I am excited! I have a special gift for you, readers of this blog.
But before I tell you about that, let me tell you about the book launch celebrations.
The last I wrote I said that I hoped to update you on Saturday about the book launch and how it went. That didn't happen on Saturday. I am feeling a mixture of accomplishment and freedom from deadlines. It feels pretty good!
So excuse me if I took a break from writing for a few days.
Book Launch Review
The launch on Saturday at the Cattle Dog started out strange. Last time (for the launch of the first book in the Trippin' Series) when I arrived they had a table set up for me facing the big, main room serving area.
This time they didn't have it set up for me. Instead they had a back room area reserved for me with one huge conference table. It felt weird. This was a celebration with friends, not a formal business meeting.
As I began to haul in my stuff I realized the big table was made up of smaller tables. So I had the staff help me spread the tables out at random angles so there could be different conversation nooks of people. That was better. Then I put my big "Meet the Author" sign on a table outside the door to the back room.
It worked, people found me and sat around chatting the whole time.
I had asked a neighbor to come and take pictures and he not only took them, but edited them and posted them on Facebook. Thank you Dean Christianson! What a gift to have the lovely pictures of the people that attended. I am so grateful for his help and for the great pictures.
I made a slide show with them.
Debbie Selsavage and Ed Young of Coping with Dementia and Dementia Education, Inc. showed up too, which was great. I had a jar out for donations to Dementia Education and I handed the fist-full of cash over to Ed at the end of the event. Plus I will be sending them a check for a portion of the proceeds from the book sales at the event.
Debbie and Ed just attended a National event put on by Positive Approach to Care (PAC), Teepa Snow's organization. It was leaders and advocates from all over the country gathering to share information, research, and ideas for better care of those with dementia.
If you weren't able to attend the launch and want to support the cause. I have two organizations that are small and local and therefore I feel the money goes to help caregivers and not to million dollar salaries.
Dementia Education, Inc.
6356 E. Wingate Street, Inverness, FL 34452
Alzheimer's Family Organization
461 Mariner Boulevard, Spring Hill, FL 34609
Thank you to the wonderful people that showed up and supported the cause and me on that lovely sunny day.
You are probably curious about the number of pre-orders I ended up with on Amazon when the ebook launched onto people's devices... Ready for it?
10, yep 10 Ten 10.
A long way from the 100 I had aimed for. I got so emotionally caught up in that goal that I spent money on advertising. So book 2 hasn't made money yet. YET, the sales of the first book went up with the launch of the second book and hit #1 in its category on Amazon! I was thrilled to see that.
I am not very organized. I am so much better than I used to be when I was in my 20s and 30s. But still, I am not organized enough. For example:
Thursday, December 5th, was supposed to be my second book launch celebration. I was to go to my old neighborhood and celebrate. But I was feeling too busy in the weeks leading up to the launch to double check and connect with folks there about the event. So I didn't pick up the phone or send an email or go to deliver a flyer or anything.
Months ago I had sent an email to one woman and spoke with another. They had both encouraged me to have the second book launch there. They are now both care-givers themselves. I don't even know if I had sent a flier to the newsletter or to one of the women who helped organize the launch celebration last time. I thought I did but I didn't and I have no record of such a flier.
So I arrive for the women's coffee which was going to be followed by my supposed book launch celebration. Only not one person there knew about it.
That is ok, I think. It will be good to socialize anyway with my former neighbor ladies, and that is what I did. The books never came up in conversation. BUT two of the women had questions about a loved one or neighbor with dementia and I was able to provide some suggestions or a hug and emotional support. Good.
I did not have any expections for the THIRD celebration. I must have had an bit of hope anyway. This event was in Tampa at a combination bike shop and coffee shop. The location is right on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.
The one friend I have in the Tampa area was off on a cruise. Chances were good that I might just get a little walk-in traffic from the trail. Well, the day was dead at the bike shop/coffee shop. A friend of the owner stopped in and she chatted with me a long time. Which was wonderful. She had cared for her husband for many years with a rare brain disease. He passed away two years ago. So we shared stories of caregiving and stories of adjusting to not being a part of a couple anymore.
Just as I was packing up a man and his grandson came in to get some bike stuff. The man was a tri-athelete and had done some major challenging rides. He bought THE JOURNEY CONTINUES. My one sale for the day. He told his grandson that he was going to read the book and then give it to the grandson to read. I said, "There is a lot of poop stories in there, just so you know." The man said, that was ok, the grandson needed to learn about the energy and endurance.
I was glad to pack up and I was also glad that I thought to pack my trike and bring it along. After sitting for two hours it was good to ride the trail. I didn't go far, I maybe biked an hour.
Then I set my sights on a Dairy Queen. My own mini celebration.
I arrived home and hauled the boxes of books into the den where I store them.
In the morning I awoke feeling a wave of anxiety and on the verge of tears.
What? I guess that even though I knew the event in Tampa wasn't going to be well attended, I had hope. I had publicized, reached out to Alz organizations. I had hope. I kept telling myself the celebration in Tampa is more for publicity. But still I must have had some hope.
It could have been that or the sugar. The DQ blizzard. I have noticed that when I have a lot of simple carbs I feel waves of anxiety and tears the next day. The sugar is screaming for more sugar.
But I was down for only part of a day. I forced myself to go to exercise and do yoga and reach out to a friend I hadn't seen in a while just to chat.
And then I saw the sales for the first book go up and I was happy again.
We did it! We launched the second kindle book, the audio book is now in review at ACX and should be out by the end of December. So much work leading up to this moment! I feel free. Free to ride my bike, go for a walk, think about my next steps.
Other than paid ads and an occasional event, I am going to play it cool on the work now. I want to reconnect with friends that I haven't seen much of while working so much. I want to enjoy the Snowbird Season here.
Ms. Organization... NOT
Yesterday, I went over the charge card and entered the data into my accounting software. I have spent a lot on Amazon Advertising (a lot in comparison to the sales). So today I was going to go back into the ads at Amazon.co.uk. (The UK version of Amazon... yes, I have to run separate ads and have separate pages of each geographic area of the globe.) Well, I discovered I can't figure out how to get back to that page where I can manage my ads. I didn't keep good notes, I didn't bookmark that page. So unorganized.
And I don't know quite how to track which search terms are profitable and which are not. I have not figured out how to best track and analyze successes.
More work to be done, learning to do, it is all still a trip.
This week I went to a nice potluck dinner and rode down to feed the goats. On Sunday I decided to drop the "to do" list and meet Debra and Glen and Richard and Louise for a ride on the West Orange Trail (near Winter Garden, FL). I have been so busy with work I have not seen any of them much.
I am a resource partner at the 6th Annual Coping with Dementia Conference. Please share the information with those in the area who are care-giving or worrying about someone they love. The education is well worth the time, and it is FREE!
Launch of the Audio version of The Journey Continues is around December 27th.
Click here for a sample of the audio narrated by Voice Actress Candice Tuttle.
Surprise GiftAnd NOW for my surprise gift. Just for YOU.
I have a bit of Chapter 19 I made just for YOU that read my blog. THANK YOU for Trippin' with me.
Share the fun, invite your friends to join us here.
After I take a breath I suppose I will write another book.
I have heard suggestions to write about my life after George. The journey through grief and onto a new life. Only where is the middle and end? Aren't I in the thick of that story right now?
I have heard suggestions that I write about our tricycle trip from Northern Illinois to Florida.
What do YOU think? Comments and suggestions are welcome!