Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Debut Year by the Raw Numbers

Today is September 10th, which means that my first novel Thin Space has been officially out in the wild for a year.

The writing and revising and submitting part of the book publishing process is interesting. Some people are surprised, for example, when I tell them that I wrote the book six years ago in one mad dash of a month. And completely rewrote the entire novel from scratch from a different character's point of view. And revised it at least 4 more times. 

It took months to find an agent. And two YEARS for her to sell it. (That little wrinkle where she retired in the midst of trying to sell it, might have been a factor.)

When it debuted last year, my family and friends and neighbors threw me an awesome party.

What I didn't know while I nibbled on the delicious foot cookies was that my work promoting the book was just beginning... 

So, just for ha-has, I decided to count up some of the things I've experienced this year while working to get my book into the hands of readers. 


1. Bookstore signings -- 13
2. Book fairs/festivals -- 5
4. Foot tattoos tattooed upon my foot -- 1
5. Library talks -- 8
6. Sightings of Mark Zuckerberg -- 1
7. School visits -- 17 (number of classes taught -- 41)
8. Book panels -- 11
9. Library conferences -- 1
11. Cities visited -- 16 
12. Class taught at the Thurber House -- 7
13. Visits to the governor's mansion -- 1
14. Former students who showed up at my signings -- 4
15. Sessions taught at teacher inservices -- 5
16. Car rides with Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, and CJ Flood -- 16
17. TV interviews -- 2
18. Skype chats -- 2
19. Students who fell asleep before I started talking -- 1 
20. Pre-school story-times -- 1
21. Book clubs attended -- 6
22. Snow days that caused school visits to be cancelled/rescheduled -- 2
23. Blog interviews -- 25
24. People I knew from middle school who came to my library talk -- 5
25. Students who warned me that a spider was about to drop on my head -- 1
26. Print articles -- 4
27. Boys who took off their shoes at my request -- 2
28. Artists programs in the San Francisco mountains visited -- 1
29. Readings at colleges -- 1
30. Miles driven -- 7897.9

31. Books sold -- ??? (Because I haven't received my 6 month statement yet. Guesstimate: I suspect it is more than the number of times I ate breakfast with MT Anderson.) 

Ahh, what a fun ride it's been.

(First time I saw my book on the shelf at the same library where I WROTE it)

(Carey Corp, co-author of DOON, Natalie D. Richards, author of SIX MONTHS LATER, and Me at the Ohio governor's mansion after the Ohioana Book Festival)

(Summer Lovin' Tour lunch on the Facebook campus--with CJ Flood, Sarah Ockler, Suzanne Young, and a special FB intern tour guide--my son)

(With a few enthusiastic teen readers--daughter and friends--at my book launch at Cover to Cover Bookstore. Side note: we are all looking in different directions at the request of my fun-lovin' husband) 


  1. Clearly, a year like no other.

    I really love the photo of you on the floor taking a picture of your book on the shelf. I do this all the time, although, I'm usually taking a picture of the empty space where my future book would be.

    1. Oh, I have done that too, Mieke. Too many times to mention!

  2. Love! And you can add SCBWI talks to the list soon!

    1. That will have to go on next year's list! But thanks, Kristy. And looking forward to seeing you soon at said conference : )

  3. Wow! I've been tracking time spent on various promotion tasks since my book debut, but I love the way you've tallied this.


    1. Thanks, Yvonne. It was actually kind of surprising tallying it up. I thought I had put a lot of miles on my car-- but nowhere near the actual number! Yikes.