Today is Grandparents Day. Probably not the most well-known holiday, then again, everyday as a grandparent or being with a grandparent is pretty special.
My debut picture book Someday We Will celebrates the joy of anticipating a visit with the grand folks. I was inspired to write the book based on all the wonderful activities I would someday share with my granddaughter, Zara. So, happy Grandparents Day to you, Zara from your Gigi.
One year ago on April 7th, Someday We Will debuted ready to greet the world with its message of the joy that comes with anticipating a visit with those we love, especially visits with grandparents.
As the book popped out ready to make the rounds of library story hour, school visits, bookstore events, the world closed its doors. Visits of any kind became questionable. One year later visits are still questionable and promotional visits are simply not happening, at least not yet in person.
So–how does a new author promote a debut book when the traditional methods are not readily available?
Well, it takes a bit of creative flair for certain.
For one, since the local library was closed to gatherings, such as story hour (still is) and local schools were on in person hiatus until fall, and the local bookstore was closed to large events (still is,) I hosted a virtual launch party. If you missed it, I’ve decided to have a Relaunch Birthday Party. I must say it is easy to organize. Baking massive amounts of cupcakes has never been easier. Go ahead and click here and grab a cupcake and sign the guest book.
The next steps involved contacting as many publications as possible ranging from the local newspaper and magazines to AARP to my alumni newsletters. I contacted reviewers such as Susanna Leonard Hill. I received some decent promotional splash in that area.
Social media continued with blog posts and learning Instagram.
Word of mouth, friends, giveaways–yes, all of that.
After a year of watching and waiting and checking and continuing to promote, today I am reflecting on how pleased I am that my debut is holding its own among the other splashier releases. I have received kind and glowing feedback on Goodreads and on Amazon and my publisher, Beaming Books provided support and encouragement along the way.
I remain hopeful of celebrating the transition of “Someday we will…” to the “Someday is here!” moment when all is safe again for visits with loved ones, and traveling is no longer cautionary.
I look forward to story times, and book signings. A book debut during tenuous times has taught me to be even more tenacious and persuasive and creative about sharing my book with others.
I think it’s a great little debut, and I hope you think so too.
Don’t forget to grab a cupcake on the way out.
Want a signed copy of the book? Easy. Contact me through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where you purchased your copy of Someday We Will and I will send you a signed bookplate.
Nine years ago I decided to give blogging a try after attending a writer conference where we were encouraged to create a presence on the internet. Not caring for Facebook (even back then), I stumbled upon WordPress, and it’s been a good fit. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people during my blogging journey, and like many situations, some people have moved on, and some people? I wonder where they have gone. A quick check indicates most blogs last around two years, some not even that long. Good intentions? Lack of perseverance?
My theme is “A Writer’s Journey as a Reader,” and I have definitely read more books than written them. Although this year I did manage to debut with my picture book Someday We Will, a book that is appropriately about separation and the anticipation of being together again. The pandemic was not in sight when I first signed the contract two years ago. It has become a book of encouragement and hope for many people.
I try to post at least once a week. Here are my regular features:
Why We Say: Those quirky expressions used in everyday like “Spitting image” or “Steal one’s thunder” often have surprising beginnings.
Word Nerds: What can I say? I relish words and like to post them in batches. If you are a word lover then look for this post around the start of the month.
Bard Bits: Bardolator. Shakespeare aficionado. Ever since I was assigned to teach Romeo and Juliet nearly twenty years, I realized I had been missing out (somehow Shakespeare was never on my public school agenda). I’m making up for lost time by diving into the world of Shakespeare and sharing my finds.
“TeachingBooks strives to enrich everyone’s experience reading children’s and young adult books with our original and curated literary resources.”
They feature hundreds of kid lit authors and provide study guides and other resources for teachers and students. I immediately signed up and created my own author page. After all, who wouldn’t want to be in the company of authors like Eric Carle, Madeleine L’Engle, Lois Duncan, Walter Dean Myers and other notables?
Being separated at the holidays is tough, especially for grandparents and grandchildren. I’m not sure when we will be getting together as a family again, and as much as a phone call, Facetime, Google Meet, letters and other communication is handy, it’s not the same. Being safe is important these days. Being separated from loved ones is not getting easier, yet there is hope on the way.
