Since the books came out I've been to some wonderful places. Small communities in the Boston Mountains are filled with friendly and very receptive people. Many times in my writing career I've held a book signing at a book store and no one came. Oh, they are in the store, but they avoid me like I had the plague. I sometimes think that only writers actually understand what a book signing is. I thought about teaching people about authors and how we desperately hope some people will stop by when we're sitting there smiling broadly and trying to attract the attention of folks who obviously read books, else why are they in the book store?
But I've finally decided that my job is to write good books and then do my best to promote them so they get into the hands of the readers I'm sure will like them, if only they'll slow down and pick one up.
This idea to hit all the libraries in the four counties of the Boston Mountains written about in my book turned out to be a good one. My publisher wasn't sure. He figured folks in libraries were there to check out books, not to buy them. And of course, he's right, as far as the idea goes. But you take a small community with no book stores and a nice library, folks pretty much know where to go to get books. And a lot of them will buy books there, given the chance. I've had some call me when they couldn't make the presentation and say, "I checked your book out of the library and I've just got to have a copy. How do I get one?"
It so happens both my books were published by small publishers, which means the big brick and mortar book stores aren't too eager to carry them. I don't care that much. I figure they'd just get lost in all those thousands of books stacked, piled and filed throughout the Walmart-size store. The biggest problem I'm having is keeping those folks supplied who want copies and miss my appearances in their town. I've settled for a mail-order sideline. I live close to our small community post office so it's not much trouble, and there's never a line, even on April 15.
After a calm few weeks, appearances are picking up again and I'm booking some libraries for the second time. Being a writer involves wearing so many hats. I'm a cold caller to talk folks into having me in their library or place of business, I peddle my books everywhere I go, and speaking is high on the list as well. Promotion in every form is necessary to keep sales up and to make sure everyone who wants a book gets one.
Of course, writing is always a priority. Currently I'm working on a novel and a biography. One is sold, the other has gained a lot of interest from an editor. So talk about multi-tasking. I try to avoid that, by dividing my chores into doable chunks each day. Monday for this, Tuesday for that, and so on. It works out pretty well most of the time. It's an enjoyable life, dealing with characters who live in my mind and all those wonderful real people I meet along the way. I wouldn't trade it for any other profession.