I feel as if I have taken the summer off, but the learning never stops. Here is a list of things I learned this summer:
1. Don’t mix family time (meaning my August stay at the Red House in New Hampshire), with business. Plan a separate trip for book promotion.
2. Give bookstores, libraries, etc., plenty of notice—start planning in February for a trip in July. And don’t leave it all up to Taylor. Any time I have a personal connection with a book store, I should take the initiative to set up the date and time for the event.
3. Hand out my postcards—anywhere! I was in the airport, waiting at the gate and there was a darling 3 year-old boy about to take his first plane ride. I handed his parents my postcard and said I thought he would enjoy my book. I even lent them a copy of the book to read on the plane. Several people overheard me say I was an author and they wanted postcards too. I try to keep a supply handy in my purse.
4. I have had a truck display in my studio window all summer long. Lots of kids stop and stare. I think they think my studio is a toy store. So why have I not put a poster in my window promoting the book? I can announce times when you can “Meet the Author” and I can mention signed copies for sale. (I handle these sales with the help of our local, independent, children’s bookstore. Checks and cash are turned over to the Magic Tree and they supply the books. Being friends with your local bookstore owners is a real bonus.)
5. Be chatty—talk to people. Find out about what they are interested in.
6. Be generous and be prepared. I am still working on creating a brochure about my school visits and workshops. Get it done, get it printed, and have it with me everywhere!
7. Learn to email event information to my mailing list. Create a (e)-mailing list!
8. Write often. Write short. Put updating this blog on my weekly calendar.