Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day to ye!

Another blog entry, as I eat grapes that taste vaguely like pickles. Yuck. And still I keep eating them. They’re better for me than chocolate, or so I keep telling myself. Maybe it’s time to start on the banana. Or the Twizzlers.

So my March Meet the Mac trip was wonderful. (see the entry below.) Babies are wonderful. Family is wonderful. And then I came back. Sigh. I suspect that if this baby were mine I wouldn’t be seeing things with such rose-colored glasses; after all, every night there I got to go to a hotel at 8 pm and swim in a fantastic pool, as the baby’s parents dealt with his decision on whether or not to sleep. But as it was, I had a fabulous five days with the majority of my family and a beautiful, happy baby who was just learning to smile (it doesn’t get much more precious than that), and cooed at us and made funny noises, and was just starting to see that people were there, holding him, and making eye contact etc. He is a poopy boy (a fact more than acknowledged by his mother), but I didn’t mind changing diapers every fifteen minutes, especially given that, as I said, at eight o’clock I went swimming. For our one touristy thing, we went to the Edgar Allan Poe museum. One word: boring. (and I love Poe!) Oh, and my dad and I also had some terrific crab cakes at the local Hard Shell pub one night. Happy times.

So, for book news. I’ve gotten a new review, this one from Trish Browning’s blog:
http://http// (I’ve been doing a lot of book blog surfing, and this one looked like a good one.) I contacted her and asked her to read the book, and she very kindly agreed. Then she read it in one day! Trish loved the book so much that she is sponsoring a contest for a free copy. Thank heaven for kind and supportive people! And the comments that have been posted so far are just as encouraging. Now I have to say to these people: if you don’t win, you can still have the book. A mere $13.95!!

I mentioned in another post that my magic number is 250. This is not quite the case. 250 is a milestone, but not the milestone. If I sell 250 (no more than 125 that I buy myself, so I can’t inflate my numbers too much) I qualify for “Reader’s Choice” designation, which is another symbol to get affixed to the back cover. On February 12, I achieved this designation. This is more exciting because as of February 12 I had purchased only 60 copies myself; 190 of them were purchased by you, dear readers! Thank you!

At this point, the only thing “Reader’s Choice” does for me is qualify me for their bimonthly marketing emails. I’m doing a whole lot of marketing on my own, so they aren’t that great. Well, I also get another graphic on my back cover.

The real magic number is 500. Again, 250 of them must be purchased commercially. So I could purchase 250 books myself and try to unload them at events and have those books count toward the 500 number, but I really don’t want to do that. I buy about 20 books at a time to send to blogs and reviewers and marketers and my publicists, but I don’t want to have a gigantic box or five under my desk at work. I certainly don’t have room for them at home. But once I sell 500 copies, I qualify for the “Star” program, which puts the book into “regional, and perhaps national” B&N placement. Yes, there’s a “perhaps” there, but...I’m counting on it. I have also been told that if you can sell 500 copies you might get the attention of a publisher. of February 12, we were at 190. Let’s keep going!

For my April Utah push, I’m slowly getting activities set up. I am going to speak with the creative writing majors at Weber State University (which I attended for a year) one day and hold a reading there, either later that same day or the next week. I am going to have a reading at my parents’ home, and my friend Andrea has offered one at hers as well. A dear friend in Rexburg, Idaho, is seeing if her book group wants to read it for April, and I have offered to make the drive up and attend the group, if they do. (You don’t get that same offer with Hemingway!) My mother also got her church book group to read it, again with the tantalizing author’s visit as the reward. The Salt Lake library has decided to stock a few copies, and I spoke with the people at Sam Weller’s, who will also stock it there. (They may hold an event, but not in April. Perhaps when I'm back for my brother's wedding in May or June. They still haven't decided.) The University of Utah bookstore is considering stocking it, as well. I’ll see if we can arrange some more events, also, to make a 3-week visit more worthwhile. I’m taking a leave of absence from work, for heaven’s sake; need to cram as much in as possible.

So that’s all for now. Happy St. Patrick’s day, everyone, and may the luck of the Irish be with us all!


LisaMM said...

Hi there, I hopped over from my friend Trish's blog.. I wasn't one of the lucky winners, but I wanted to tell you I like your style and I really enjoyed the excerpts. Anything Trish recommends is something I have to check out (we have similar taste in books). Congrats on having your first book published!
~Lisa from Books on the Brain

PS Mac is absolutely precious:-)

Kathryn Maughan said...

Thank you, Lisa, for your comments and enthusiasm! Let me know what you think of the book.

Yes, Mac is precious and beautiful and sweet and...don't get me started.