When I finished the book, friends asked what I was doing with all my spare time. Ha! I’ve learned that writing a book is only half the job. The other half––selling it! No spare time yet!
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges is a local production––locally researched by Dick Smith community leader and retired minister, written by me a retired magazine writer/editor, and published by Bob Serra owner of Pacific Publishing who publishes the local phone book and now has one book under his belt. We debated whether to print 200, 300, or even 500. And decided to stretch and go for 500. Big for us, but not in the world of book publishing.
Fortunately, a big article titled “Bridging History” about me and the book appeared February 9 in Florence’s Siuslaw News. Consequently, many folks and businesses were waiting for Crossings. So when it came out on April 1, bookstores wanted it and local groups wanted to hear about it. All three of us were invited to talk about it on the radio, other than that, I’ve being the primary spokesperson. I gave presentations at Port Hole Books, Siuslaw Public library, and Siuslaw Pioneer Museum and to Florence Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.
I have a PowerPoint program with photos from the book that I can adapt from 20 to 45 minutes. But I was quite nervous the first time. I kept remembering when I was a senior in high school and stood up to give my speech in a contest after a truly fantastic speech by a sophomore. I just stood unable to utter a word until my sister a freshman sitting in the front row let loose with a loud two-fingered whistle that jerked me back into reality. I had Bob Serra all primed at my first big presentation to Rotary––fortunately he didn’t have to make a sound.
While I’ve been the most visible, behind the scenes Dick Smith has been outselling me three to one. He has an easy persuasive way with people. The result is that after only two months, we’ve sold all but 25 books, which we are hanging onto on purpose, and the comments have been positive. We are thrilled and ordered more. Our second edition of 1,000 books arrived yesterday.
All those boxes are daunting, so we‘re venturing out of our comfort zone beyond Florence. Dick and his wife spent a couple days in Portland a week ago celebrating their wedding anniversary and while there he sold books to the Oregon Historical Society and on the way back sold more to the Lane County Historical Society in Eugene.
This past Tuesday, I headed down the coast with stops in Reedsport, North Bend, and Charleston and sold 23 books. Wednesday I took a friend to Eugene where she bought a car and I sold a book to the car salesman. Yesterday, I picked up some of our new books. And today, I’ll head up the coast with stops in Yachats, Waldport, Newport, and Lincoln City.
When I started writing this book, I had no idea that when I finished, I wouldn’t really be finished.
Crossings Presentations by Judy in June:
• June 11, 2 p.m.—Highway 101, Gold Beach Books, Gold Beach
• June 17, noon––City Club, Ocean Dunes Golf Course Clubhouse, Florence
• June 18, 1:30––Community Center, Centennial & Beachcomber Days celebrations, Waldport