Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Follow-up and friendships

I love it when one simple e-mail or blog leads to a new friendship. I feel one coming on with Marty, the gal in the last blog post, after we connected over a pumpkin pie. One just never knows where something might unexpectedly lead.

Anyway, yes, the picture is Marty. Below is her return e-mail to me.

Wow! You are quite the writer and no, I’m sorry to say, we don’t have any of your books. I do order books through Ingram and when my budget improves (currently I have none due to reduced enrollment in these economic times), I will certainly be adding some of your titles! What fun to have made contact with an author . . . it makes my day to make these unexpected connections . . . writers, books, librarians and good food! Who could ask for more?!

Which brings me to a nudge for some of my fellow authors and/or readers. I used to be a bit concerned about libraries that stocked my books. My reasoning was that if a person could get my books to read for free, why would they bother to buy them? Don't get me wrong; I love libraries. Many of my books could never have been written if it were not for the friendly reference librarians all over the country who not only willingly helped me with my research, but were almost as enthusiastic about what I was writing as I was.
But my opinion has changed. For one thing, libraries, as Marty expresses, are facing dire financial hardships. Also, each time a person reads a book that they really enjoy from the library, they are apt to talk it up to their friends, might buy a future book for themselves because they enjoyed a certain author, or purchase a book they read for a gift for someone else.
So, if you have a couple of extra copies of your own book, it is well worthwhile to donate one to the libraries in your own area. This might also lead to a booksigning or some other type of event where you can actually sell some of your books then. Libraries, especially smaller ones, love regional authors. If you read a book that you enjoyed, but you don't have the shelfspace to keep it, donate it to the library so others can enjoy it as well.
Marty, you made this a happy day for me. I hope all of the rest of you get a little "surprise" friendship in your e-mailbox too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashbacks--oh what fun!

One of the parts of being an author, or blogging, or whatever you are doing, is to get great feedback. It is funny how we tend to forget something we have said in the past, but once in awhile it comes back to haunt us.

When somebody stumbles across something from the past in a blog, it makes me curious as to what they were searching for when they stumble across something I wrote. I have a couple of e-articles that seem to show up fairly often that are from way back when. One of the most popular deals with God's Writing Prompts, found on the website for Christian Fiction Factor.
Another one is on cold-calling bookstores, published in the frugalmarketing newsletter.

The one today was quite amusing. It referred back to an early blog, way back in 2005 in fact. Here is what the e-mail said:
I just read your blog from 2005 about the Shartlesville Pumpkin Pie. Just had to let you know that my mother (just turned 100 years old) made that pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving and Christmas for over 75 years! Now I make it every year. It’s one of our favorites and I’ve never seen the recipe anywhere else in the world except on your blog! My dad who passed away in 1986 said he always needed a chaser after eating a piece of that pie!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving . . . I’ll think of you when I eat my piece of pie!

Martha (Marty) Vaughn
Director, Holland Library
Girls Preparatory School
Chattanooga, TN

You can find the blog she referred to by going to the archives at the right and clicking on the entries for July 2005.

I also noticed her signature line. Hmm, I wonder if the library has any of my books on their shelves. I think I hear opportunity knocking, along with a whole lot of fun!

Hope your day was as much fun as mine was.
Janet Elaine Smith