Monday, February 25, 2008

On Tooting your Horn

This falls under the heading of self-care for introverts. As in, I am needing some bad! I've had a blast these last few weeks with school visits, book signing, speaking at conferences, traveling, working, and writing. I am hugely grateful for each opportunity and all the great people I've met. This is what pro-motion looks like. Selling your next book one relationship at a time.

Each event generates a flurry of emails from kids or students, which I love, but it is depleting. I have one more school visit next week, and then I am signing off for a bit. Going to say no (Introversion 101) to a couple of new event requests. Time to refuel. I don't have a single, solitary toot left in me right now. Maybe one pathetic raspberry, but that's about it.

This week is going to be about napping, journaling, restorative yoga, an artist date or two, and I want to catch a few of the great movies that were awarded last night at the Oscars.

And then there is one of my favorite renewing activities-- tooting my horn about someone else!

Which brings us to National Independent Bookseller's Appreciation Month which is coming in May. Robin and I have begun making plans! For those of you that have been visiting us for a while, you will remember that last May, we dedicated the month to honoring our Indies. (For our new friends, check out some of the fun we had at this link.) We are going to do the same this year, only we'd like to expand the scope and reach. We are hoping to get into the Chase Book of Days so that May will be officially designated for Indie appreciation nation-wide and forevermore. They truly deserve that. Indies are to the book world what introverts are to the human race-- don't you think?

And, we absolutely can't make this happen without you. Yep, you. Will you help? It can be something as simple as visiting your Indie in May and thanking them for their great work. Or, you may want to do something a bit grander. Maybe sponsor a weekly book drawing of local authors? Or, run an add in a local paper thanking them for their work. Perhaps you will be inspired to bake the staff some cupcakes or muffins. Right now, we really could use some of your brainpower. What ideas might you have for actively supporting and expressing your appreciation?

Robin and I sent an email out to about eight of our favorite booksellers and asked them to give us some feedback about some of our ideas. If you have a connection with your local Indie, would you gather some intelligence for us from them as well?

Thanks, everyone. This is our opportunity to give something back to them. Let's put a strong think tank together on this, shall we?

And speaking of horn tooting, it's Monday and that's the day we love to celebrate milestones around here. Anyone have anything they'd like to share? Could be a milestone of any size from finishing a challenging scene to winning the National Book Award. We're open. :-) All entries will be entered into a random drawing to win a copy of Donna Gephart's As if Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for President, which we blogged about last Thursday.

Hope you all have a renewing kind of week--

Mary Hershey


Anonymous said...

Hi, Mary,
Well... eeekk... okay, I'll play the milestone game even though I've only been a part of this blog community for exactly one day! :)
My big milestone is completing the redesign of my website. We went "live" with it on Feb. 14. Please feel free to stop by and look around:

Mary Hershey said...

Hi, Julie and welcome!

Congrats on your website design-- it's a marvelous space. I love the "Deleted Scenes" feature-- very fresh and fun. And, one of my longings as a child was to be able to bottle feed a lamb. You lucky thing!

Thanks for sharing!

Mary Hershey

Susan Sandmore said...

Here's my milestone--I finally entered the world of blogging--both writing one and reading others. I resisted for so long! I'm managing to keep the time spent on it under control (I think) and I'm making lots of great connections with other writers. PLUS, I feel like more "in the know" about news in the kid-lit world. So far, so good! :)

Kristi Valiant said...

I saw Donna's post on the BlueBoards and thought I'd drop in and visit your blog.
To play the milestone game, I'm currently illustrating my first series of 6 early reader books for a publisher. It's an educational publisher who I've worked for quite a bit, but this is the first series that they've asked me to illustrate. My sketches for the second book are due this Friday. Back to sketching...

Anonymous said...

It's been fun reading everyone's milestones! Great website, Julie--I too love the Deleted Scenes feature. I find that even having a "scraps" file in MS Word, and knowing my scenes are still in the computer somewhere, makes it much easier to delete with vigor. Susan--did I miss the link to your blog? I'd love to check it out!

My milestone was sending off my application for an SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant. My daughter, age 2.5, said "hooray!" when she heard we were going to the post office, because they often allow her to stamp her hands with the "first class" stamper.

Congratulations to all, and thanks for this terrific blog!

--Pamela Ehrenberg

Evelyn said...

Congrats to everyone else on their milestones! What a fun read.

I think this is only the third time I've ever posted on a blog, so even that's a milestone for me. (I hope it looks okay when I post it.)

My other milestone is that I got an email today from a public relations specialist at our university saying, "...we want to profile you in the next issue of the College of Education Alumni Magazine," and that he'd be in touch to talk with me. This shrinking violet is thrilled but already quaking at the thought of an interview.

Best wishes to all you other introverts!


Mary Hershey said...

Welcome, Pamela and Evelyn!

Great milestones, you two. Congrats, Pamela, on getting your WIP grant off. Excellent! Love your daughter's enthusiasm, too.

Exciting news about the interview, Evelyn!

Hope you both keep us posted about these!

Mary Hershey

Morning Scribbler said...

I have just celebrated six months of writing (as opposed to thirty something years of just thinking and talking about it)!

Last year, my very supportive husband agreed to live off beans and toast indefinitely in order for me to reduce my work hours and free up some time to write.

There have been loads of rejection slips recently, but if I didn't have the time and space to write, I wouldn't even be in a position to receive rejections. I'm really enjoying it (although another six months of rejections might not find me quite so enthusiastic).

Pamela--Good luck on the SCBWI WIP grant! I hope to get my application in for the Barbara Karlin grant by the end of the week.

All the best to everyone,

Rhonda Helms said...

This is my first visit to your blog. Hello!

Okay, my milestone--I sold a YA trilogy! YAY!! It happened last week, but I'm still on cloud 9. LOL

R.L. LaFevers said...

Welcome Rebecca and Rhonda!

Rebecca, I love that you're celebrating your first six months of writing--what a fabulous thing to affirm. And what a sweetie of a husband you have to subsist on beans and toast! Rejections are absolutely part of the process so good for you for learning early on to embrace them as signs of the road you're traveling!

And Rhonda! You sold a trilogy! Whooppee! I imagine you'll be on Cloud Nine for a while, as well you should. I also really enjoyed your bio on your web page. Very cute and engaging!


Anonymous said...

My milestone was sending in my SCBWI Work-In-Progress grant application. It feels like I signed and sealed a promise to myself that I WOULD finish my mid-grade novel.
Rebecca Langston-George

Mary Hershey said...

Good going, Rebecca! So glad you did that. You're definitely letting the Universe know you mean business!


Shari Green said...

Mine's a small milestone, but it still feels good to reach it: an editor requested a full of my first MG novel last week. :)

R.L. LaFevers said...

Shari, that doesn't feel small to me at all! It means you've finished a book, you're actively submitting, not just thinking about it, and someone wants to read it. Pretty great milestone, I'd say! Congratulations!

C. K. Kelly Martin said...

Egads, I got worn out and wanted to hide out in my closet just from reading the first paragraph of this post. If there's something more introverted than an introvert, I think I must be that. Aspiring recluse, maybe?