Sunday, September 2, 2007

Traveling with dogs

I am so not good at this, blogs, posting, getting around chat groups, but I'm learning. Toward the end of this month, the dogs and I start cross country to promote And Murder For Dessert in places other than the south. Looks as if the first stop is Texas, and after that, it's lots and lots of stops. I'm looking forward to it, in some ways. I like to travel. So do the dogs. All I have to do is pick up the car keys and they are at the back door. And they're used to traveling. The last long trip they took was when we moved from California to South Carolina. They loved every minut of it. But they do present some logestic problems. However, they have been invited to come with me to several stores. So - if you see a grey haired lady sitting behind a signing table with an Italian Greyhound in her lap and a German Shepard beside her, its me. Come say hi. But I'm off track, as usual. There has been some discussion about signings, promotion, what is worth doing and what is not, on this blog and several other group discussions. Lots of good ideas, possible solutions to the very thorny problem of how we get our books in the hands of book sellers, and then into the hands of book buyers. But it seems to me that the only thing that even comes close to working, is calling book stores, going to book stores, making friends with book sellers, and keeping your own list as much as possible of fans. I did 5 events in August. A couple of great ones, a couple that could be called fizzles but probably weren't, and one with a group that I'm new to, the Carolina Conspiracy. They are not only fun, but groups seem to draw in more people. As I try to analysis these events, two things occur to me. Even at the events where the crowd was less than impressive, ( I still can't believe we didn't have people standing in line. They did for Cindy Crawford and her book wasn't a mystery!)I got to talk to the people who sell the books, and think they were interested in it enough that they will at least mention it to book buyers looking for a mystery. I also discovered some wonderful stores I never knew existed and the really interesting people who run them. Iwill promote them on my web site, for whatever that's worth. Promotion is just plain hard and I'd rather be shut up in my room, writing, but even though I sometimes - often - I feel like a salmon who can't find the way upstream, I - like all of us - keep on. Because there is that person who comes in with your book that they have bought, and asks you to sign it because "they just love it." So, I'm going to forget the price of gas, that not all motels love dogs, and that Texas just might have a hurricane the end of September and head cross country. Who knows? Maybe I'll write a book about it. Worked for Steinbeck. Kathleen Delaney