Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

I can’t believe July is almost over. The summer is flying by way too fast. I have some great things to celebrate this weekend:

  1. A book-selling opportunity at the Bookstock Literary Festival in Woodstock, VT, this Saturday!
  2. My son’s birthday on Sunday!

And here are some pics from my Barnes & Noble book signing last weekend. I sold 8 books to family and friends and a few walk-in customers. Thank you!!

IMG_4892

 

0727161022

 

0727161023

 

And this is what my kids were doing.

IMG_4893

 

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

My biggest celebration this week is that I was able to set up a book signing at Barnes & Noble for Book 2 on Sunday, July 24th! The funny thing is that it’s the exact same date I did the book signing there last year, just a different day of the week. Crossing my fingers that it will go well!

I’m also celebrating that I’ve begun the Herculean task of cleaning out my basement. It’s full of almost 17 years’ worth of accumulated stuff. I’ve been wanting to do it for the longest time, but sentimental indecision over what to get rid of and what to keep has kept me from dealing with it. I need to do it, though. It may take me a while, but I’ll get through it.

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

What a lovely day it is here today — lots of sunshine and blue sky. This week I’m celebrating:

  1. Report cards with straight A’s! I’m so proud of my kids!
  2. Thanksgiving Vacation! My kids have been counting down the days.
  3. I sold seven more books at a craft show last Saturday!
  4. Hoping for more book sales this weekend at the Milton Artists’ Guild fundraiser at Barnes & Noble! B & N ordered more of my books to have on hand, so I’m hoping for a strong showing to convince them to keep stocking my book. Wish me luck!

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

I went to Barnes & Noble today, the first chance I’ve had to go back since my book signing on July 24th. I wanted to see if they’d put my book out on their shelves. When I had first approached them about stocking my book, they had said they made decisions about stocking books based on how book signings went. They ordered 30 books for my signing event, knowing they could return the leftovers to the distributor.

I don’t know what they consider a successful signing (I sold 8 books), so I’ve been watching the sales/returns at Ingram to see if they’d send the books back. As of this morning, they hadn’t.

So, what did I see on their shelves?

BarnesNoble_8282015

A dream achieved. Whoo, hoo! (Happy dancing!)

 

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Barnes & Noble and Bookstock

What a crazy time these last several days have been, running around advertising, trying to get everything together for the big events, and trying not to get too stressed out over them.

Barnes & Noble was up first on Friday night from 6 to 7 pm. IMG_4551A

I had a case of nerves ahead of time and stressed over last-minute things. Once the event started, though, I calmed down. About a dozen people came throughout the event, all friends and family (thank you!!!), which gave it a much more relaxed atmosphere and helped me not to be as nervous. I sold 8 books, and it was fun signing them. The store wasn’t busy, and I don’t think anyone came to the Marvel Fangirl event that was supposed to run after my event. It was a nice night weather-wise, so I imagine most people were out enjoying it. It may not have been a packed house, but it worked for me, getting my feet wet for the first time. It was a great experience.

IMG_4552A

When setting up the event, I had the choice of sitting near the front of the store at a table and just being available to sign books or using the event space on the second floor to have a book discussion, in addition to the book signing. The event space was an open space on one side of the selling floor with a podium and chairs set up for an audience. I decided to go with the latter and have the discussion. I’ve heard that straight book signings can be awkward, and I didn’t want anyone to feel pressured into buying my book. I also thought a discussion would be a better way to engage potential readers and get them interested in the book. I don’t know if it was the right choice or not, but it seemed like the right one at the time.

 

BookstockAd_July2015The Bookstock Literary Festival was another interesting experience, even though I didn’t sell any books. I manned the League of VT Writers table to promote books by League members, including my own. Part of the reason for no sales, I think, was the location of the table. The festival organizers had canopy tents set up along a walking path on the green. The tables that fronted the walkway got a lot of business, but those around the sides didn’t get as much traffic. The LVW table was on the side and also toward the back, close to the used book sale tent. By the time the people got to our end of the green, they saw the big “Book Sale” sign and made a beeline for that tent. In their defense, I probably would have done the same thing, though I would have gone back and checked out the places I’d missed afterward. Oh, well. I’ll have some good feedback to give them about the experience, anyway.

On to the next event!

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

League of VT Writers Meeting Recap and Barnes & Noble Prep

I really enjoyed the League of VT Writers “Into the Words” Retreat and Member Showcase I attended last Saturday. The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was just lovely, and the rain held off until right after the close of the meeting.

