Delin Colón has been both a writer and a promoter for other writers. In this interview she discusses her well-researched book, Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History, and her extensive recommendations for marketing and promoting.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My father had always told me that my great-great uncle was Rasputin’s secretary, and one of the few Jews permitted to live outside the ghetto called The Pale of Settlement. Fifteen years ago, I found an out-of-print copy, in French, of my ancestor’s memoirs about Rasputin. What amazed me were all the stories he told of Rasputin’s compassion for and aid to the oppressed Russian Jews, as well as his efforts to get the tsar to accord the Jews equal rights, as they were deprived of educations, most occupations and choice of residence. Since some writers have disparaged my great-great uncle’s account, due to the amount of wild court gossip he included, I made it my mission to research and substantiate the specific incidents of aid to Jews that he documented. After a dozen years, and reading over a hundred works in French and English, including many Russian works that were translated into French, I found that nearly every writer, from Rasputin’s daughter Marya to his killer, Yussupov, at least mentioned that he advocated equal rights for Russian Jews. Some lauded him and others vilified him for this. While some who knew him attempted to bring his humanitarianism to light, they were overshadowed by the largely anti-Semitic views and propaganda of the nobility, clergy and press. I feel that, in my intensely documented book, I’ve accomplished his vindication. Apparently, so far, all of my reviewers (by editors and readers alike) seem to agree.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales have been sporadic – some months great, others not so much. But the book has a relatively narrow market, appealing to those interested specifically in Rasputin, Jewish history, anti-Semitism, etc. In addition, I refuse to pay for a review and have not bought any advertising. I have no doubt that those investments would bring a greater readership and attention, but it just doesn’t sit well with me.