Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aiken Book Festival success

I met up with some old friends and made some new ones. I had a blast. I may not have had many sales but I think the contacts and information I gathered from other authors will make up for it in the long run. One homeschooler from Georgia is going to give all my information to the homeschool folks she works with and see about getting the books used in their curriculum. Georgia apparently is pushing for social studies to be more on the history of the state and she feels that even the one book about Georgia would be a step in the right direction. But my feeling is that it's more fun to collect all 50 states and learn about all the states as you go along.

I am willing to change the order of the states written if I am contacted with information about how they would like to get the story that covers their state out in the second year. This is only fair since the first six are pretty much set and I can't do much changing now. Otherwise, it may take a few years to get your state out. I have a list of how the states will be written from here on out but that is only between my publisher and my illustrator and myself. The reason is that the fun of the series is guessing the states along with my characters and if everyone already knew what state it was, I probably wouldn't sell any (okay I would sell a few but not many local sales and the sales would probably only be reflective in that particular state).

I also received some other information from other authors of places to try to get myself known in order to get into the schools and be seen there (which is ultimately my goal - to be in the schools and have the state stories used as a supplement in the Social Studies classrooms, particularly whatever year they are doing US History, as they can learn some fun interesting facts about the states without being bogged down in a lot of detail. Most of the clues can be used as projects of some sort so really the stories can be used cross curricula.

Next posting will be some pictures I took around the festival but I had the wrong setting on the camera and it kept saying my batter was low. I had tried several times to call Hailie to find out what it should be on but she never answered her phone, so I just picked a setting and went with that. What do I know, I'm not very good with some of these mechanical objects as I don't use them too often. There were several folks taking pictures throughout the festival and I'm sure I'll get some of those to be able to post as well.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that I stayed at the Howard Johnson's in Aiken, possibly considered South Aiken (I saw a sign for S. Aiken Elementary School near where I stayed) and compared to my bad experience in February with hotels, this was a much better experience. The staff were really friendly, the continental breakfast was pretty good (except they were out of apple juice, wahhhh :() and location was not bad. I was right behind the high school and if I had stayed on my balcony area, I could have watched the rest of the football game but I didn't. Once I closed my door, I never even heard the noise from the football field. I do have to tell you that when the desk clerk gave me my room key and after we had stood there for a while chatting, I went back like she said to get to my room. I got my stuff, trekked up the stairs almost to the top only to realize I must be in the wrong area - my room was 408 and at the top of the stairs was 208. Now there are only two floors in the building. So I put my stuff back in the car, go back to the front and find out that there are actually two buildings to the hotel and my room was in the back building. I felt really stupid, but I really hadn't seen the parking lot area continue to the other building. I was tired and just ready to go to my room. Other than being a dummie, I had a wonderful stay (can't beat that my room was complimentary either). I would recommend this hotel to everyone.

See you all in the postings - E :)


Rena said...

I'm glad you had fun, Elysabeth, and that's great you made some new contacts. I'll continue to plug your books with my homeschool group too. I don't do a whole lot with them, but my daughter does a creative writing class. The instructor of that is a published author, so maybe Nicole can bring your book in one day to discuss it with the class or at least show the teacher to help get the word around.

elysabeth said...

Thanks Rena. Every bit helps. And the favor will be returned however I can in the future when Dilly arrives.

Vivian Zabel said...

Each appearance brings more recognition, which eventually leads to more sales.

Now, we need to get you going on the blog tour for your book.

elysabeth said...

What, I have to get ready for a blog tour? - oh no. LOL - I'm only picking, Vivian. I know I need to do some searching and find some good blogs - I'd like to hit teachers' blogs or even librarian blogs.

Guess we will see what I can come up with. - E :)

Vivian Zabel said...

Hitting teacher and librarian blogs is a good idea.

Go, girl, go. Go, girl, go.

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