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October 11th, 2005

Things have been hopping, lately, on the book promotion front. Since my last entry, I’ve had two more library appearances and three signings at Phoenix area Borders stores. The library appearances were very pleasant and productive, with engaging audiences. The Borders signings were also painless, and occasionally even pleasant, but I certainly didn’t set any book selling records for them – sold two to four books per store over the two hours I sat there. I did make some nice contacts with the booksellers, and did have some good conversations with patrons. I did learn to always take handouts and freebies, like bookmarks, with me to these signings, and I also discovered that if I occasionally got up and moved away from the table, some people were more willing to approach and look at the book. I suppose it’s intimidating to come up when the author is eyeballing you wistfully. In an on-line author chat group I belong to, signings are a major topic of discussion. One author pointed out that whether you sell anything or not, it’s quite useful to make connections – to “plant seeds that hopefully will grow”.

Tomorrow I will be peddling The Old Buzzard at the Arizona State Library Association Annual Conference in Mesa, AZ. That is, I hope I will. The details about where I’m supposed to show up and what I’m supposed to do when I get there are a bit fuzzy, at this point. I always look at these things as fodder for the book I hope to write some day on how I learned to be an author. It should be a roaring comedy.

Next week I’m off on a book tour of Oklahoma. I’ll be driving myself, which seemed like a good idea when I arranged the tour, back before gasoline was like gold. I can only afford (time and moneywise) a week back in the motherland, so I’ll be hitting Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Enid, and Shawnee this time – see the Events page for the exact schedule. Next year, when the second Alafair book comes out, God willing and the creek don’t rise, I plan to cover Norman, and perhaps Stillwater.

Speaking of the second book, I intend to turn in the manuscript for it this week. I plan to make a separate entry on this site about the book a little later, since I’d like to go into a little detail. The title is not set in stone yet. I’m still pondering. Should I try to approximate the punch of The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, or should I just relax and use the pleasant title I’ve had on it since the beginning? Stay tuned.

And, last month, Nan at the press forwarded me a copy of yet another nice review of TOB, from Eileen Charbonneau of the Historical Novel Society. All in all, it was a wonderful review, which I have posted on the “Books” page. But do you remember, Dear Reader, when I wondered if I’d have the spine to post the less than complimentary comments, when and if I got them? It seems the answer is no. I am happy in the extreme with Eileen’s lovely review, but when I went to post it, I left out the one sentence that was less than glowing. Seems she didn’t care for the title. There. That’s off my chest.

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