For the past 22 years I’ve been a writer. For 3 ½ months I’ve been an author––just since Crossings came out April 1. First thing I noticed––an author gets way more respect.
Suddenly, people notice me. They say they’ve heard my name before. Of course, an article with my picture in the newspaper helped. It was there because of the book. And all those smaller articles in the paper prior to book presentations––some with my picture and some without––have kept up the buzz. And then there were the articles in out-of-town papers prior to presentations. I have to say, I’m enjoying my 15 minutes of fame.
Even without the newspaper articles, when you say you’ve written a book it garners respect. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of articles and one book. (Actually, 20 years ago, I put together a book of my parents’ stories. It was primarily their words, and the 100 copies were intended for family.) Crossings is my first book written with my words.
These past two weeks I’ve signed up for two Author’s Fairs and the Oregon Author’s Website (OregonAuthors.org). I could do neither before.
Because of the book, I’ve been invited to give presentations to many types of groups, do readings and signings at bookstores, do programs in towns with McCullough bridges, and on and on. Previously, I was invited as a magazine editor to speak but not as a writer.
Most people that buy a book want me to sign it, and I enjoy doing it. It’s a thrill to do a personal inscription just for them. I can recall only a couple of times when anyone asked me to sign my articles. And yes, two people actually did ask.
Yesterday, I went to Safeway and the library. At each location, someone stopped me and told me how much they enjoyed “reading” the book. The writer in me was thrilled. I have this feeling that people will buy the book and put it on their coffee table and not read it. After all, it does have a beautiful cover.
While I love positive comments, I can handle rejection. All those years as a writer, I had my share. When querying an article, I often received rejections before snagging a taker. What you develop is persistence. So when I go around to libraries, museums, bookstores, and gift shops hawking my book, rejection doesn’t bother me. I’ll be back. But so far nearly every venue has bought at least a few copies, not much rejection yet. That may change as I head inland, away from the coast.
I know that I can’t go everywhere. I’ll wear out and gas is expensive. So to really get it out there, I’ll be dealing with other means of distribution––another difference between me as author and me as writer.
I’ll be listing on Amazon soon, but first I’ll do my homework. I just bought Sell Your Book on Amazon, which I got––guess where––on Amazon. In a future blog, I’ll let you know how that works out.
While being an author is keeping me quite busy these days, I still occasionally take on a magazine or newspaper assignment. On July 5, I drove off to an appointment with notepad and pen, camera and tape recorder and spent most of the day at Shore Acres State Park interviewing Shirley and David Bridgham about Holiday Lights at Shore Acres that will celebrate the 25th anniversary this year. This amazing couple has been the force behind the lightshow since it began. The article is due soon for the November/December issue of Oregon Coast magazine. I loved every minute of the interview and hated every minute of getting the first draft down. Typical of me—the writer!
Not every writer is an author, but every author is a writer.
Crossings Presentations by Judy in July:
• July 8, 15 & 29, 7 p.m.––Honeyman State Park Campground, B Loop, Amphitheater, couple miles south of Florence
• July 16, 2 p.m.––Coos County Historical & Maritime Museum, July Jubilee and celebration of the 75th birthday of the McCullough Memorial Bridge, North Bend
Judy will also be attending two Author’s Fairs:
• July 22–23, noon–6 p.m. Friday & 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday––Oregon Books & Games (corner 7th & E), Grants Pass
• August 27, noon–3 p.m.––Bob’s Beach Books (west side just north of 17th on Hwy 101), Lincoln City