Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I Can Play Nice

So this is the wackiest thang that has happened to me in quite some time. The phone rings with the area code from my home town. I have learned from past experience that this is NEVAH a good thang, unless it's a personal friend. The caller identifies herself from the nursing home where my Dad spent some time back in 2013. I should mention that my Dad was less than a stellar patient, was quite combative, and if you think I cuss like a sailor, I can only say I learned it from a true navy man!  This nursing home overdosed my Dad as a way to settle him down, and thank GAWD his dialysis transport driver noticed he was unresponsive and called 911. My Dad passed away months later from unrelated issues in another nursing home 'cause we were never goin' back to that joint.

Anywho, this lady asked if I remembered that my Dad was in this establishment back in 2013? I replied, "how could I forget.". Then she proceeds to say that she is trying to locate my Mom because my Mom was making monthly payments on my Dad's bill, but the payments abruptly stopped. She tried calling but my Mom's number was disconnected and she wondered if she moved.

As I'm seriously staring at my parent's cremated remains on the shelf beside me, there were so many things I wanted to say, could have said, and should have said,  but instead I decided to play nice. Shocking I know! I simply replied that my Mom is difficult to find these days as she passed away in September of 2015.

There was silence on the other end for a few seconds before she said she was sorry and she would zero out the balance. I looked at my Mom's urn, gave a little fist pump, and said, "there ya go Mom, one less bill to pay."

Monday, May 23, 2016

How to Host a Fun Book Launch PAR-TAY

So right outta the gate I'm makin' the disclaimer that I had no earthly idea how to host a book launch party 'cause this is my first rodeo. What I did know is that I wanted the PAR-TAY to reflect the unique style of my book and I wanted my guests to have fun. So I set about doing research and reading blogs how other people hosted successful book launches. After gathering loads of information and advice this is what worked for me and hopefully will help other new authors on their journey:
1. Preorder plenty of books well in advance of the target date for your launch party. I find myself selling books at the gym, grocery store, and in my neighborhood so I always keep a box in my car. Be sure to have a good supply on hand for the actual party.
2. Choose a venue reflective of your personality or that relates to your book. Since I had already decided to go nontraditional and not hold my launch in a book store (shocking I know), I needed to find a cool restaurant/bar. My friend Beth and I devoted a day to take a "field trip" around town to check out spaces. As soon as I walked in to The Bento Box and saw the modern couches that matched my book cover I was sold. I even bought an animal print throw to put over the couch for the main event. 
3. Enlist the help of friends. I delegated various responsibilities to my friends, all of whom were happy to help. This takes some of the stress off you.

4. Figure out a way to accept credit cards. I download the Square App and practiced with the card reader well in advance of the event. However, there were serious glitches at the restaurant. I don't know if it was the wifi or what, but it took a village to figure out all of that mess. Since I'm basically computer illiterate, I left that to the experts while I greeted guests and took a Xanax. 
5. Get plenty of change for cash purchases and don't forget to charge tax. Yea, my CPA reminded me of that buzz kill.
6. Depending on your budget, you may want to provide food. Since my event was a drop in from 5:30-7:30 I did provide appetizers, but I think that is personal preference.
7. Bring plenty of pens because you will be signing books all night.

8. Send out your invitation via social media and allow your friends to invite others. I was fortunate to have friends of friends attend my event who actually purchased books. I also sent my invitation to media outlets and it was advertised in several magazines as well as the local newspaper.
9. Have a few door prizes and draw winners every 30 minutes. Again this is optional, but it makes things extra special.
10. Practice a little welcome speech and select a reading from your book to engage the crowd. Looks like my "fun" mission was accomplished. I sure do love to put a smile on folks' faces!


Monday, May 2, 2016

The Author is the Last to Know

 I realize the wife is usually the last to know, but I never suspected I would be the last to know that my literary masterpiece is actually stocked in my local Barnes and Noble. Thanks to the daughter of my friend Robin who happened to be perusing the book store this weekend, and spotted my book in the local authors section, the secret is out!
So about a month ago I contacted my local B&N to inquire how to get my book on their shelf. I was told to send the community business manager an email detailing my contributions to the community and to explain how my book would be a good fit. I did so, but never received a confirmation that my book would be on the shelves. Hey, guess my stints as PTA President of two different schools really paid off huh? Whatever the reason, I made the cut and it was really exciting to walk in and see my drivel in a real book store!
How about the nice gentleman who remembered Uncle Jeffy from buying me a "big print" book asking me to sign a couple of copies? I don't know if I should take that as a compliment that he asked me to autograph some books, or be embarrassed that he remembered my husband purchased a gift for me six months ago that was in big print 'cause I'm freakin' old as dirt? Oh well, at least I didn't have to break out my bifocals to sign my own name.
And to celebrate being "in the know", I went home and had me a big ol' Debosa. HAH, now y'all know that ain't true. I finished off the whole damn bottle.