Oct. 25: We thought writing a book was hard. Well, no, actually most of it is fun. The hard part is marketing. It has helped a lot that we received such a good review from Kirkus but we still have to do our part to spread the word. So, Sunday we did our first reading. We were part of 6 authors representing all different genre, from poetry to literary fiction and including children’s adventure books, historical fiction and short stories.
This was a fund-raiser for Orange Congregations in Mission. A group that raises money to help families in need in Orange county. So it had a double purpose. We had about 30 people (maybe more) which I thought was great considering all the other things going on in the area on this beautiful fall Sunday. Sharon Wheeler, owner of Purple Crow Books in Hillsborough was on hand to sell books which the authors autographed.
Our plan was simple. I would read a section and Ed would be available to answer questions at the end. The first part was to decide what to read. I asked on this blog and many of you did respond but Susan had the best idea. She basically said, whatever you read, make it your own. Let your own story show and don’t worry what other authors read. The goal is to interest people so they will go out and buy your book. Focus on what is unique about you and your novel. Good advise, Susan. See, this was our first time doing this. And yes, we were the new kids on the block. That part was scary enough.
OK, what we do know is that lots of folks are interested in our story. That is the part about driving around the world which of course did prompt the writing of the novel. So, here’s what I did. I read chapter 1, which for those of you who have read the book know it is a short chapter. It ends with the line,”I’m going to make a difference.” Then I gave a quick intro to the rest of the book by saying that Ed Talbot’s opportunity to make a difference begins when he accepts a lucrative contract from a German inventor to drive a 1967 VW Beetle in the 2008 New York to Paris World Race. A car that contained radially new technology with the potential to free the world from oil dependency. Cool huh?
Then, I quit with the reading from the novel and slipped into our story of our own just- completed world race and finally at the end, I slipped back into the novel. It seemed to go over well. People were attentive and did applaud. Now, I wasn’t nearly as funny as Jill McCorkle, but her short stories are really funny and our novel is only sometimes funny. And I wasn’t as entertaining as Jeffrey Beam. He can do voices and even sing! I was glad I went before him!
But we are ready to do this again. Now to find other bookstores, reading groups, car clubs or whomever are interested. We do have another “author event” in Bluffton, SC in January. We will be the solo performers there and I will actually do the factual part with Powerpoint but that will be an opportunity to show many of the places and some of the real people in the novel. Oh, I forgot, Ed never did have to answer any questions. This part didn’t take place. He did talk to people-we met friends we hadn’t seen in years- and signed books but he got off easy!
So who among you can help us with invitations to do a reading? We’ll travel to do this. We just need the venue.
Jan and Ed