total of three books. It was not worth the effort.

Pay attention to location, location, location! If you find yourself selling books at a venue such as Beneath The Sea and are scheduled to have some time at a prime spot for an event, make damn sure you get it. I was too nice. I should have insisted on getting my hour (that was all I wanted) at the best table in the booth.

March 22, 2002

I meet Dan Lenihan in Charlottesville prior to our session at the Virginia Festival of the Book. Book TV taped the event, but we do not know if or when they will televise the session.

March 21, 2002

I called and left a message for Eric Swensen, a reporter for The (Charlottesville, Va.) Daily Progress and invited him to attend my session at the Virginia Festival of the Book. He never responded.

I arranged to meet Jessica Pellien in Piscataway, N.J., to pick up books to sell at Beneath the Sea.

March 20, 2002

I talk to Doug Brusa of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory about some freelance work I've done for the Lamont alumni newsletter. I also tell him I am interested in trying to sell books at Lamont's annual open house in October.

Dan Lenihan and I talk about our plans for Friday at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

March 19, 2002

Rather than keep trying William Miller to talk about Fall for the Book, I call the main office number and reach Marla Melito. She is interested and says she will consider the book for the fall festival.

March 16, 2002

I speak at a writer's workshop at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Chesterfield, Va. My topic is about persistence in publishing -- of course, many of my examples come from my work on the book. Becky Wright talks to me some more at the workshop.

Afterward, I head down to a newly opened bookstore, The Little Professor, which is near the library where the workship was held. I talk them into ordering a copy of my book, and they ask if I am interested in possibly appearing at their grand opening in the summer.

March 15, 2002

Finally, I reach Stacey Ricks and we arrange for a reading at her store on September 19.

I also manage to catch Nancy Tyler. She's rather apologetic -- she cannot offer an honorarium for authors who want to appear at the Boats, Books and Brushes festival -- but I assure her my main goal is to sell books, which works for her. She says the festival will be held from September 6 through September 8. I tell her to count me in.

I also connect with Pat McKay of the Richmond Public Library. She tells me she had looked at my material and referred it to the organizers of the Richmond Writers Series for consideration on their program next fall.

My streak of successful contacts came to an end, however, when I tried to call William Miller of the Fall for the Book. He wasn't in this time, either.

Becky Wright, a freelance reporter hoping to place a story in the Mechanicsville (Va.) Local, a weekly newspaper serving the area where I live, interviews me about my work.

March 9, 2002

I call Ruth Erb, owner of Book People, back. She says, "I like your book." We agree to schedule a reading for April 19.

March 8, 2002

I submit my book for consideration by both the Miami Book Fair International and the Texas Book Festival.

I drop a copy of my book off with Ruth Erb, owner of Book People, for her evaluation.

March 7, 2002

I left a message with the Texas Book Festival to learn what I have to do to have Abyss considered for its programs. They are a bit tricky -- they would like to have some kind of Texas connection before considering the work. Luckily, one of my major characters -- Maurice Ewing, founder of what is now Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory -- is a Texan.

I left a message with Stacey Ricks to see what she thought about setting up a reading at the Barnes & Noble in Midlothian, Va.

I leave a message with Nancy Tyler, who (I was told) helps organize the Boats, Books & Brushes festival in New London, Conn.

I talked to Susan Polk about arranging a speaking engagement at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

March 6, 2002

I talk to Kim Standish at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn. She tells me that their event budget has been cut, but will refer my information to the bookstore manager there to see what can be done.

Gene Maurakis and I finally connect again. He tells me he had referred my information to an colleague at the Science Museum of Virginia as well as one at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He sends the information to them again.

I talk to Cindy Lee Van Dover, one of the people I interviewed for the book and a faculty member at the College of William and Mary, about doing a seminar there. She tells me she will find out what can be arranged.

I left a message with William Miller -- of the Fall for the Book festival in October in Fairfax, Va. -- to find out what to do to have my book considered for inclusion by the festival.