Someday We Will is all about the anticipation of being together once again.
Although aimed for grandparents and grandchildren, it’s a positive message for anyone who looks forward to being with that special person once again.
Consider the book as a gift from the heart if you are miles apart from loved ones. Yes, it would be a great Christmas present. Order from any number of online sources if bookstores aren’t on the shopping stop list:
Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate my local library? If I haven’t, then I am remiss, because it is one special place staffed by the most amazing people.
They have been very supportive with my debut picture book Someday We Will published by Beaming Books. On a sunny Friday a trio of library folk met up with me at a local park, launching the first of their local author spotlight series. Marcy, (PR maestro), was our moderator, and Kimber, (amazing youth librarian), as the interviewer, and the intrepid Mike, (life-long learning coordinator), acting as our camera crew passed an hour discussing the book, addressing how children are separated from loved ones, like grandparents, and we even covered the mystery of the publishing process. We had a great time! Here is the link to the interview:https://m.facebook.com/marcy.timblin/videos/4408356815902483
The best part was being presented with my book fashioned into a clock!
Another activity the library provides for the community are the story walks. This is gaining popularity in different areas, especially since storytime is not available yet to share books.
Another update is finding reviews popping up on different websites. I do enjoy those surprise finds! Here’s a recent one from Big Books for Little Hands:
Someday We Will – Beaming Books has so many great titles for families and this one does not disappoint. A sweet book about all of the fun things that grandparents and grandkids do together, from going on road trips, and playing outside, to eating ice cream before dinner. I love the way this book brings to life the excitement and anticipation of visiting grandparents, who live far away, after a time apart. This book reminds me so much of the way my sisters, brother and I counted down the days until we visited our grandparents each summer.
And Ms. Emily from the Harrisburg Library in Illinois selected my book as her pick of the month:
Ms. Emily’s Pick of the Month
And the Seattle Book Review gave it a 5/5 review, saying: ” I felt as if I was being transported to this beautiful world that the grandparents and grandchildren are having together. The illustrations were beautiful and whimsical.“
Trying to promote a debut picture book during the pandemic has indeed been challenging. An author has to persevere and be creative, and also rely on the strength of the book to gain momentum among readers.
If you haven’t yet checked out Someday We Will, I hope you will, especially if you and your family are separated from loved ones, because Someday We Will be together again.
Even though Grandparents Day was Sunday, September 13, Grandparents are special everyday. Wouldn’t this be a great book to share with grandparent you know?
One of the rewards of being a parent is to become a grandparent!
In fact, my granddaughter is the one who inspired me to write my debut picture book Someday We Will.
I treasured our visits when she was a baby, and then as a toddler, and I would daydream about all the marvelous activities we would share together as she grew older.
I would play with these activities in my head, creating happy little rhymes:
“Someday we will Fly balloons up to the moon [this one didn’t pass through editing]
Someday we will Eat dessert first [this one definitely did and is a favorite]
Finally I collected enough rhymes to create a manuscript which I eventually submitted to a publisher specializing in family themes. Andrew DeYoung of Beaming Books enthusiastically and expertly guided me to editing the book into its present form. It has less rhyme and more of a lyrical flow, creating a more resonant text that expresses the joy of being together.
The subtitle: A book for grandparents and grandchildren is a reminder how special that connection is between grandparent and grandchild.
September 13 is National Grandparents Day. Though there might be distance due to our present situation, that connection remains a strong bond.
Celebrate Grandparents Day, knowing Someday We Will be together.
One month ago my debut picture book book,Someday We Will,launched out into the world–in the middle of a pandemic. Libraries are closed. Bookstores are closed. This makes readings and signings tough. I did manage a virtual book launch party, complete with a book giveaway.
The party was a hit.
Since that seventh day of April the book has received one professional view and two reader reviews. Content, perhaps am I, as Yoda might reflect. Somebody is reading Someday We Will. I am not sure what to expect in terms of getting reader attention, although I have attempted to nudge publicity by all sorts of reaching out. For those who are trying to garner your own “I published a book when the world shut down” attention, feel free to be inspired or perhaps encouraged by efforts.
