In preparation for the continued launch of his The Psalms of Israel Jones, Yellow Springs author Ed Davis shares part of his journey (with far too many kind words for me <blush>). Welcome, Ed!
Returning to the Scene…
No doubt, like me, many of you were present last September at Cyndi’s kick-off event for her new mystery novel Forty and Out at the Beavercreek (Ohio) Barnes & Noble. It was an amazing day and a sell-out in more ways than one. And many of you made it happen! Now I get to follow in her footsteps. On Saturday, March 21, from 2-3 p.m., I’ll be introducing my own new novel, The Psalms of Israel Jones, at the same B&N location (in the Shoppes of Beavercreek, across from Fairfield Commons Mall).
That Saturday last September when Cyndi performed, B&N staff kept putting out chairs until they ran out, leaving a few folks standing. (I counted over forty.) The store also sold out of Cyndi’s book that day and could’ve used more copies. No wonder Pamela McGill, Community Business Development Manager at B & N, declared it was the most successful event she’d ever managed.
And it was a local author with her first book filling those chairs and making those sales. If writing takes a lot of faith, bringing one’s book to the public takes even more: faith that we can repay the publisher who took a chance on us; faith in the readers who fill seats and buy our books; and the faith of the bookstores that can choose to help us find our readers—or not. It takes hard work to prove to a corporation there is a solid market for the work of local writers. Barnes & Noble is a business, not an incubator for aspiring authors. They require a professional product and a high level of effort on the part of writers.
Having marketed several books over the years, I know how much labor goes on behind the scenes to produce a successful event like Cyndi’s: letters, blogs, phone calls, tweaking and re-tweaking one’s presentation and rehearsing. This experience has taught me how to approach a large bookstore like Barnes & Noble, hopefully paving the way for other local writers to do the same. Thank you, Cyndi, for opening a door that I’ve often found closed and letting me sneak in behind you. You’re a tough act to follow, but I’ll do my best.
And I have no doubt that Ed will do just that! His work is lyrical and compelling – be sure to check out The Psalms of Israel Jones – you’ll recognize glimpses of his idol, Bob Dylan!