Ah, blogging. So much fun, so easy, so therapeutic—so easy to neglect. It’s not as if nothing has happened, either; as you may gather from the snapshot, my nephew arrived on January 26, making him, today, four days old. I assume he still resembles the picture.
Hi, Mac! I will meet you in March.
He is the first grandchild on both sides, and his parents live far from home base of Utah. So as you can imagine, many, many packages have made their way east. Even I have a package waiting to be sent. One item in the package is an adorable bib, which has been in my closet since September. I’m sending that this weekend, even though that means I don’t get to witness the reactions, which I am assuming will be just like mine, too goopy and shmoopy to describe on a blog. I also bought a tiny Beany Baby stuffed zebra, which I will save until my March Meet the Mac trip, because he’ll be almost 2 months old by then and maybe acknowledge it? I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. I am snookered.
Anyway. Back to book blogging. On January 12, I attended the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, held in Philadelphia. Specifically, I attended one day of the Midwinter Conference, since the conference itself lasted, like, five or six. Enough to make your head spin. My book was featured in the Combined Book Exhibit because it was chosen as a Publisher’s Choice book, and at my sister’s suggestion I went down to the conference to try to flog it to librarians.
At the conference I met a man named Peter Birch, who was one of the people in charge of the combined exhibit. He was exceptionally kind and helpful and gave me all kinds of tips as to how I could best take advantage of this trip I’d made (a lovely hour and a half on Amtrak. The train is a nice way to travel). He recommended I go to the independent booksellers’ booths to get tips from them on how to sell books; after all, they’re almost in the same situation as I am. They’ve put out books which they feel are quality titles, but don’t have the power of the big houses to back them up. So some of the small publishers weren’t all that friendly, but one in particular was—I wish I remembered the name, but they publish kids’ history books. He suggested all kinds of review sources I could use, mostly for publications that go to libraries. It took a full week after the conference was over for me to follow up on all of these suggestions, getting their addresses and their submission requirements and writing the letters and sending off the books. I did this over Martin Luther King weekend—hooray for holidays!
I also met a lovely writer named Therese Fowler, whose awesome debut novel, Souvenir, comes out February 12. I will blog a bit more about her and her book closer to that time. For right now I will say that she kindly signed an Advanced Reader’s Edition of her book and then, even more kindly, reached out and emailed me the next week, since I had given her my card. Her website is http://www.theresefowler.com/. More later.
The other thing I finished, which I am proud of finishing, is writing up my official marketing plan and sending that to iUniverse so we can get it into a brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble store! The one I requested was at the Gateway in Salt Lake City, to coincide with a Salt Lake City media tour (we hope—this could be at the whims and mercy of the local media officials). It should be on the New Release table for eight weeks, and I will take a trip out there to try to hold readings both in homes and at libraries. Dear Readers Based in Utah, if you would like to (or if not “like to,” will “consent to”) hold a reading at your home, I will bring a lot of good food! That’s my solemn promise!
Hey—that applies to any and all New York-based readers, as well. Just a little FYI.
I’ve also been scheduled for my first book group, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It’s a bit of a hike but my dear friend Colleen got her group to read my book and promised an author’s visit, so an author’s visit they are going to get. I love visiting Colleen, with her spacious New England house and foliage-filled yard (space and yards have become delicacies to me, the New Yorker) and her and her husband’s kindness, and getting to talk with a group is icing on the cake. If anyone else has a book group, I’m more than happy to come speak or talk on the phone; either way is great with me.
Meanwhile, in New York, I got stocked at the Penn Station bookstore! Yay!
I will stop now. There’s more to say, but more entries in which to say it. Until then...