Catching up and falling behind

I’m at Starbucks right now (alas,the local coffee shop closed its doors) having just finished doing work for the day job. I have to hang out for a bit to make sure every thing’s OK. It’s been a crazy week. I attended my son’s 6th grade graduation on Thursday — he won a President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence (the Secretary of Education may need some remedial lessons there, but whatever). And a school Outstanding Citizenship Award. Both were unexpected and of course I was proud as anything. Friday was the graduation party for him and my nephew.

All week I’ve been trying to get organized for my son’s birthday party for his buddies, yesterday. Today is my nephew’s birthday party, so I’m hoping I get out of here in time. Oh my gosh. So, this week I did not get as much done as I wanted to. I went to my local RWA chapter meeting Saturday morning because they had a bookseller’s panel and I wanted to know that kinds of things a writer can reasonably and effectively do (besides writing a good book). Most trinkets are a waste of time and money. And even for the few that were clever or cute, I didn’t hear anyone say that made them buy more books. Things that work;

  • Bookmarks. Put the release date on them. Sign them.
  • Coming in to sign stock (see below)
  • Sending ARCs – at least 2 mos in advance of release
  • Mail a copy of your newsletter to chains – Borders stores don’t have internet access. Only limited email
  • Make your own shelf talkers. The width of a book, about two inches long below the fold — too long and it hangs too low. Include title, author, blurb.
  • If you have a pseudonym, let booksellers know.

Regarding signing stock, it’s not true that signed books don’t get stripped for return. Sorry, that’s a myth. It might keep your book around a little longer, but it doesn’t prevent returns. However, signed books always sell before unsigned ones.

I got home from the chapter meeting and worked frantically to get in some edits on Magellan’s Witch before it was time to get over to Scandia and the party location. Made it by the skin of my teeth. I was able to get some work done. Not much, but some. Home from the party frazzled and tired by 7:30.

At 8:30 I went to bed with my MS and fell asleep. I woke up at 9:00 (the binder was poking me) and decided it was better to just turn off the light and sleep. OK.

Anyhoo — As mentioned before, I ran into trouble at chapter 7 on the last read through and had to stop reading to fix that. I ended up adding two new chapters. Next week it has to go out to some other readers. I’ve just realized that RWA is early this year and my agent will be there and, naturally, unable to read MW for me so, well, whatever. Right now, I just need to keep working on it. I hope to get past chapter 7 this time, but now I’m thinking it’s just boring. Sigh.

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