Friday, August 28, 2009

Costco book signing

Well, today was my first of what I hope will become many book signings at Costco. My distributor set this up for me down at the Sandy store. I signed from noon to 6 and sold 51 copies. It was a lot of work. I am used to having people walk into my booth at a festival and walk out carrying something they like. Selling books is not such an easy sell. I had several people tell me they would look for my book at the library. I've always been a book buyer, eventhough I do have a library card that I use frequently. There is something about a book, the way it smells, the way it feels in your hand. I buy books because I often take a while to read them. I buy books because I like to revisit them. I buy books because they look good on my shelf. I buy books because I like to mark them up and reference them later. But, I guess some people don't like to buy books. For those that do and especially those that have bought one of mine, thanks. You have made it possible for me to continue to write books, even if you do share the book you bought with all your friends and neighbors. Thanks.
While at Costco today, I saw the Stephanee Meyer collection. Maybe if I ever sell a million books, I'll do the collection set too. Seems like a good way to sell four books at a time.
So, I guess what I wanted to say is that I am realizing that today was not a book signing like you see on tv where people are ligned up to get your autograph. I didnt really expect that, and that's a good thing because it was not that at all. For starters, no one has heard of my book. I have sold 1000 copies and maybe as many as 2000 people in the world have read it, but you have to start somewhere near the bottom. I am revising my pitch. Today I said a lot of really stupid things, but someday in the next ten years, I hope to figure this out. I feel like I am starting from scratch with this business. People have loved my pots for years and frankly, that has probably made me a little lazy, as they sell themselves. Not so with books. I didnt have to tackle anyone and hogtie them to listen to my pitch, at least not yet, but I am trying to figure out how sell my book. Without action, vampires and sex, my book may not appeal to everyone, but I believe the book has a broad appeal and the folks that are reading it seem to agree, at least the ones that are related to me.
So, I should be on a date with my wife, but we are both exhausted. She is reading volume two next to me on her laptap while I write this blog. Really romantic, eh. I'll do better next week. If you're reading this on Friday, drop by costco tomorrow for lunch and book.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wow, its been a crazy week. I finished writing volume 2 at 12:30 am yesterday morning. I will be editing this week and next and then passing it on to my editor for her review. I am very excited. If you like volume one, I really think you're going to love volume two. It is exciting and very unpredictable. I wont spoil it for you. The process of creating a book, especially one as visually complicated at mine requires a lot of time. I am not anticipating that I will see a completed version of volume 2, Discovering Isaac, until mid-November.

On Friday and Saturday of this week, I will be signing books at the Sandy, Utah Costco, located at 11100 South, just off I-15. I will be there from 12-5 each day, unless I run out of books. I am excited that things are rolling forward; sometimes slowere than I hoped, but forward motion is always inspring. I have put together an assortment of cards to give away. These are old photos Jake and Amy recently stumbled upon in the archives at the Niederbipp Public Library. Apparently the Niederbipp Travel Council once planned to use these to help promote Niederbipp, but the plans fell through. As is reported in the next Volume 2, Jake and Amy become involved with the council to try and breath some new life into it. Look soon for the Niederbipp website. For the time being, enjoy the postcards from Niederbipp. Cheers.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So, My goal was to publish a post every week and it makes me happy to be doing just that. I have some news to report. I spent three days last week working on volume two and made some great progress. Shipping pots, participating in service projects and attending an overnight scout activity kept me from writing more, but I am pleased with the progress I was able to make and also pleased with the ideas that came to me while participating in the other activities.

On Friday, I received a call from my distributor informing me that Costco is interested in my book. They want to begin with one store and see how it goes, so next Friday at the Sandy store, Remembering Isaac will be debuting at Costco!!!!!!

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by. I'd love to sign a copy for you. I have no idea how much they will be retailing for, but I am excited the book is finally going to be reaching a broader audience. I hope to be doing a few signings a week in the coming months. Keep spreading the word.

If you liked the first book, you are going to love the second. I am really pleased with the way this one is coming together and the inspiration that is coming. Very exciting. I will try to blog again soon. Cheers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I have been meaning to update this blog for several weeks, but I have been so busy writing book two, Discovering Isaac, that I have been putting it off. There is much to say though so I will get to it so I can get back to my writing.

