Posts Tagged ‘Enfield’

Columbia Library Book Talk

September 30, 2010

Three weeks following my first public speaking appearance for my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” I was off to another. August 24th put me in Columbia. As I was driving there on route 66, a cop was following me down this long and winding road. After several miles of driving exactly the speed limit, my GPS advised of my arrival. I pulled into the parking lot. The cop did too. It turned out that the library and police station in this small town shared a parking lot entrance. This little library was like a house. I walked into a cozy feeling. I was greeted by Carol the Librarian, who was the one who hooked me up with the CT Author’s Tour at the Mohegan Sun. Authors who spoke at the libraries throughout the summer would beet at the Mohegan Sun for a book signing. The size of the town was much smaller than Enfield, but it certainly packed a punch because about 17 people showed up and I sold 7 books. Carol set me up with a chair facing a chorus of chairs. This time I would speak while sitting. It was different than what I was used to, but had only done it once. My next step would be a book signing at the Mohegan Sun.

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Enfield Public Library presentation

September 29, 2010

I spoke about my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream,” at the Enfield Public Library August 4th. The Friends of the Library Director, Rob Sweeney, was piloting an afternoon program. He usually scheduled Tuesday evenings, but wanted to see how it went in the afternoon. I showed up on this day 25 minutes prior to my 2 PM show and Rob kept muttering that he had no idea what kind of turnout to expect as he set up a handful of chairs in an empty room. An easel in the entrance to the Library announced my appearance. One older lady showed up with about 20 minutes till showtime. Another couple soon arrived. I made myself busy, preparing my presentation materials as I awaited the final count. As the clock neared 2 PM, there was a steady stream of people coming in to see me speak. Rob continued to build the room by adding rows of chairs. This was my first speech, and although nervous, I had prepared enough to be able to make it through to the end. I am comfortable writing. Speaking? Not so much. I only wanted to use an outline of main points so I wouldn’t have to rely on looking down at my notes. That’s a surefire way to get lost. However, I had back to back speaking engagements to contend with and knew that writers must do this to survive these days. It was almost 2 PM and people started coming into the room in droves. It was an older crowd, mostly retired folks, but about 40 people settled into their chairs while I stood in the back watching. Rob then introduced me, and I made my way to the podium to a chorus of applause. Although nervous in the beginning, I made it through to the Question and Answer part by 2:45 PM. I felt an enormous weight lifted as I fielded questions. Many hands were raised, and Rob had to cut the questions off at 2 PM by saying I would take one more question. A very engaging crowd it was. The questions came one after another. I sold four books, packed up, and had a wonderful sense of relief upon driving home. My relief was not only that it was over, but that the next one at the smaller library in Columbia would not nearly be as terrifying.

Friends of the Library are friends of mine

October 14, 2009

I went to the Wethersfield Friends of the Library tonight to see Author Judith Ivie speak.  I figured that I should start checking out these engagements since I will be doing such a speaking engagement for the Enfield Friends of the Library next May.  I like to write.  I do not like to speak.  Since I volunteered to do so in May, I wanted to start somewhere.  I sat down in the Community Room at the Wethersfield Library and listened as Judith spoke about the publishing companies today versus how they once were.  She further discussed the Print On Demand (POD) process which most small publishers are gravitating to.  That’s how my publishing company works.  If someone orders a book, then they print a book.  I then raised my hand and made a comment about my small publisher, and she asked the name of my book.  I told her it was “Strapped Into An American Dream” and that she was right about Authors having to do the marketing if they want their book to sell. I told her that I was going to market my book, and I picked it up from the seat next to me and held it up for the room of about 30 people to see, waving it about.  They all got a kick out of that, then the whispering began and people around me leaned over to ask if they could take a look.  After the people around me got a look, while Judith Ivie continued answering questions, the session came to a close.  Then people started coming up to me asking to see it, writing down the title, telling me they saw my story in Wethersfield Life and the Wethersfield Post, and several people told me that they were going to buy it online. This was a very satisfying hour of my time.  I got some ideas for my own speaking engagement, did some marketing, sold some books, and made some friends at the library.  I highly recommend sitting in with Friends of the Library.  I know I will, and not just again in Wethersfield, but in surrounding towns.  What happened tonight can be multiplied by the number of towns I visit.  The Friends of the Library presented a very enjoyable evening, and authors take note.

New Authors Take Note

September 24, 2009

Nobody is more interested in the promotion of a book than the book’s author. I sort of knew this going in, but I was unaware of the extent to which this is true. The fight is constant, and can go on for years if you let it.  The dream will die without anyone attending the wake if you remain idle.  If you don’t keep the book alive, even if it’s merely on life support, then you might as well pull the plug.  Publishers do not care.  They have thousands of other books out there that are deserving of attention, so it’s not a problem if one slips away to the obits page.  Authors have to constantly be out there kicking and screaming from the mountaintops that their book is worthy of reader’s attention. 

Keep it relevant.  Keep plugging away with emails, phone calls, personal visits to venues to sell it, buy it, hold a book signing.  I have found that television appearances do not seem to happen for new authors.  Newspaper articles do happen for local or state news/features.  I did have an on air radio interview with WTIC 1080 AM, so I continue pounding on those doors for another.  The newspapers that did stories about me and my book,
“Strapped Into An American Dream” include The Glastonbury Citizen, Bristol Press, Wethersfield Life, Wethersfield Post, Rocky Hill Life, Enfield Press and upcoming articles to appear in Glastonbury Life and The Hartford Courant.  In addition to the newspaper articles, numerous websites that I contacted have taken my press release and put in right on their website, which is more free advertising. An Artist I met at a book signing put my press release on her website along with a blog entry about our meeting. I received a phone call from the Enfield Friends of the Library who saw the Enfield Press article, and I booked a speaking engagement at the Library in May of 2010.

All this muscle has not reflected in book sales, so I keep plugging along.  My publisher offered a PR person and I had to jump at the offer, even though it set me back 600 clams.  She will get reviews with her connections and get my book in the big chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders.  I need that.  I need all of this.  Maybe all these little pieces and little actions will be a snowball gathering girth as it rolls down the hill.  I made a promise to myself that I would not stop until my story gets published.  Now that it’s published, I made another promise to myself that “Strapped Into An American Dream” will not go unnoticed. 

While on a phone interview with Julie from the Journal Inquirer, she asked me a question about my persistence.  She asked me if my persistence, which finally got her newspaper to agree to do my story, could be credited with making the trip around the country happen and making the book happen.  I didn’t really have to think about that one much.  If I hear a “no” and then hear the creak of the door slamming shut in my face, I stick my foot in the door and slowly work it open again.  That’s life, I guess, but I think it’s the only way to get noticed in the sea of people in this world.

Link listing my Enfield Friends of the Library Author presentation

September 8, 2009

http://www.enfield-ct.gov/content/91/109/5446/8594/default.aspx

Enfield Public Library booksigning

June 3, 2009

I received a call from the Enfield Public Library ‘Friends of the Library’ Program regarding a speaking engagement and book signing.  They read about my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” in the Enfield Press and called me to speak about my book in the Library.  Bill ‘The Spaceman’ Lee, former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox had a speaking engagement there last summer.  I agreed to appear, and the Library will be scheduling me for September.  And i’m off…