Countdown to Publication Date: Two Weeks

My book has been printed in advance of the November 6thpublication date. Twenty were shipped to Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina. This past Saturday the bookstore hosted an Author Speed Dating Dinner as part of the first Wake Forest Lit Fest. Proceeds from the event will support distribution of children’s books to households that could otherwise not afford them.

At the cocktail hour, the ticket holders and authors socialized. The attendees then sat at one of ten tables and were served dinner as we authors stopped at each table to speak about our books for ten minutes. However, since there were 19 of us, an author was paired randomly with another giving each of us only five minutes. One author had the whole ten minutes allotted to discuss her book. I didn’t envy her. After making it to eight tables with my author buddy, I was glad I didn’t have the full ten minutes, and that we stopped table-hopping two tables short of the ten. The interaction with the attendees varied from table to table, giving me a chance to adjust my spiel accordingly. A great indoctrination to the art of the sale. It was tiring but fun! I woke up the next morning with a raspy voice.

Here I am acting like a real author signing my book. This couple bought two. I sold a total of four books. Considering there were about fifty people in the audience and 19 of us authors, I’m happy with that.

 

My author buddy was Debbie Moose, who was selling her seventh cookbook: Carolina Catch: Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from MOUNTAINS TO COAST. After hearing her promotion eight times, I bought the book. It’s a lovely book with great pictures and enticing recipes.In fact, I am cooking one of her catfish recipes tonight.  

COUNTDOWN TO PUBLICATION DATE: THREE WEEKS

This past week I promoted my book.

Monday, after a class I attended on public speaking, I collared a woman who had also attended the lecture as she exited the ladies room. “How will you use the information?” I asked. She told me she had planned to start a class for widows on ways to rebuild their lives. Then in the course of our conversation, she told me she belonged to one of the oldest book clubs—meeting over 100 years. Maybe, I said, you would want to discuss my book and I handed her one of my business cards.

Tuesday, I spent the day at a retreat for my hospital volunteer group. The facilitator was a nurse whose office was located in Chicago. Didn’t I write my book about a clinic I ran in Chicago? And am I not scheduled to give a talk at that clinic early next year? And don’t I need to schedule some more speaking engagements to make that trip worthwhile? So I approached her during a break and asked if she would she be amenable to helping me figure out what venues in Chicago that might be possible?

Wednesday, I spoke with a nurse who organizes the Jersey City Medical Center Alumni Association. Jersey City is my hometown and my first job after graduation was at the JCMC. I accepted an invitation to speak at their 2019 spring luncheon.

Thursday, I happened to be a hospital gift shop. I approached the woman who buys the merchandise and offered my book. I’m still working on that connection.

Friday, I attended the NC State Fair with my longtime friend, Carol.  We met in the second grade at Saint Aedans School in Jersey City, and reconnected when she moved to North Carolina 15 years ago. Carol is in my book. The day before, postcard-size cards advertising my book had arrived in the mail, so I gave her a handful to distribute to her Bunko friends and dropped off the rest at strategic places at the Fair.

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Saturday, again laden with my postcards, I handed some of them over to a friend at lunch. She, too, is a writer and supportive of my book selling efforts.

After lunch, I drove to my monthly writing workshop. I passed the cards out to the women who have heard many versions of my stories over the years.

It is not lost on me that I am fortunate to have a group of friends that encourage, support and believe in me and my story.

On Sunday, I rested.