I submit Upheaval from the Abyss for consideration by the Southern Festival of Books. The festival is held in October in Nashville, Tenn.

I called Book People, an independent bookstore in Richmond, Va., to find out if they would be interested in arranging a booksigning.

I e-mail Connie Brod, executive producer at Book TV (whom I'd met on a job interview there), to tell her about session in which Dan and I appear. I tell her I look forward to seeing one of their video crews there (hint, hint).

I also call the office of the Miami Book Fair International to learn what I have to do to have Abyss considered for its programs.

March 5, 2002

Kevin McFadden calls me back. Among other things, he tells me that C-SPAN's Book TV plans to have a video crew in the neighborhood of my session on Friday. I send Dan Lenihan an e-mail to tell him what I've learned.

March 4, 2002

I call Kevin McFadden to discuss logistics for the Virginia Festival of the Book. He's not in, but I leave him a message.

February 28 to
March 2, 2002

I travel to New York to speak at the Corner Bookstore.

February 27, 2002

Justina Pollard of the National Aquarium in Baltimore e-mailed me to tell me that there may be a opportunity to speak there later in the spring. I hate to admit it, but I cannot remember talking to her beforehand, even though I know I did.

Anne Marie Millar, of the Mariners' Museum, arranges for me to speak there on August 12.

February 23, 2002

Dan Lenihan and I finally get a chance to talk about the Virginia Festival of the Book.

February 22, 2002

I call John Reilly to talk about arranging an appearance at the Explorers Club in New York City.

I call Karen Burns of the Virginia Marine Science Musum back. She was not in.

I try to call Gene Maurakis of the Science Museum of Virginia back, but he was not in.

I call two newspapers that I used to work for, The (Shreveport, La.) Times and The (Charlottesville, Va.) Daily Progress, to see if I can get them to write a story about me. I do not get to talk to anyone, but at least I learn the right contacts for when I call back.

I deliver two copies of my book to the staff of the Virginia Center for the Book. Ever since I had signed my contract with Rutgers in 1999, I had walked past the Virginia Authors Room looking forward to seeing my book there someday. I have to say it was a damn good feeling handing the book over.

February 21, 2002

Walsh e-mails me back to tell me the story looks more like a science story to him and kicks it over to the science editor. I ask him to reconsider his errors of news judgement (they usually write about writers in the feature section, after all), but my plea apparently falls on deaf ears. (It's a shame because I work for the T-D, but that earns me no consideration. Oh well, no story, no link to their web site.)

I also talk to John Denniston, an editor at Style Weekly, a local arts publication. He seems more interested, and I send background information to him as well as arrange to have the tabloid sent a review copy of the book.

I talk to Jessica Pellien about sales. She doesn't know how well Abyss is selling, but about one-third to one-half of the first printing has already shipped.

I call Dan Lenihan, author of Submerged, with whom I will appear at the Virginia Festival of the Book, to coordinate our efforts.

I call Lisa at Rutgers to discuss the marketing plan so far. She's not in.

I call Josh Brockman to see if he's received a copy of my book yet. He's not in.

I call Pat McKay of the Richmond Public Library about arranging an lecture as part of the Richmond Writers' Series. She's not in.

I call the Virginia Center of the Book about donating my book to the Library of Virginia to get it placed in the Virginia Authors Room.

February 20, 2002

I talk to Bob Walsh, features editor at the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, to see if I can talk him into writing a story about me (a sportswriter who also happens to write about exploring the oceans and other matters).

He subsequently decides it is more of a science story -- other authors get treatment in his sections, but apparently someone who writes about science is not worthy of his attention.

February 16, 2002

I do my first reading and booksigning at the Barnes & Noble in Glen Allen, Va.

February 12, 2002

Dan Leettieri has to ask again for the mailing list. I e-mail him a list specific for the New York City area, then send Jessica a list with the addresses of nearly all of my Abyss contacts.

