Library visit, events, agents, editing, and reviews!

Posted on October 23, 2009 (Subscribe to Blog)

Well, I enjoyed my visit to Chickamauga Library yesterday. I had an audience of around twenty teenagers, which was a terrifying prospect but turned out to be really nice. They were a great bunch, and it's made me a little less nervous about visiting schools in the future (when I get around to contacting all the teachers I've met in the last few months).

A few more things are in the pipeline. I'm planning to be in Rome again on November 7th, for a little shindig in the grounds of Berry College, and a book store in Dalton on November 14th. More on both these events later. Meanwhile, the owner of a local book store, Rock Point Books, is buying ten of my books to put on the shelves and has invited me to do a book talk thingie in December. This store has a lot of events and they get a good turn-out, so that should be interesting. (I designed their website; it's good having contacts like this!)

I got a note from Whitt Brantley, my TV and Film agent. He said, "Unfortunately, Trancas has passed on Island of Fog. So, that will probably rule out Kensington Publishing interest as well. Anyway, back to square one! We'll eventually get something going!" That's a shame. Trancas is the production company involved with all the Halloween movies. But Whitt has fingers in other pies too, so he'll just keep plugging away.

Labyrinth of Fire should be completely finished by the end of this weekend. Editing is a slow business as it involves going through the entire book over and over. I've been reading it carefully, changing bits, correcting typos, etc, and now I have brother Darren's proofreading corrections to go through – and there are a lot! He's very thorough. Anyway, the book should be available on or before November 15th, so in the next few days I'll put up a pre-order page for those who are interested. :-)

I'm still getting really nice comments about Island of Fog. I got one recently via Facebook, from a lady in Australia, who said, "I borrowed Island of Fog from my mother ... and I just wanted to tell you I thought it was great. It was nice to read a story where I wasn't constantly reconstructing sentences in my mind (I did creative writing for 2 years at Uni and it has ruined me!). I loved it and was left hoping that there will be more to follow!!!" This kind of feedback never gets old and makes it all worthwhile. :-)

Comment by STEPHEN ISABIRYE on Monday, October 26, 2009...

Keith, it seems I am pretty much following in your footsteps. My order of the 100 books of The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com) arrived on Wednesday. I was excited at receiving them. I had received the single order of my book the previous Thursday.

My first try at marketing the book was at my local National Public Radio affiliate (www.KNAU.org), which also happens to be the BBC affiliate in the area and region where I volunteered for two days as a telephone pledge gatherer. I thought the radio station would regard me in a way by either granting me an interview pertaining to my book. But, alas, they said that they only deal with issues that are regional i.e in this case the Colorado Plateau which encompasses great sites such as The Grand Canyon. So in their conception, I do not qualify as a local writer or author since I am dealing with an area that is not within their boundaries of analysis.

On Friday, I was able to leave a copy of my book with the librarian of the East community College and he was so grateful at receiving the book in that he would send it to the Western Flagstaff Main library to be catalogued. I also left a copy at the West Main Library where I am told the librarians would sit in a committee and decide whether to take the book. Since it is a new book, I am very optimistic that they will accept it and it should be in the library system within a couple of weeks' time. I also was surprised that the library had ordered a new copy of The River of Adventure, I guess the 1995 edition (2007 imprint) when I checked their website (www.flagstaffpubliclibrary.org).

So it seems my influence of having over-borrowed that old 1955 first edition of the book as well as other EB books consistently may have had an impact in the library. So maybe, through such means, Americans may gradually come to appreciate Enid Blytons' works.

I also went to my last Department of History at my former university (Northern Arizona University) and tried to leave a copy there, but I was told that only those books written by current or former faculty would don their library. So I went to the student newspaper, The Lumberjack, where I left another copy. I am sure the book will appear in the next issue of the newspaper after all in the past books written by non-students or non-former students have appeared in the paper in the past. I also dropped off another copy at the alumni office where there very glad to receive the book and assured that the book will appear in their next issue of The Pine. In that office, I was advised to visit the campus bookstore/bookshop where the manager was too happy to purchase at least one copy of my book and she even seemed to be interested in the topic. Probably, if I was faculty or member of staff or present student, she may have ordered more but she told me if they needed more copies, they would contact me. My first sale of the book got me excited.

My final stop was at the local newspaper The Arizona Daily Sun (www.azdailysun.com) where I left a copy. Let me hope that it will be reviewed and if it appears in the paper, it will also appear in Google. As for that Island of Fog being turned down, do not despair. Keep going. Something will eventually turn up in that area after all Christoper Paolini (www.alagaesia.com) visited over 135 libraries before his book was picked up and made into a best seller book and movie.

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