First, I have had a chance to speak to two book clubs about my book so far. Both of these have been a lot of fun. Since these were my first experiences talking about the book, I wasnt really sure how to proceed, what to talk about, but in both cases, the women were interested in learning more about where the book came from, the prelude to the prelude- if you will. Maybe I will spend some time in the near future laying that all out on my blog, but it may take a while. In both cases, the ladies kept me busy with questions and the hour long visit turned into nearly two hours. It was great. I hope they enjoyed it too. I was surprised that in both cases, I sold several additional books at the book club meetings. Many of them bought books for friends and family members I have made these books available for $15 for book club members. That's 25% off the suggested retail price. If you have a book club that might be interested in reading my book, give me a call 801-883-0146 for books. If you are interested in me attending your book club and speaking to the group, I still have a few days left in late fall., Just kidding, I have a lot of time to come and speak to your group. I have a few others set up for September and October, but I'm still pretty flexible.

I am pleased that I have written a book that seems to be reaching people of all ages. These book clubs have been attended by women whose ages range 50 years or more, but they are all connecting to it somehow. I hope your book club will too. If you are looking for a book filled with mystery, high adventure or hot passionate love, this is probably not the book for you, but if you want a book with a charming love story, moral messages, and a book that makes you feel good, Remembering Isaac is a great read. Viva Niederbipp!

Second, I went into Deseret Book yesterday and to my great surprise, they had my book! My distributor, Brigham Distributing, got my book into 11 stores just this last week. It feels good to see my book on the shelf. While I was there, I looked at the Deseret Book top ten list. I was surprised that for an LDS bookstore, there were no religious books on the top ten bestsellers list. They were all fantasy books! Maybe I missed the boat. Maybe I need to be writing about elves and minataurs and vampires. I wouldnt know how to begin with that, but maybe I'll think about it for the next series. I've never really been into fantasy. I liked Harry Potter, but that's all I've ever read in the genre. What am I missing?

Third, my distributor asked me to attend the LDSBA this last Wednesday, a convention for independent LDS booksellers. I never wanted my book to be classified as a "Mormon Book", but there are lots of messages in the book that would resonate with the LDS audience. It was fun to meet lots of different booksellers from all over the country and rub shoulders with other authors. Its weird for me to realize I'm a published author.

Fourth, Georgia, a woman who works for Brigham Distributing introduced herself to me at the show. She had just finished reading Remembering Isaac while on vacation at the beach and told me it was one of the best ten books she had ever read. Then she asked me what my schedule was so she could start signing me up for book signings. I laughed and told her that I probably ought to get into a few stores before I begin signing books. I didn't realize she is the one in charge of getting my book into Costco. She told me she didnt think there would be any problem getting it into the stores this fall and told me that she would keep me as busy as possible doing signings. Zippideedoodah. I guess I might just have something here.

Fifth, I have now sold over 900 copies of the book! That means I have finally recouped all of my costs for my first printing and I have a few books left to maybe make a very small profit. It feels good. Thanks to everyone who has read it and passed it on to their friends and neighbors. I would rather have them each buy a copy, but we have to start somewhere. I am glad the book is finally more easily accessable and hope with better accessability more sales will come too.

I am not quitting my day job. I have to rebuild a kiln this fall and so while I am at it, I have decided to make some other changes to my studio. I am building a kiln shed in my back yard that will enable me to do my welding and metal work under a covering. This is all in preparation for some other changes to our house; a long overdue new kitchen, a new front porch and some new landscaping. Most of that won't begin until next spring.

Many people have asked why we don't just move. Financially it may make more sense, but as it turns out, there is a lot more to life than money. We love our neighbors, love the ecclectic nature of our neighborhood, love living downtown and feel needed in our community and congregation. These changes mean we'll probably be here for another twenty years or more, but Lynnette and I both feel like this is where we are supposed to be.
I would like to start updating this more often, maybe make a tradition of doing it on Sunday afternoons since I don't ever get a nap anyway. Thanks for reading.
PS, The Park City Arts Festival was off this year, 30%+ down from normal, but it was fun to do. Irene, the woman with whom I apprenticed fifteen years ago was here with here gradson to help me. She and her husband and grandson spent a week with us at a time share in Park City. Now they're off to discover Utah's Canyon Country on their way to Orange County.