It was a very interesting feeling connecting to readers in the room as they went from table to table, waiting for that certain something to catch their eye. For the most part, it was covers. We really do judge a book by it's cover, and that made me realize that I'm not entirely certain I want to traditionally publish the Upper Kingdom series. I seriously doubt anyone could match my covers. (But that is a little artist ego rearing its head, and the subject of another blog, at another time.) For the first time in my life, I handed my books into a reader's eager hands, and accepted bills in exchange. The books do very well on Amazon and the auto-deposit is sweet, but there is something visceral and satisfying about seeing that little smile as they walk away, book in hand.
What was really exciting, however, was the networking that took place last night between like-minded folks in the local industry, an industry that is just beginning to find its legs here in the North. Three small presses have started up recently and I immediately connected with Stacey Voss and the gang from Split Tree Publishing. We talked ebooks, paperbacks, Lightning Source, ISBNs, you name it, we talked it, along with the requisite fist bumps, palm slaps and bear hugs when we would trip across a shared passion, pet peeve or genre-appropriate in-joke. Totally, Big Bang Theory for the Bookish set.
I also chatted with some local booksellers to arrange physical homes for my books. Since the series is Amazon-pure, I don't have other distribution channels and while people in my city know about my books, there are no local venues to purchase a print copy. Hannah of Gallery 33, The Baggage Building Art Gallery and even our local public library are all potential homes for the Upper Kingdom. All connections made in and through this event.
And of course, it was a delight to chat with my fellow authors. There are some big hitters here in the North. I shared a table with Jean E. Pendziwol, author of many Governor-General's Award nominated and winning books, and Duncan Weller, also a GGA winner. Children's books, YA, poetry anthologies, graphic novels. It was all here in this underground labyrinth, along with wine, sweets and sushi. What a great evening.
My husband is a professional photographer (my day job is Girl Friday and Photoshop Guru) and he was on hand to record some of the energy and vibe in the gallery.
So, great night, great company and great potential here in the Winter to End All Winters. But now, back to writing. Ivy and the Mad Lord have found themselves in a bit of a pickle in Vienna and I need to help them out. Let's see where this adventure takes us…