To date I have contacted:
my library (they are wonderfully supportive)
the local newspaper and community magazines (nada yet)
set up my author page on the major social media book websites (decent response)
promoted on my blog (great response)
created a storytime video on YouTube(wait and see)
announced it through my school’s internet update page (very supportive)
reached out to NPR and AARP (creative hoping)
contacted my alumni magazines (Woo hoo! Got in!)
My publisher is doing their part. My launch team is doing their part. Publishing a book, a debut picture book, during a time when the world is in crisis is not easy.
Yet, I believe in my literary effort. It’s more than getting people to read the book. I know Someday We Will offers an incredible message of encouragement that goes beyond the story idea of grandparents and grandchildren looking forward to seeing each other for a family visit. Right now, we are all in a state of anticipation of what we will someday be able to do once again:
I have started a list—feel free to add to it:
Someday we will go to the grocery store without masks
Someday we will go to the park without worrying guilt for being outside
Someday we will go out to dinner AND a movie–in a theater
Somedaywe will hug those we haven’t seen for awhile without worry
Someday we can have teachers teach in the classroom again
And someday we will look at this time in our lives with wonder, awe, andeven some sadness and remorse, but someday it will be in the past.
My debut picture book, Someday We Will, was released April 7th and since holding an actual book launch party proved a bit difficult, I held a virtual party with cupcakes, decorations, bubbles, and a door prize. I even gave a reading.
Someday We Will, is all about that anticipation of being with people we love, like grandparents getting together with their grandchildren. And that’s what prompted me to write the book. When my granddaughter was oh so little, I thought about all those marvelous activities we would share together someday. The book has become quite timely in its arrival. We all are separated from loved ones and there are many activities we long to do someday…
I asked those who came to my party–sorry if you came late, but maybe I can still find you some bubbles since the cupcakes are all gone–to share a someday hope. I received so many hopefuls, I need to share some of them with you:
Mireya wants to walk with Roxy and teach her art to others.
Michele hopes to read with her grandsons, she has a “Nonna’s Book Club.”
Annette (from my awesome local library) can’t wait until I can read my book to a room full of children (neither can I!)
Mitch stepped right up and shared a bounty of someday hopefuls from flying to favorite places, seeing new places, and visiting his daughter.
Jenny shared how Zoe is excited to discover I’m her great aunt.
Bev is looking forward to teaching art to her granddaughters and helping them to write.
Becky wants to build with Legos with her grandson once again.
Elizabeth is set to hug her grandkids again, read to them and blow bubbles with them.
As does Mary, who wants to also blow bubbles with her granddaughter.
There were a few fashionably late arrivals who passed on great someday hopes such as sharing pizza with a mom, hugging neighbors and friends, and even someday attending my next book launch in person.
And then there was Chelsea who chronicles her life with a houseful of boys, runs a really good bad poetry contest, and manages to inject humor into her insights. Here is her someday hope summary–visit last post’s comments for its entirety (you’ll smile and cry at the same time):
“Someday I will see my mother. I’ll pile my lively, loud, loving brood into our minivan–not for a ‘drive’ with no destination or a ‘trip’ to the grocery store pickup–but to grandmother’s house we’ll go. [okay, I’m a grandma and I miss my grandkiddo so I’m tearing up–then she clobbers it out of the park after building up how they will drive up to her mother’s house]My mother will open the door, ask,”Oh! Who rang my doorbell? and feign surprise as her grandchildren jump out. Everyone will hug everyone and things will be as if they never were ever different.”
That’s going to be our new happily ever after ending for stories from now on: “Everyone will hug everyone and things will be as if they never were ever different.”
Okay–all your somedays hopes were amazing and I know they will indeed someday be here, yet Chelsea captured the book’s theme of missing special people in our life, and looking forward to fun times, and the feeling of how we are anticipating getting that hug from that someone we love. This is why she won the door prize of an autographed copy of Someday We Will.
So–Chelsea…email me at email@example.com and we will figure out how to get that book to you.
For those arriving fashionably late, it’s never too late to add to the someday hope list. Leave your someday hope in the comments below, and believe it, someday we will be together again.