The Book People’s Party at our town’s independent bookstore recently took place and from the buzz around the room, it’s clear to me that the book people who attended will visit this very welcoming bookstore again and again.
The book party
I happily kicked off the party by sharing some of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of my four books. With my technical writing background, I created a table beforehand with my talking points. For example, where and when did I write Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: a Journal? Saturday morning, in my office, with millennial Kerry working beside me, each at our own desktop computer. When and where did I write Living Well in Froggy’s World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud? An hour each morning, before the start of my workday, at my upstairs, cherry writer’s desk (made by my brother Larry), ensconced in a happy place free of all warts (annoyances, irritations).
Once my part was completed, I stepped aside and enjoyed listening to a publisher, an author, a librarian, and a bookstore owner share their thoughts on all things books.
Among the shelves and tables filled with books sat our audience of book lovers who asked questions. The authors in the crowd shared a bit about their books, which bookstore owner, Chris, displayed and sold.
Our time together was festive and fun with a delicious spread of food and drink, courteous of our very generous bookstore owner.
Listening to the panelists and the give-and-take with the audience of book people, for me, five key words emerged:
Both the creators of books and their readers who enter bookstores and libraries share aspiration, the hope or ambition of achieving something.
Completing a book, getting it published, getting it reviewed, and getting it on bookstore and library shelves take persistence. There’s no giving up when the going gets tough.
Hearing one local author at the book party share that his book is in the process of becoming a movie was uplifting and encouraging. For me and likely for others, this author became a source of inspiration.
Go places. At the right place, in the right time, you might just encounter some expected good luck, your own bit of serendipity.
Ask authors about their books. You’ll hear about pain and loss, about joy and growth. Most of all, what you will hear in their voices and see in their eyes is passion, a boundless enthusiasm and energy.
Along with her delightful six-year-old, Shenouda team member extraordinaire, Kerry, attended the people’s book party and snapped the photos. Here’s her take on the party:
“What can bring a community together more than anything else? Books!
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a book party at a local, independent bookstore. Area authors came together to share their stories about the writing process, the publishing process, the marketing process, and those whose job it is to share those books. The bookstore owner and a librarian from the town were there as well to share how their love of books entwined with their love of community.
And they’re right!
There is something to be gained from meeting and hearing authors explain their story. For example, just looking at the title of one of the books would not have sparked an interest in me, but after hearing the author share some excerpts from the book and laughing out loud as I listened, I took note of a book I would need to buy.
In fact, after listening to every local author, I wished I could create a stack of all of their books to buy, but thankfully I had somewhere to be, so my wallet was safe for the day. However, I now know where to go the next time I’m ready to buy books, and I’ve already returned to buy my first book from them.”
Messages received after the Book People’s Party show that meeting other book people in the best of all possible places, a bookstore, opened doors.
“My author friend who attended with me and I were inspired by conversations there to plan a panel presentation about self-publishing with some of the logistics, some recommendations, some lessons learned the hard way. We mentioned it as a potential program to host at the library.” I understand that the town library has agreed to hosting this panel presentation, and planning is already in the works.
“I will definitely keep your team in mind as I consider another writing adventure.” Wonderful. We love working with authors.
“I know when the time comes, I would need help with the layout process. I have it in my mind’s eye how I would like the pictures to look/flow in my book, and I hope we could work together with your team on that for sure.” More work. We welcome it.
“What is the name of the fellow you introduced briefly at the end whose book is being made into a movie? I didn’t catch it, and I’d like to look up his book.” Connecting authors with readers. That’s what it’s all about. By the way, the author is Edward Ashton and book, now a movie, is Mickey 7.
How about you?
Is there a bookstore near you? Go talk to the owner, and make a book people’s party happen. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you and others will have connecting and talking books.
Judith Ellison Shenouda is owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., a business that researches, writes, and edits the many professional publications that streamline processes, launch products, and promote each client’s brand.
She has authored and independently published both eBooks and print books, including Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; Living Well in Froggy’s World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud, and A Step, a Stroll, a Blog, a Book: Collecting My Thoughts. These books are available through online stores, including Amazon.com.
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