It ain’t easy to sit down and write when conditions are finally PERFECT for working in the yard. At least, that’s my excuse for being a day late with my blog this week. I told my friend Jan that I would put a few hours in the yard first on Friday before writing it. And that’s what I did. The few became quite a few, and it was 9 p.m. when I finally came in. And by the time I finished dinner, it was time for bed.
Living on the coast, we don’t get perfect days very often. In the spring, it’s either rainy and cool or sunny and windy. I was gone most of April when most people do their spring yard work—cleaning up from storms, weeding, amending the soil, planting annuals and replacing perennials that proved not to be perennial, more weeding, and getting veggies started in the greenhouse. So I tend to cram it all into early May.
However, the first week back was rainy and cool. So when Monday was sunny with no wind, I headed for the nursery (along with half the town) to get everything I needed. I even made two trips. By the time I got everything where it was supposed to go, including all nine bags of soil down to the greenhouse, I was exhausted. It ain’t easy, I don’t have the energy I had at 50 or 60. At 70, I have to stop and rest from time to time. Tuesday through Thursday, although sunny, were way too windy and cool to work outside. So when Friday dawned sunny and warm with hardly any wind, I spent every minute that I could outside. Enough with the excuses.
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On with the blog about my book. It ain’t easy to sell books when bookstores, museums, and other businesses aren’t buying. On the coast, winter’s are always tough for local businesses (even when it’s good economic times). Throw in a bad economy and a rainy spring with few visitors into the mix, and it definitely ain’t easy for businesses this year.
For example, when I called the 14 venues in Florence that sell Crossings, not one needed more books. And when I called the numerous venues in Yachats, Waldport, Newport, and Lincoln City that carry the book, only three needed more. Everyone said in more or less the same words, “Business just hasn’t picked up yet!”
When I stopped by Pacific Publishing and saw again the huge pile of the new third edition, I was still excited to see them. After all, this edition has all the errors corrected, and they are the same wonderful quality of printing that the other two editions were. But I couldn’t help but think that it was 1,000 more books to sell. I know, I know. Business will pick up; venues will start buying again. (I’ll make that my mantra.)
I headed up the coast to deliver books to three venues last Tuesday, and it was spectacularly beautiful––but very windy. It was a stay-in-your-car-and-enjoy-the-view type of day. My first stop, Cape Perpetua, was totally out of books and put my book prominently on the shelf before I even left.
In Waldport, Well Read Books has moved into their new digs on the west side of Highway 101 near the signal. They have much more space and love their new home. Easy to see why; it’s very nice. I loved the way Crossings was displayed prominently on a display case near the register.
My last stop was Canyon Way Restaurant and Bookstore in Newport. I always bring out of town guests here for the food, the books, and their selection of cards. As usual, I couldn’t leave without buying a card. And I also found a T-shirt I simply had to have. It was my size and color and had an open book with a strip of film flowing from it with the words, “The book was better.” As a book person, I couldn’t resist!
I have several more trips planned in May and June to sell books up and down the coast, delivering books to venues already carrying it and trying for new ones. Hope business picks up. Wish me luck!
In the meantime, I still have luck selling on a one-to-one basis whenever and wherever. I had Terry’s Treeworks over to go over some tree work I need to have done. And when Terry left, he had a copy of Crossings under his arm.
Other sales this week included one to the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) group. I gave a presentation to their group in March and they have since bought two books to give as gifts to other presenters.
The sale that meant the most to me this week was actually a trade and very serendipitous. While I was on duty as a docent at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum Wednesday afternoon, a long-time neighbor who had moved away a few years ago came in with some framed photos to show another volunteer who wasn’t there that day. We were surprised to see each other and after catching up, he showed me the photos. I just loved the one he had taken of the Siuslaw River Bridge. I don’t fall for every bridge photo, but this one was unique––a view I had never seen before in a photo. So when he offered to give it to me, I traded him a copy of Crossings––definitely a win-win situation.
I also got word that the interview I had in Oregon City for the Author’s Forum will be run the first two weeks in June in the Portland Metro area. (See details below.)
Nobody said marketing a book would be easy. But it’s still a wonderful ride . . . and all rides have their ups and downs.
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society; in Made in Oregon stores throughout the state; and more and more bookstores, libraries, and museums in western Oregon.
June 1–14, 3 p.m., Portland Metro area––TV half hour interview with Dr. Veronica Esagui on the Author’s Forum program on Channel 23 (Comcast/Xfinity cable service) in Oregon City and West Linn. For the rest of the Metro area it can be seen on Channel 11 (Comcast/Xfinity) and Channel 22 (Frontier FiOS). All three are Community Access Network channels. It will also be accessible online at http://veronicaesagui.net/authorsforum-index.html.
September or October, Oregon City––When the historic Arch Bridge designed by McCullough reopens in Oregon City (date not set yet), I have been asked to be part of the festivities and give my PowerPoint presentation at the Museum of the Oregon Territory.