Thursday, March 11, 2010

Progress-slow and steady

Question: How to you go jogging two weeks ago and get a bruised tail bone without falling and still can't sit down without pain two weeks later? I must be getting old and fat.
I was repremanded by a couple of blog readers for letting too much out about book three. Sorry. I wont do that. I thought I might just write a bit and tell you all where I am. I am on page 106, which is not nearly as far as I hoped to be. I have had to stop my writing and concentrate on what is making me money. I will be participating in Art and Soup, a fundraiser for Community Nursing Services which takes place every year at the Sheridan Hotel in Downtown Salt Lake. That runs in two weeks from Tuesday to Thursday. That is always a big money maker for me and since I am still a potter who relies on that income to sustain me and my book writing efforts, I have felt compelled to make pots. I am hoping to give the book more attention next week and then after the show. Tonight, I am up late, firing a kiln and trying to catch up on emails. I might write a bit too, eventhough I usually dont do well if I dont have at least a couple of hours to concentrate.
I want to thank those who have written their reviews on Amazon and encourage you to share your feelings about the book with the world via a book review on either Amazon or Goodreads.

I am feeling lately like I have too many hats to wear. I would like to take the time to look for an agent, but I feel more compelled to finish Becoming Isaac before I do. Still, I think there has to be an easier way than spending so much of my time signing at Costco. I enjoy getting out and meeting folks, but I will tell you--it is not easy selling books to people who are grazing on the free samples or there to buy groceries. I have heard some of the lamest excuses, seen thousands of diverted eyes, been ignored, been chewed out, wanted to quit about fifty times, etc etc. This is different for me--I feel like I am starting over. People know me for my pottery and people drop by my studio all the time to buy stuff, but signing books is a different beast. Sometimes people treat a $12 book as a lifetime marriage. Granted, $12 is more than it used to be for most folks, but, hey, it comes with a free self-propelled movie. That's got to be worth ten bucks all by it self, right? I dont know. I'm still trying to figure people out. Last week, on a Tuesday, I signed 95 books at the Murray Costco. On Monday I went back and only sold 50. I cant figure it out, but I will tell you, signing books can be wonderful one day and the sincerest form of drudgery the next, depending on the day, my attitude and the people in the store.
Tonight I spoke to a book club on the south end of the valley--Nice group, very supportive. I enjoy these experiences--they make me stretch and reflect on the journey these books have been for me. I have been speaking to 2-3 book clubs every week since January and have a busy schedule ahead, but if you have a book group who would like to hear me talk about the story behind the story, let me know.
When I was signing on Monday, I had a nice old couple come in and buy both my books. They explained that they had just returned from Guatamala City with a tour. Someone on the tour was reading my books and telling everyone on the tour that they needed to buy them. (I'm pretty sure it was not a relative. :) ) Anyway, thanks for spreading the word. It makes the drudgery of selling books more pleasurable when I hear stories about how people are responding to the books. Thank you.
If anyone cares, I will be at the Bountiful Costco on Friday and the Orem Costco on Saturday, from noon to six. I will try to blog again soon. Cheers, Ben

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to send you a shout out for your book signings at Costco. I had never heard of you before I saw you at Costco in Ogden. I am an avid reader, but I must say, buying books is new to me. As a young mother, with kids outgrowing books quickly, I'm good with the library. For myself, I'm just cheap and settle for the library as well. So, I passed by you the first time and told you something about that I had to justify the expense to myself before I bought your book. (Yes, $12 has been thus far a big commitment in my life, even with the really fun self propelled movie. I'm too cheap to take myself to a movie, too.) However, I was only an isle away when I turned back around. Now, having read Remembering Isaac and looking forward to Discovering Isaac (which I didn't buy), I'm glad I turned back around. I also appreciate the potters' perspective you snuck in about supporting others' craft whenever you can. (I assume most of Jake's thoughts are really yours projected through him, anyway.) As a stay at home mom, who doesn't get paid for anything I contribute to the world, it was a good perspective change. I do want people like you to keep bringing good things into the world. That makes it partly my responsibility to support those efforts. So, there. These are thoughts inspired by your time spent signing at Costco as well as the words in your book. Keep drudging through the drudgery. It'll pay off.