Nomination!

Preditors and Editors has nominated my book for their reader poll!  Currently I’m tied for fifth place, and I’m so excited about it.

For my dedicated readers, especially those who love my book, I’d appreciate your support in this poll. There are other 4RV publications that could also use support. Last I saw 4RV topped the publishers list.

Poll ends January 14th. I’ll just have to sit on the edge of my chair until then. (Well, more likely chase the baby around the house, but you know what I mean.)

… not self-published

Really, I’m not. Which is why I was so surprised to read this: http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=262529

Most of the information is no surprise. I do reside in Des Moines, I am going to be reading from my novel on Saturday, but my publisher would be shocked to hear she doesn’t exist! (Right, Vivian?)

I sent a note to the paper, and I think I’ll also contact the bookstore. Just so my readers know: I won a contest at a small press publisher. I entered my manuscript in January 2008, and I found out in March that it won.

Since then, my small-press publishing company has editors who helped me improve the novel, and it was published in March of 2009.

It’s available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through my publisher’s website. And if you don’t want to order online, I believe you can walk into any Barnes and Noble and ask them to order it for you.

Meanwhile, I’m contacting the paper and the bookstore. I’m even thinking about writing a letter to the editor about self-published vs small press authors.

I’m also gearing up for a reading at River Lights 2nd Edition. I’m really excited to make an appearance at another bookstore!

Sequels

When I’m asked about The Art of Science, inevitably the idea of a sequel comes up. I haven’t given a lot of thought to sequels, but then, on my way home from my reading, a couple ideas surfaced.

So I suppose as I make notes for the next reading, the next appearance – I’ll also make notes about the next novel, the possible sequel(s). So many things circling in my head now, between the rewrite of the other one and possible sequels and the stories I’ve been working on here and there.

A “Real” Author

I’ve seen some of those thoughts going around – am I a real writer? I had a moment today where I felt like a real author. Part of it is being published, I’m sure. But today the moment came where I read part of my book to people in a bookstore. It’s amazing!

Yes, I write. That makes me a writer more than anything else. I know that. I have respect for a lot of writers that may or may not be published, simply because of what they write. I know I have a lot of weaknesses that I’m working on, one at a time.

But I love to share my stories with people. And having people take time out of their days to listen to part of mine makes me feel like a real author. I love it!

I’m also amazed at what people can find when they research the ‘real’ author.

Thank you to everyone who could make it to Prairie Lights today. For those who couldn’t – there are some signed copies out there for sale.

Prairie Lights

It’s so hard to believe it’s already tomorrow! I think I’m ready. How do you prepare for something you’ve never done before? I haven’t seen many authors do readings.

It’s on the website for the bookstore. I’ve informed as many people as I could get to listen to me (which is always fun). It’s great to be able to say that I’ve done what I could to pull this together.

And tonight, I’ll practice. I know what I want to read, but I don’t want to stumble in front of family, friends, and strangers!

Hope to see you there, if you’re in Iowa City.

Prairie Lights!

has accepted to let me make an author appearance on September 26th.

I’m especially excited about this because it’s not a football Saturday – those are sacred events that I don’t think I could pull my friends away from, and the traffic would be awful anyway.

Maybe there will be football in the next book. That’s always a fun activity to watch or play. Until I get to writing that, though, I’ll be working toward advertising this event!

Bookstore

I made another attempt to get an appearance at Prairie Lights in Iowa City. I’m making progress, but the lady isn’t very enthusiastic about it.

Mom talked about one that was ‘very successful’ that had a party attached to it. An open house wouldn’t be too difficult, if only I knew where to have one and what to do.

I’m curious, so I’m posing the question to my readers: What do you look for in an author appearance? What would bring you in, make you stay, and – more important in the store’s eyes – buy the book?

Conflict in Schedule

National League of American Pen Women has the state conference on the 19th of September. It’s unfortunate that’s when I’m appearing at the bookstore in Dubuque. It’s too far between both to travel, and we’ll probably be there early.

I volunteered to help with the presentation – to smooth wording and such before the day. I also will submit my picture, short bio, and some book information. It’ll be good exposure, but better if I could have been there.

Perhaps next year I’ll remember to take those things in account when scheduling. Still, my book should be the most important thing for my career. Always must remember that!

As a Business

How often do writers look at what they do as a business? How much do writers look at their activities with regard to what makes sense for their goals?

I’m working toward my business plan. I know things can get in the way, possibly more for a fiction writer than a non-fiction one, but without focus no one will get anywhere.

It takes research to figure out what else is required for me to succeed. One conversation with a friend about business cards started this months ago – who is my customer? It might not be who you think.

My customer is the publisher or agent. My customer is the one who writes me checks. It works in my favor to get people to buy the book, but those are the publisher’s customers. It’s a shift in viewpoint, but because helping my publisher helps my bottom line, it’s definitely in my best interest to get people excited about my book.

However, remembering that publishers of any size don’t have the resources to promote all their books, it falls to the authors to do that on their own. It still makes me think.

A Word from My Friends

Jamie – This fellow writer has his blog detailing his works in progress with tidbits about his life and family. You’ve probably dropped by his blog before if you followed the blog tour for The Art of Science. When he gets a book out, I hope to return the favor.

Michelle – She’s a singer/songwriter in Ohio. She plays her guitar and sings at a local restaurant, Pot Belly. One of the great parts of her blog is she posts a new song once a week.

Shawna – Here’s a new one on my writer scene, for those who yawned at the first two. (What are you thinking? These are great people!) She’s chronicling her fitness journey, though I’m not sure I want to call it a fitness journey, it’s a humorous look at how she got where she is. I hope she’s also going to use it to get where she wants to be. She’s an excellent writer (I’ve listened to her read a picture book or two) and I hope to see more from her in the future.

Crys – My fellow writer at 4RV Publishing, LLC. I haven’t met her yet, but I do have two copies of her book, Angeline Jellybean. (My mom didn’t think I’d share with my daughter. This way I don’t have to worry if she wants to chew on it.) She’s nearly finished a new young adult novel, and I know she’s working on more picture books.

Dawn – Another writer trying to get somewhere from her home in Utah. Her blog is fairly new. We’ve talked a bit about getting together for an interview, but our schedules haven’t meshed yet.

If you have a moment, check out their musings. They’ve all helped me on my way, and I just thought I’d take a moment to introduce them to my readers. Thank you!