Each new year I make my List of Goals with this funny idea I can accomplish every. single one. However, I do believe it's in the striving that something is learned. And, for me, the very act of writing these goals down puts them in the forefront of my mind and gets me part of the way there (or stresses me out more, but I digress).
And so, taking pen to paper, the goal I have as a pre-pubbed author is…
More specifically…talk about my book with booksellers and librarians!
It took some nerves and time to finally start talking about my book with my kids' school librarian. This may be influenced by a previous school's librarian seeming so wholly unimpressed when I told her about signing with an agent. I walked away from that experience thinking, "Oh, maybe this isn't a big deal." My new school's librarian has embraced me and my news more, for which I am grateful. And so, I feel like I've tackled the school librarian part of the equation. (But I didn’t actually tackle the school librarian because that would be mean. She probably wouldn't buy my book.)
What I DO need to work on is talking to the librarian at my city library. I often have four kids in tow, and it never feels like a good time. But as the queen of excuse-making I know I can make the time. Or bribe my kids with sugar and threats of taking away all video games if they interrupt mommy while she talks to the nice librarian. Yeah, there's that, too.
Other authors in my debut group have shared their experiences speaking with booksellers, and I have so little to show on that front. I spoke with a B&N cashier about my book—who didn't seem very knowledgeable about my genre—but gave me the name of the Community Resource Manager. I have the CRM's name on a B&N card in my forever-stack-of-papers that sits next to Alexa. (Alexa the House Mind is NOT impressed with my clutter.) I keep telling myself I'll call her when I have a website up and running. (Procrastination is truly the biggest killer of New Year's Resolutions. I'm sure there is a statistic somewhere that proves this.)
I have yet to grace the independent bookstore in my city. I'd like to get to know the booksellers there, but the idea of actually mentioning my book and talking to them about it kind of terrifies me. What if they aren't impressed? (Says my better side: "Who cares? It's impressive that you have a book. You know it. I know it." Says me: "How can you know it and I know it? Aren't we the same person?")
Yeah, I just have to do it.
Talk to the booksellers!
Talk to my city librarians!
Get over myself and share my book!
Lose the last of my baby weight. (Oh, how did that sneak in there?)
2018 is going to be a good year.
THE REMEMBER BALLOONS, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
August 28, 2018