VT poet Jerry Johnson's restored schoolhouse home in Albany, VT Photo Credit: Jerry Johnson

VT poet Jerry Johnson’s restored schoolhouse home in Albany, VT
Photo Credit: Jerry Johnson

By the time I arrived and got my table set up with my book display, the meeting was already in full swing. Unfortunately, I missed the first round of seminars/workshops, but I still had three more sessions with four or five workshops each from which to choose. I brought my teen son with me, and he did a great job manning the table, so I could lose myself in a wonderful literary summer camp.

In “Blogging Boot Camp,” VT author J.P. (Joy) Choquette went over the basics of blogging, the various platforms, and how important social media is to a good marketing strategy. I learned there is a tool called a Website grader that will analyze your site and tell you what’s up to snuff and what needs work. Here are a couple of links that list several graders: https://blog.bufferapp.com/website-graders-content-scores and http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29274/HubSpot-Launches-Free-Marketing-Grader-Tool-to-Replace-Website-Grader.aspx. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I plan to at some point.

“Performance Techniques for Writers” with retired theater arts and public speaking teacher J.S. Grant was chock full of tips and tricks on how to prepare yourself for a public reading of your work. J.S. showed us muscle relaxation techniques, such as shoulder rolls and gentle neck stretches, and deep breathing techniques to help with nervousness and projecting your voice. Saying “me mo me mo…” and “fa-da-da-da” repeatedly is an old actors’ trick that helps loosen your lips and tongue.

J.S. was engaging and funny as she led us through these preparations and then had us practicing our articulation with tongue-twisters. I discovered that I am incapable of saying, “The sea ceaseth us and sufficeth us.” And spitting is good. It means you’re enunciating your “t’s” and “p’s” properly. One other great tip — if you are doing your reading in front of a microphone, always inhale through your mouth. If you inhale through your nose, everyone in the audience will hear it.

In the last workshop I attended, author M. Larose read from her YA fantasy novel, The Flower Eater. Keeping in mind what I had just learned, I thought she did a great job. Later, she and I swapped books with promises to read and review. I sold four books, in addition to the swap, and I also picked up a copy of Stella Rose, by Tammy Flanders Hetrick. She was the author I had observed at her Barnes & Noble book signing in May and later blogged about it HERE. It was fun meeting her (she had found my blog and commented on it), and we shared a laugh over it.

And speaking of Barnes & Noble, I’ve been contacting area newspapers and other media outlets and submitting press release info for my book signing event Friday evening. I wrote the release info with the who/what/where/etc. in three formats: bullet form, paragraph form, and as an ad, to fit each media’s requirements. I put up fliers around town. Don’t be afraid to ask about putting up fliers. You never know who will say yes. Besides the library, the local Hannaford grocery store put one up on their bulletin board right where everyone leaving the store can see it. Even the dentist I’ve been going to for years said they’d put one up for me.

I’ve also been getting my swag together. I have book cards, personalized pens (with book title and author name) from PenFactory.com, and I’m in the process of making cord necklaces with gold and silver sword charms, which I love. What’s really neat is that the swords fit into the hands of my Lego book characters. (I made Lego people that look like my three main characters.) Now if I could just figure out what I’m going to wear, I’ll be all set. 🙂

 LegoBookCharacters

BookCards

PensInBox

PensCloseUp

SwordCharms

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

It’s been another busy week in the book marketing and selling departments, and it’s going to be a busy weekend, too. Things I’m celebrating:

  1. I did a fun interview on Celine Jeanjean’s blog, Down the Rabbit Hole.
  2. I sold five books in 2 ½ hours at the local Farmer’s Market Craft Day! Whoo hoo! Three people paid cash, and two paid with credit/debit cards. The Square worked perfectly and was quick and easy to use. Thank you to everyone who suggested I get one!!
  3. I sent press release/calendar event info to the surrounding newspapers and put flyers up around town for the Barnes & Noble book signing coming up. I don’t know how many of the papers will actually include the info, but it was a good exercise in publicity.
  4. In a fit of madness, I called the local WCAX TV news station and got myself on their Books Over Breakfast program, which is a brief segment where the news person talks to authors about their books. It’s scheduled to air on August 5th at 6:55 AM. Eeep.
  5. On Saturday, I’ll be going to the League of VT Writers Summer Retreat and Member Showcase in Albany, VT, to attend some interesting workshops and hopefully sell more books.
  6. On Sunday, I’m taking my son, the NASCAR nut, to the Sprint Cup race in Loudon, NH, as an early birthday present. My daughter gets to spend the weekend with grandparents, and she’s excited about that.

I also enjoyed some lovely weather this week.

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.