A Full House in the Little Classroom of the Enterprise Museum
(a restored 1930s schoolhouse that’s utterly charming!)
Good Morning, Everyone! Hope your week has been as eventful and productive as mine, and that you are looking forward to the upcoming one. I know I am! That’s because I’m taking a week off from blogging to focus on the last two chapters of my WIP. Yep. I’m down to the Showdown and Resolution chapters, and very much looking forward to wrapping this long overdue book up. I need to get it “out there” so I can tell the next story rambling around in my head.
With this in mind, my normal weekly features (#ShareAReviewDay and #FirstLineFriday, along with the less regular #MondayMeme, and #ThorsDaySmiles) will be MIA for a week, but don’t worry. Everything will be back to normal (such as that is around here) by Monday, October 7. While away, I will check in daily, of course, and take care of comments or questions, but mostly, I’ll be buried in the final moments of Rabbit’s latest adventure. I will, of course, update you here as soon as I have this one ready to go. There will be a cover reveal, and I’m even going to get smart and set it up for pre-order. (As soon as I learn how.)
Now, as to the picture at the top of the page, that’s from yesterday’s Autumn Tea at the Enterprise Museum, with a somewhat stern looking me chatting to our guests. Not sure why it looks like I’m scolding them, but I promise, I was merely giving the group of 35 or so the very first public look at my new cover. (I’ve edited the picture so that I can keep it a surprise from the rest of the world until the “Official Cover Reveal.” But these people have been begging me for weeks and weeks for news on the release, and I figured if I didn’t give them some proof it was actually going to happen, things were going to get ugly. 😀 )
I’ve posted many times over the years about the benefits and sheer pleasure of building a local readership, and I’m doing it again right now. If you haven’t yet found a way to get out and meet your local readers, I hope you’ll consider doing so soon! Things are always in flux in the self-publishing world and marketing techniques and tools change all the time. But the folks in your hometown who read your books–or WOULD if they knew more about you and your work–are a constant. No, you probably won’t gather thousands like you can online, but every single one who has met you, likes you, and enjoys your books is a little advertising machine. And they are ALWAYS there for you.
This works to your benefit in two ways: First, they tell their friends, neighbors, and family about you and your books, generating more new readers. Mine are so lovely and supportive, they buy my books as Christmas gifts and birthday presents, keeping their purchases going even if they’ve read them all. So while the dollar amounts generated this way are probably not going to reach Amazon figures, it’s a constant trickle that adds up over time. I’ve got folks who return for every talk I give, kind of like my own little groupies, and I love every one of them.
And the second, and even better in some ways, benefit to doing something similar is the lift you get from talking to folks who like you and your work. I have no words (and I’m a pretty wordy person) to describe how inspiring it is to go out and meet readers face to face, no matter how you arrange to do so. I love knowing what they think of my latest book, hearing what they look forward to seeing develop in a series, and knowing which character is their favorite and why. It never fails to lift my spirits and send me home revved up and ready to write.
If you haven’t tried something of this sort, I hope you will. I was lucky to find two beautiful venues (Enterprise Museum and DeBary Hall) where the folks are happy to schedule me pretty much every month, but even if you just wanted to do it a few times a year, it can make a difference. And those local fans are your biggest boosters.
If you are already doing some local presentations, signings, or shows, let us know what you’ve tried and how it’s working for you.
The Autumn Tea yesterday was my last event for this year, so I’ll be totally focused on writing and marketing for the next three months, but it was such a delight, the happy feelings will carry me a long way. I sold books, and I sold a ton of raffle tickets for a $100 value Basket of Goodies I put together. And I laughed. A LOT. As did the audience, which is one of the ways I gauge if the event is a success. And best of all, I THINK my first presentation of the new year will be a Book Release party that the director of the museum and I are talking about. Now THAT is exciting!
One last note. While I won’t be running my usual blog features this week, I will not only be keeping an eye out for anything I need to address, but I’ll still be available by email if any of you need me. (I could no more ignore my email than I could a ringing doorbell!) But in general, I’ll be keeping a low profile until the 30th. Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you then! 🙂 ❤
This Little 1930s schoolhouse was slated to be torn down,
but instead, funds were raised to relocate it and begin restoration.
It is now the very charming Enterprise Museum,
one of my favorite places to visit!