My husband and I prefer road trips to any other travel. Since publishing A Better Life, our road trips have been fairly local, to independent book stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The other day we visited one in Milford and one in Peterborough, New Hampshire. They were the first two bookstores that did not accept any books on consignment, and while I was disappointed, it was totally understandable from a business point of view. It wasn’t unlike receiving a rejection letter or email for a submitted short story or a thank-you from an agent saying my work wasn’t a good fit.
It was far from a wasted trip, however, as the manager in Milford steered me to and gave me contact information for the New Hampshire Writers’ Project (www.nhwritersproject.org). I learned about their “Brick and Mortar” program, where they help local authors get into independent bookstores. I also signed up for their one-day writers’ conference on April 27, where I will participate in workshops in scene, setting, and character-driven plot. And most importantly of all, I will be with other writers. It has been too long.
The next day we visited Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, where they readily accepted three copies of my novel to add to their shelves of local authors. Having books out there, on the shelves of five bookstores and on the counter of one salon, brings a deep sense of satisfaction.