Traveling to Promote My Book

Today I returned from an overnight trip to Manistee, Michigan. The trip came about from postcards I mailed to libraries last January announcing my second P.J. Benson mystery, AS THE CROW FLIES.  Soon after Five Star (which is part of Gale/Cengage Learning) released AS THE CROW FLIES, I was contacted by one of the librarians at the Manistee Public Library and asked if I’d be interested in doing a program for their Authors Series. Although the date for the program was months away, I said yes. And I’m so glad I did.

I was blessed with beautiful weather for the drive and a gorgeous view of Northern Michigan’s fall colors. After arriving in Manistee and checking into a Motel 8, I drove over to the library. The library is a two-story building on Maple Street with friendly librarians who welcomed me, showed me where I’d be speaking in a few hours, and told me the best place to park and to use the elevator to bring my materials to the room.

My talk was scheduled for 6:30 p.m., so I arrived a half-hour early and was greeted by Andrea, who’d set up the talk. By 6:30, roughly a dozen people had arrived, which considering the beautiful weather and the fact that I was competing against a make-or-break Tigers’ baseball game on TV, I figured was a good crowd. And best of all, once my talk was over, the library served refreshments, including a green-tomato-mince-meat pie that one of the patrons had made and brought. (I would love the recipe. It was delicious and a great way to use up those green tomatoes that are still on the vine in the fall.)

Those in attendance said they enjoyed my talk, and I sold a few copies of AS THE CROW FLIES (and my last hard copy of THE CROWS), but most of all, I had a wonderful time meeting people who love reading books.

Was the trip worth it? That’s one of those things I’ll probably never know for sure. The library did pay me a stipend that will cover my motel and gas costs, and after my talk, I went back to my motel room where I had complete solitude away from every-day-life demands, time that I used (both before I went to bed and then in the morning until I had to check out) to work on my new mystery. I also met some people at breakfast who wanted to know more about my books, and one man who said he belonged to a group that invited
writers to speak. (He asked for my business card.) So who knows. I know I certainly enjoyed the trip and the people I met.

My next jaunt will be to the Grand Rapids Regions’ conference “I Always Wanted to Write a Book” being held in Grand Rapids on October 22nd. I’ll be talking about writing the mystery. Hope to see some of you there.


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7 Responses to Traveling to Promote My Book

  1. Maris, I’m so glad your talk in Manistee went well. I go there once in a while to judge at their junior high music festival and always have a great time in that beautiful city. And we are SO excited to have you speak at our conference in Grand Rapids! I’ll be the moderator for your session. Were you able to find a roommate?

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip, Maris. I say it was well worth it 🙂

  3. I really believe the opportunity to speak at out-of-town libraries, book stores and the like are wonderful ways to spark a writer’s creativity and gain new followers at the same time. A new town, new scenery, new ways to network…I’d say your trip was worth it, Maris.

    • Maris says:

      I agree, Loralee, especially since I’m now back home, had to cook dinner, wash dishes, walk the dog. Yep, sometimes we need a break.

  4. Lucy Kubash says:

    Sounds like it was a nice break for you, and I’m sure the library loved having you. Manistee is one of my favorite “up north” towns.

  5. Diane Burton says:

    Sounds like your promo trip went very well. I’m so glad you shared.