Christmastime to Me From A to Z has been available on Amazon since December 2009 (and is "frequently bought with The Hangover" I might add), but I wanted it to be available in stores as well. Because I self-published, the only way to make this happen was to pick up the phone and MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Let me stop you right there and tell you that while this might be no big deal to some people (i.e. my husband), it's sort of like my nightmare. I am somewhat socially awkward when it comes to things like small talk and can imagine nothing worse than calling a total stranger and trying to get them to buy something from me. I don't really even like calling my friends and not asking them to buy something from me. You can imagine how much I was looking forward to this.
So I put it off and put it off and put it off until like 3 days before I went into labor when it suddenly dawned on me that while it was going to be hard now, it was about to get a hell of a lot harder. So I did it. I picked up the phone and made some calls. And you know what? It wasn't all that bad. In fact, I could almost see why someone like my husband gets a thrill out of it. At first I wanted to chicken out and send an e-mail but soon I was calling and trying to catch the person I needed to talk to so I could make them say yes before I got off the phone. It was almost...fun. And when a few stores agreed to carry my book in their inventory (the Tennessee State Museum Gift Shop, Fairytales Bookstore and More , and Davis-Kidd Booksellers), it felt nothing shy of victorious.
You have to start somewhere.
Davis-Kidd and Fairytales also asked me if I would be interested in doing a book signing. Me? Do a book signing? Um, gee, let me think about that... YES! Of course. Who would say no to such a thing?
Although, almost as soon as I said yes, I started to wonder what I had agreed to. I had never actually been to a book signing so I didn't know what to expect. Never one to jump first and look later, I was relieved to see that Davis-Kidd had several book signings on the calendar before my scheduled appearance. Plenty of time to look, listen and learn.
Well, the first one I dragged my boys (and a friend and her boys) to was a complete bust. We sat in the children's section waiting patiently while the book signing took place in a totally different area of the store. By the time I realized what was happening and we packed up the troops and headed over, we had all but missed it. But I saw enough to know I had better be on time to the next one.
So early last week, I took Liam and Finn to a book signing by Robin Preiss Glasser. If that name doesn't sound familiar (as it didn't to me), it must be because you have sons, not daughters. Robin Preiss Glasser is the illustrator extraordinaire for the wildly popular Fancy Nancy books. And she is fancy. Very fancy.
Not only is she fancy, she made her entire audience fancy too. They wore feather boas, big straw hats and flouncy lace tutus. Everywhere I looked I saw sequins and pink and sparkles and GIRLS.
Okay, not everywhere I looked.
After the audience got all gussied up and finished making their fancy paper fans, Miss Robin Preiss Glasser made everyone even fancier by partying their faces with glitter. Yes, everyone.
"Yours are magic sparkles...like Harry Potter."
Then she had all the
girls kids practice walking like models with bananas on their heads because she used to be a ballet dancer and that is what ex-ballet dancer/illustrator extraordinaires DO at book signings.
You better work.
She was seriously the most fancy lady (besides my Aunt Jill) I had ever seen in real life. Which was great, for the kids, but not helpful AT ALL for me. I mean, come on. Talk about a tough act to follow.
But still, a few days later when I heard that Davis-Kidd had filed for bankruptcy and would be closing its doors before the date of my book signing, I was much too sad to feel relieved. Okay, maybe I was temporarily relieved (how could I compete with the rhinestone princess?), but mostly I was just super bummed out. We LOVE Davis-Kidd and will really miss having it on our list of places to go and things to do.
As for my cancelled book signing, there's no need to worry about that. Fairytales Bookstore and More is still live and kicking and will be hosting its 3rd Annual Book Signing Extravaganza TOMORROW, November 20th from 10 am to 1 pm. I will be there reading to kids and signing books and showing off some of my original cut paper art. Not to mention putting glitter on everyone's faces and bananas on everyone's heads! Just kidding. Although, to be fair, I have no idea what the other local authors and illustrators are planning to do. If anyone shows up in sequins though, I'm gonna be pissed.