Years ago when Highlights for Children started its line of children books, Boyds Mills Press, the publisher, KENT BROWN, set up a table outside to show off copies of their very first titles. A young assistant editor told me she couldn’t believe that the publisher would peddle books like they were baskets of corn at a farmers’ market. As I recall, she quit her job.
What the young miss didn’t understand is that things created must be sold, be they work of art, music, or books. Most artists make little money from their efforts and must spend a lot of their time finding buyers for their products. In the case of writers, we attend conferences, visit schools, speak before local civic groups, remain active on social media, and sign in book stores.
Some writers are outgoing salesmen by nature. They are adept at hawking their wares and do it routinely. We may at times grow weary of their constant sales pitches, but we also tend to buy their books. Other, perhaps most, writers have quieter dispositions that makes it difficult to talk about themselves and develop smooth sales pitches about their books. It’s hard enough to submit their work to editors, much less brag about themselves and their work.
This week I need to focus on marketing. I’ve fallen behind in submitting some manuscripts that I like. I dread the process because it’s so time consuming and my hopes aren’t high for finally finding homes for them. They’re like leftovers in the refrigerator, still tasty but running out of time.
KATHY TEMEAN created this blog spot for me in 2009 and I’ve used it heavily all these years to talk about my work. It was made specifically for this purpose. If you grow weary of my nattering on about what I do, I apologize.
While SANDY and I were in Florida, the new poster went up in the Harrison Conference Room at The Library Center in Springfield. I couldn’t wait to see it hanging on the wall so going to pay it a visit was one of the first things I did after we returned home.
The room was dedicated in 2003 when ANNIE BUSCH was Director of Springfield-Greene County Library District. The original poster was left on another wall and I love that one too.
This new poster, an update of my work over the past eighteen years, was guided by KATHLEEN O’DELL, created by DANNY DYER, and pattered after the front page of my website, created by web designer and manager KATHY TEMEAN. I think it’s beautiful and am very grateful to everyone who had a part in making this happen.
I asked Annie if she would meet me there and consent to having her picture taken with me at the new poster. It was she who personally sponsored this new addition to the room and I can’t thank her enough.
We had a great weekend from start to finish and want to thank you all for sending anniversary wishes. We read and relished each one. They really meant a lot to us and added so much to the pleasure of the occasion. We topped it off with a good visit with Robin and Tim to see the new roof on their back deck (thank you, Tim, for the take-home sliders for lunch today) and capped it all with champagne (thank you, Jeff and Jennifer) poolside enjoying the night sounds and views of Goose Lake.
Now to work and a busy week. On Tuesday, Kathy Temean features THE DIRT BOOK on her wonderful blog. On Wednesday, Laura Robb, Tim Rasinski, and I have a Zoom meeting with our editors at Teacher Created Materials about the new book we’re about to start with them. And on Thursday a short piece I wrote about why children should write poetry will be posted on the Springfield-Greene County Public Library blog.
Meanwhile, it’s time to polish the first twelve poems for the Tim Rasinski-Mary Jo Fresch collaboration for Corwin and get in another lick or two on a trade book proposal I’m hot to finish. On we march.