February 8, 2002

I call the Explorers Club and find out who to contact about arranging a lecture and booksigning. I send e-mails to both contacts.

I call Karen Burns of the Virginia Marine Science Museum in Virginia Beach, Va., about arranging an appearance there. (We had talked previously, but I cannot remember when.) She was not in.

I try to call Gene Maurakis back, but he was not in.

I e-mailed Stacey Ricks, at a Barnes & Noble in Midlothian, Va., about arranging an appearance there. I meet her at the store the next day.

February 7, 2002

Jessica asks for mailing addresses so that Rutgers can send out postcards announcing the publication of my book.

February 6, 2002

Malcolm requests a photo to use in the J. Sargeant Reynolds announement, which I send.

February 5, 2002

I ask Kalie Kelch, public information guru at John Tyler Community College, how best to publicize my appearance at Barnes & Noble. She tells me to post the announcement to an school-wide electronic mailing list.

February 4, 2002

Jessica e-mails me to tell me that the date is set for my appearance at the Corner Bookstore in New York City.

Dan Leettieri of the Corner Bookstore e-mails me to request addresses to use as a mailing list to announce the booksigning.

I ask Malcolm Holmes, public information guru at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, how to publicize my appearance at Barnes & Noble. He tells me to send him some information and he'll announce it.

February 1, 2002

I ask Lisa to send a complimentary copy of my book to Mike Purdy, the new director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. I hope he likes it an praises it so that others will buy it.

January 25, 2002

Sam tells me he received a copy of my book.

January 23, 2002

I talk to Gene Maurakis at the Science Museum of Virginia about arranging a lecture and booksigning there. He is busy working on a couple of grant proposals, but we agree to talk later.

January 12, 2002

I notice that the book's photo and other information is not included on the Barnes & Noble web site and as Lisa Gillard-Hanson, assistant director of marketing and publicity at Rutgers, if the material had been sent.

I also let the people at Reiters Scientific and Professional Books in Washington, D.C., that artwork and descriptive material is available for my book.

January 11, 2002

I arrange to send a copy of Upheaval from the Abyss to Josh Brockman at Outside magazine.

At some point I had called Mystic Seaport to try and arranged alecture and booksigning. I got an e-mail at this day acknowledging the phone call, to tell me that the message had been forwarded. (As of March 9, I had heard nothing else from them.)

January 8, 2002

Kevin O'Brien suggests other places where I might market my book. He also suggests I contact the Explorers Club about arranging a lecture and booksigning there.

January 3, 2002

Kevin O'Brien of Immersed magazine e-mails me to request a review copy of my book. He also asks if I am interested in appearing at Beneath the Sea, a scuba and dive travel show at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Seacaucus, N.J. I arrange for a review copy to be sent and say that I am interested in appearing at Beneath the Sea.

I begin working with Jessica, Sam Freedman and the folks at the Corner Bookstore to arrange a booksigning in New York City.

December 17, 2001

Natasha Alexenko of the Mariners' Museum responds to my initial contact and says she will forward the message to the appropriate people.

December 15, 2001

I contact the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., about setting up a lecture and booksigning.

December 10, 2001

Jessica Pellien, marketing assistant at Rutgers University Press, arranges my first reading and booksigning for February 16, 2002, at a Barnes & Noble in Glen Allen, Va., near where I live.

December 7, 2001

I sign up for the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Book Fair.

November 8, 2001

Kevin McFadden, of the Virginia Festival of the Book, tells me that I am scheduled to appear on March 22, 2002, in a session with Daniel Lenihan, author of Submerged: Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team.

October 22, 2001

I learn that my book has been selected to be featured at the 2002 Virginia Festival of the Book, which will be held from March 20-24 in Charlottesville, Va.

August 16, 2001

I submit a copy of the manuscript to the organizers of the Virginia Festival of the Book in the hopes that it will be added to the 2002 program.