Book Signing Blues

When my first devotional book was published, I could hardly wait to have a book signing. After all, that’s what authors do, right? They schedule a time, promote it to everyone they can think of, and sell tons of books.

Um, not always.

One of my signings was a huge success. It helps to hold it at a bookstore near a lot of your husband’s family and high school friends he still keeps in touch with. Many of them came for the socializing factor, but that was OK because they also bought books. I was the bookstore’s new favorite author.

And then there were the other signings that were closer to reality. I sold two copies at the mall bookstore signing to ladies who came from my church. And I sold zero at the signing almost 3 hours from home – yes, I said 3 hours – despite how excited the customer relations person had been about promoting it and bringing in droves of people. Turns out it’s hard to promote a book signing when you transfer to another store within days of the event. It’s even harder to be sure things go well when the author arrives and no one at the store knows anything about the event. The best part of that day was the fact my mom went with me, so we had a great visit on the road.

Yes, I learned a lot during those few months, which is why I thought this video was so funny (maybe a little too painfully true, but funny). I saw it on literary agent Steve Laube’s blog and hoped you’d get a kick out of it too.

Signing in the Waldenbooks

So the next time you’re in a bookstore and an author is there for a signing, have a little compassion and stop by the table. I promise it’s not that hard. Just say hello so the author knows she’s not invisible. Ask a couple of questions. Take a piece of candy from the bowl that’s probably there.

Trust me, you’ll make her day.

Coming Later Today …

It’s been a good week, but a crazy one! I haven’t gotten my review of Katy’s New World ready for posting yet, but will take care of that later (read: will get to that after the real-world work LOL). Have a great Friday and stay tuned! 🙂

Monday Musings: Knowing God More

Casting Crowns is one of my favorite Christian bands, and has been since their first CD released a few years ago. Their lyrics are so powerful and their messages hit so close to home that nearly every song on every CD is a favorite.

The same is true of their newest release, Until the Whole World Hears, which I got for Christmas. Can you wear holes in CDs if you listen to them too much? Seems like that’s what I’m on my way to doing with this one. 🙂 I loved the title track before getting the CD, but one of my absolute favorites is To Know You. It talks about how the more we know Christ, the more we want to share Him with others — partly because they need to know about Him so desperately, but partly because we can’t stop ourselves.

Here’s the chorus:

More than my next breath – More than life or death – All I’m reaching for, I live my life to know You more – I leave it all behind, You’re all that satisfies – To know You is to want to know You more – To know You is to want to know You more.

Wow. As I’m belting this out in the car (by myself or with the kids — don’t you just love to hear kids sing their hearts out to God?), I have to ask myself how true these words are for myself. Do I have a desire to know God more every day? Do I know Him and love Him so much that I can hardly wait to share him with others? Am I really finding my satisfaction in God and God alone?  

Pretty heavy stuff to contemplate anytime, but especially with Ash Wednesday and Lent starting this week. Many people give something up during those 40 days — they make some kind of sacrifice — to experience a miniature version of what Christ sacrificed for us. Other people take the opposite approach and add something to their lives during those 40 days to improve their relationship with God. Maybe they decide to memorize Scripture or have more regular prayer time or start a new Bible study. I think both approaches are important and have their merits. I haven’t decided yet what I want to ‘give up,’ but I do know what I want to ‘gain’ — a deeper relationship with God. Not just for today or tomorrow or the 40 days of Lent, but for always.

To know Him is to want to know Him more. I want that to be the anthem of my life.

What about you?

Time to Drain

Paper towels.

How many times a week — or even each day — do you snag one off the roll? I do it all the time and never gave it a second thought … until I found myself writing about it in my novel.

Here’s the scenario. My character is cooking breakfast and takes bacon out of the skillet. My automatic step is to put the bacon (or sausage) on paper towels to drain. But as soon as I wrote that, I wondered if that’s what my character would have done. After all, my story takes place in 1900 so there are a lot of differences between what people had then and what we have now.

Google to the rescue! Once I started researching I learned that paper towels as we know them weren’t invented and available in households until around 1907. I found the same information in several places, so felt like it must be on the right track.

My guess is that people would use some other type of cloth instead, but I had spent enough time tracking down paper towels and needed to get back to actual writing (that’s one of the hazards of loving to research – it can take you all sorts of places that might be fun but don’t add words to the story). End result: my character simply puts the bacon on a plate to drain.

That’s the beauty of writing a historical novel and delving into research to ensure your story is accurate – you just never know what interesting thing you might learn. Think about that the next time you tear off yet another paper towel to help with quick clean-up or drying.