Thursday, October 27, 2011

Opportunities Are Knocking...

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic and this week had several great opportunities for me to promote Finding Home.  I still can't believe that it was only 6 weeks ago that I still had to hang the word 'aspiring' in front of author.  

So, back when this ball got rolling I posted photos of a book signing held at my work.  Through that event I was able to sell 60 books all on my own!  Not only that, but I paired the signing with the staff's American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Making Strides Team.  A percentage of the proceeds went to their walk and I was able to raise $125 for a great cause.  

Nearly three weeks ago I had my first non-work related book signing at a coffee shop near the office.  It was on a Tuesday afternoon and I saw a total of 3 people walk through the door.  Nobody purchased a book, but I still consider it a success.  Why?  Because no matter if I sell zero books or 100 books, I am doing what I love.  In truth, I was able to outline a new book concept (#13) I thought up the day before.  Now how could that be a bad things? Yeah, I don't think it was either!

Two weeks ago I attended my first entrepreneurial business expo.  It was held by a local women's group at the area mall. It was an all day event and I was able to sell a few books, visit with some old friends, and make new connections.  

In the interim of those events, I've been busy setting up additional signings at craft shows (Blissfield Yuletide Craft Show and Sand Creek Fall Craft Show).  I am also waiting to hear from the local library system about speaking engagements in the communities where I grew up.

Like I mentioned early, this week has been very active as well.  It started on Sunday when my mother contacted me to let me know that the local paper had a write up about me.  I emailed my press release to them the week before and they posted an exert from it promoting my upcoming book signings/talks in town.  I couldn't get to the store fast enough to get a few copies of that week's edition.  I hugged the paper to me the entire time I walked around the store.  My secret is out now, no turning back - not that there was a chance anyways!

Also on Sunday, a new blogger named Krazy Book Lady posted her review of Finding Home on her blog.  She was also very kind in letting me do a guest blog posting and she interviewed me about writing.  This was my first on so many levels: review, guest spot, AND interview. Krazy Lady was really wonderful to work with and I look forward to getting a chance to have her review the next book!  I also had a guest blog spot on another website the following day.  KT Grant, a fellow romance writer, also allowed me to write a guest spot on self-publishing.  It's really awesome that I have been able to find others who are so supportive of other writers.

Monday morning, bright and early, I was at Adrian 7/8 Middle School building to spend all day with the 8th grade English classes.  I greatly appreciate Mrs. Bahlau for inviting me and I have to give a shout out to my brother-in-law (Ruben) for helping us get connected to make the talks happen.  It was a great opportunity for me to share with the 160 students the reality of what it takes to write a book, how publishing/self-publishing work, and to hopefully inspire one of them to follow their own dreams (whatever they may be).  From that day, I found out I had spoken to a student who's mother is also a teacher and I am working with her to set up a time when I can talk to her students as well!!

This week ends with my book signing on Saturday at Cakes N Shakes in beautiful downtown Blissfield. I am really looking forward to this event.  I know some of my family will be coming to it and for me I am really emotional over that part.  These people I love so much get to see me doing what I love so much.  They get to see me living out my dream and I am so blessed to have their support.  

Next Thursday's book talk at the Schultz-Holmes Library is at 7pm.  I'm going to talk a little bit about self-publishing and my journey with it, give a reading from my upcoming release (Taking Chances), and hopefully sign a few copies of Finding Home while I'm at it.  ;)

After a weekend off, or as off as I can be when trying to self-promote as much as I can, I will be doing the craft shows one Saturday after another.  An then ... THANKSGIVING!! And boy do I have SO much extra to be thankful for this year!  

Toward the middle of November is also the time when I will pull back from promoting this book and focus my efforts on the next release.  I'm gonna be super busy typing away if I want to release it by end of December!!

I have probably said this before and I think it multiple times a day, but, it is so amazing to me to finally be living the life I have always envisioned for myself; even if I can only do it part-time for now.  The opportunities my writing has given me to really show my talents is surpassed by the ability to give back, both financially and in teaching/inspiring young writers to follow their hearts.  

My grandfather, a dearly missed preacher, always said that when God gives you gifts to never squander them or hold them to yourself selfishly.  God blesses us most when we give back to the world in our own ways.  I pray my writing is a gift, even to just one person.  The opportunity to transform a life, my own or another's, through my writing is the greatest opportunity I could ask for.

Friday, October 14, 2011

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hitting the Pavement...

I have become a one-woman machine.  This is a good and bad thing.   I create all my own fliers, I book all my own events (up to 6 and counting), and I peddle my books from the trunk of my car.  It seems like a lot but I have never felt so good.  To walk out of a store and know people will see my books there, they will come to see me there specifically, well that's an awesome thing.  And my calendar is filling up fast.  So far almost every weekend until Thanksgiving has some signing or talk booked.  Not to mention a date in December and some dates in the spring.  

Oh and did I mention as I am ordering supplies and fine tuning my skills, I will also be preparing teasers for the next book TAKING CHANCES to promote it's Winter release.  I love all this business of busyness.  And I am gaining more foot soldiers.  My friend in Alaska (hey Amanda!) who was the first to join my blog and share my links, my co-workers who like my posts on Facebook to help get the word out.  And now, I hope, the book bloggers will like the book enough to promote it.  

The down side to all this book blitz is that as much as I want to finish the second book, I seem to have to put it on hold.  The upside on that though is that book is almost half way done and with a little rewriting and a few more chapters it will be done and can join the media madness.  And this release will go much smoother since I know more than I did just a month ago.

Needless to say, life is hectic in our house.  I'm sure my man and my son would love to go a night without hearing about this or that event or edit changes. But I know in the end they will be the first in line to celebrate the rewards.  Of course my son gets happy every time I sell a book because he thinks Christmas is gonna be super sweet this year! Hopefully he won't be too disappointed when it's a regular ol' Christmas with the same amount of gifts from the same old stores (Wal-mart is our friend).   

Even if things take off and I am swimming in the moolah I don't foresee changing much.  Maybe paying off a few things, or ordering more books.  In the end I'll still be in my small-town, being my goofy self, and knowing no matter how famous I don't become, I will always matter to those that matter the most.

I have a little time tonight to get back to TAKING CHANCES.  I'm excited to let the creative juices flow again.  For now I'm back to work, I'll see you at a book signing/talk near you soon!

Here is what you missed!