“Good Morning, Blake: Growing Up Autistic and Being Okay” author shares his secrets to media success!
Blake “Crash” Priddle has appeared on CTV News, the CBC and City News Calgary to talk about his inspiring and vulnerable memoir.
Always be a leader, not a followerBud Priddle, Grandfather of Blake “Crash” Priddle
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am 28 years old and I currently work as a radio announcer and news reporter in Northern Manitoba for Arctic Radio. I am on the autism spectrum.
If you want to learn more about my life and my career you will have to get a copy of the book, or visit my website and go to the FAQ section!
Your story is definitely an inspiring one! What was it like opening up about the vulnerable parts of your life, and why did you feel they were important to include in your book?
It was difficult reliving some painful memories from my childhood, and as an adult. This includes issues I had with anxiety and depression. For the most part, writing has been cathartic, like journalling. Putting words down on paper releases the pain and also lets you relive the good memories too. I think sharing my vulnerability helps others realize they are not alone in their journey which might give people on the autism spectrum and their families hope.
What has the author’s journey been like for you? What are some successful and challenging moments?
I started writing back in 2017 and I spent much of my free time getting the book written. It was challenging to reach out to over 50 people scattered across Canada to get their perspective on my life – many didn’t respond right away but they did in the end after a friendly reminder or two. Weaving in “voices from my village” has been a unique feature and, dare I say, a successful one that stands out from most other memoirs. The other challenge was removing content to reduce the word count from 110,000 to 75,000. It was tough to decide what should be kept and what should be deleted. Having a Tellwell editor do the substantive editing polished my book – shout out to Darin! The challenge I am tackling right now is narrating and producing my book in audiobook format.
My good looks! No, I am teasing! My publicist (a.k.a. Mom) has helped to set up some interviews, and a friend of mine in the PR business organized the City TV interview.
Knowing your primary reading audience and how to reach them takes time to figure out. I think the secret to getting noticed in media (besides having someone in your corner who is PR savvy) is showing that you have a universal, relatable story to tell.
What advice do you have for new authors trying to generate their own awareness?
Never stop approaching potential leads who may be interested in your book. You will be rejected or ignored along the way, but keep showing off your work to as many people as you can, and one day you will get noticed. Be active and focused on various social media platforms to generate buzz about your book. Think of this as a marathon, not a sprint, when promoting your book.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced with marketing your book? How have you overcome it?
My initial thought was my book would be in “bricks and mortar” bookstores. I soon learned that first-time authors need to be more realistic and focus on online sales. I’m still learning all the complexities about distribution channels, royalty formulas, selling to independent bookstores and getting my book acquired by libraries.
Good Morning, Blake offers strategies and tips for making our world kinder, more inclusive and a safer place for those who march to the beat of a different drum. What is your top tip?
In the words of my paternal grandfather, Bud Priddle:
“Always be a leader, not a follower”.
What’s next for you!
This year my promotional efforts are targeted at doing virtual one-hour “meet the author” book presentations across Canada for university faculties, students, school board staff, students and parents, public library patrons, and the autism/autistic communities.
Once I am done recording the audiobook, my plan is to work on a documentary about autism (I mention this idea in Chapter 4 of my book). I continue to write fiction pieces and am polishing a screenplay right now. I’d like to start podcasting down the road. I could write a whole book about all the ideas I have right now!
Is there anything else you would like to add?