Traveling Salesmen

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

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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4 Responses to Traveling Salesmen

  1. TBC says:

    I can’t get you into the venues, but how about Purple Crow locally, Quail Ridge, Ex Libris in Savannah (on your way to check in with Silver Girl), etc. Check out the resources at (I’ll have to write Sharon, as she is a glaring omission here).

    Good luck, and with the Kirkus review, hopefully, that will help.

    Take care,


    • ejhowle23 says:

      We will be delivering books to both The Regulator Bookshop in Durham and Quail Ridge in Raleigh. Not setting up readings with them at this time, but both want to handle the book. That’s all good.

  2. rdsieber says:

    The Regulator is a nice place to read, as they have that basement part set aside for that. Have you thought about local reader’s clubs?

  3. bpg says:

    great post.thanks.

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