By: Christina Berry, author of The Familiar Stranger
When I think of a LOT of food, I can’t help hearing Templeton the Rat from Charlotte’s Web sing, “It’s a veritable smorgasbord, smorgasbord!” I felt like a rat at the fair after the crowds were gone, but, instead, I was an author at a library convention.
In God’s gracious planning, He scheduled the biennial Public Library Association’s convention in Portland this year. The year after my debut book released. Six thousand librarians gathering a mere forty-five minutes from my house? Could there be anything cooler?
To me, librarians are the Godfathers of the writing world. They hold all the power. Patrons read what librarians tell them to read. Or they end up with concrete shoes. Or wrapped in carpets. Or, worse yet, have their library privileges revoked.
Getting librarians excited about your book is the best kind of marketing.
When Moody offered to let me sign 100 copies of The Familiar Stranger at their booth, my heart leapt within me. (Far better than leaping without.) My mother and eldest daughter wanted to come as well. My son only seized the opportunity once he found out there would be—in his opinion, spy-worthy—security badges.
So a rainy Spring Break day found the four of us wandering through the Oregon Convention Center in search of booth #732. Yes, my children chose to spend Spring Break at a library convention!
A line awaited my appearance. Seriously. I met Roger and Duane from Moody Publishers, then started signing books before I even laid my purse down or got the candy out. What fun we all had. Joshua loved asking, “May I swipe your card, please?” and using a (spy-worthy) machine that kept track of who stopped by the booth. Andrea’s favorite part was after the signing when we took in as much of the show as we could get through in two hours. I’m willing to bet my mother’s highlight was joining the conga line behind a life-sized robot...(continue reading in part II)