Stranger than Fiction–my memoir is (finally) available

Tracy Lee Karner

Toward Daylight: original oil painting by Ken Karner

According to the “experts” I’m not doing this the “right” way, but then, that’s appropriate. My memoir tells the story of how my life is good, even glorious, despite the frequent times when everything appears to be going overwhelmingly wrong.

Why release a book on December 26th, with next to no fanfare and no book-release party? On Amazon? With a regional instead of a national publisher?

Well, after all my imaginings of what “becoming a writer” would look like, this alternative feels right and good.

I’m exquisitely blessed to be working with a micro-publisher (Rose Hall Media of Nashville) who has their own, regionally-focused  and author-centric way of publishing media in the 21st century. What I’m especially glad about, is they’ve been willing to adapt their schedule and postpone the release of my book 3 times, so that I  might live my life, even while trying to finish a book. Because as much as I love writing, it’s not the most important aspect of life.

Ken and I decided, before entering into a publishing agreement, that we would not allow deadlines or hectic publicity schedules to undermine my health. Rushing to meet deadlines and spending a lot of energy publicizing myself are not reasonable for me to do, since I never can predict when I’ll be feeling well enough to work. I expend a lot of time and energy, taking care of my body and my spirit and tending to my relationships with the people I love.

So, I get there (to whatever destination I’m aiming for) when I get there.

It’s not always the most efficient way, (and often not the way to maximize monetary profitability); but then, I’ve come to believe there are times when efficiency gets in the way of higher virtues–things like patience, kindness and love. I still believe those are valuable. I also believe that, if my book pleases people, they’ll tell other people, who will tell other people.

I figure it will take a while for word to get out . My book exists, and Rose Hall is willing to wait for readers to hear about it as I have the energy to let them know. They’re convinced word-of-mouth sells books better than anything else. They believe in my book, and they’ve made a commitment to keep it in print and to support my slow promotion of it, for at least a few years, even if it doesn’t go blockbuster in the first six months.

And meanwhile, I’m working to finish my next book, at a pace I can live with, while I live my life.

It’s a non-rushed way of participating in the ever-changing publishing world. I’m grateful to the people at Rose Hall, who allow me to do this while preserving my health and peace of mind. They’re so laid-back, they don’t do social networking and aren’t very concerned that they don’t have their website running. “Someday,” they tell me about when that will happen. And as I’ve learned, someday comes soon enough.

Despite our mutual turtling around, (we all spend time fixing leisurely meals, eating slowly, and going for aimless walks) we’re ready for my first readers, and hoping you’ll want to be one of them:

  • Amazon & Kindle shoppers— You can find my memoir by going to and searching “Toward Daylight Tracy Lee Karner.” The kindle edition will give you a “Look Inside.” Search “Toward Daylight Book” to find the print copy with Amazon’s discount. Make sure, when checking out, you get the right version–the $9.99 kindle if you want an ebook, or the $14 discounted version (take the discount!), or the $17.95 full-price version (take the discount!)
  • People in New England–select stores/venues in New England will be stocking the book in January (it is, after all, a New England memoir and travel guide, so it only makes sense that we launch it there). Since I lack the stamina for a coast-to-coast book tour, we’re going to promote the book slowly and regionally. At the end of this year (in other words, in 5 days!!), we’re heading to New England for an extended stay, where I’ll be doing occasional book signings and teaching a few writing workshops, and, of course, living. We’ll be in New England for at least a year (with, hopefully, a short tour to Minneapolis/St. Paul next summer to visit family and friends).

I’ll keep you posted about where I’ll be showing up. Meanwhile, I’d love if you’d keep me posted about your new year.

A new year, is for me, always an opportunity to launch a New Life. Where are you going in 2013?

13 thoughts on “Stranger than Fiction–my memoir is (finally) available

  1. Good grief–I’m so bad at this self-promotion thing. I forgot to tell you the name of the book. It’s Toward Daylight: becoming a writer, despite everything.

    It’s a New England memoir and travel guide.

    • I’m really glad you like the beginning, Darlene. And I honestly think you’ll enjoy the rest of it. Rose Hall hasn’t yet supplied me with any copies to sell (and, Amazon is offering a discount that I probably won’t, even when I get copies, be able to match–I can’t quite figure that out). But I’m planning on being in MN in the summer–and I’d love if we could arrange to get together so I could sign your book, and indulge in a long-anticipated, lengthy chat about everything.

  2. How exciting! I just bought it! If you indeed make it to Minnesota next year, be sure to let me know! I’m sure the Mankato Barnes and Noble would be happy to host you.

    • I will let you know when I’m planing on being in Minnesota–I’m looking forward to meeting in person. And I’m so glad that you liked the preview well enough to want to keep reading.

      • I have a version that’s several generations old. It still has a a little keyboard for typing, with WiFi but no color. It’s pretty basic but I like it because there’s no temptation to go online (a lean-mean-reading-machine!). The newer versions are much glitzier. If I picked out one today, I’d probably choose one that was in color so that I could share picture books with my grandkids. That might be the Kindle Fire?

  3. I ordered your book on Amazon last evening! Now to get past the holiday and start shipping so I can continue reading! Hurry, hurry Amazon! Hurry, hurry US Postal Service!

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