Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘time’

Steve Avery … baseball fan, bibliophile

For the next 14 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.

______________________

Day 15 writing prompt:

Find someone you know, either online or in the real world, who is a true bibliophile and interview them about their reading habits.

This prompt was inspired by a recent conversation with my friend Steve Avery – the most avid purchaser, reader, and consumer of books I have ever met. In short, he is a true bibliophile. Steve and I have been friends for years. We met selling tickets for the Arizona Diamondbacks way back in 2000, and in all the time I’ve known him, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him without a book. His house looks like what I imagine the back room of a book shop might look like, except there’s just one copy of each title.  He recently admitted to me that he’s more of a collector than a reader, in that while he buys between one and two dozen books a month and starts all  of them, he probably finishes fewer than 50 percent.

Steve was one of the first people I knew who owned a Kindle – but he seldom uses it now, because he has an iPad and an iPhone in part, but mostly because he just prefers printed books, hardbacks if he can get them. I went with Steve to the midnight release of one of the middle Harry Potter books (I couldn’t begin to tell you which number or title, but I’m sure he remembers) at a Waldenbooks up the street from his house that has long been converted into a check-cashing store.

A true sign of Steve’s friendship is that he has bought a book, read it very carefully so as not to make even the slightest crumple in a corner as he turned the pages, and then gifted it to you because you once mentioned it in passing. Almost as big a baseball fan as he is an avid reader, he’s probably got every baseball title ever printed. I always consider it a coup when I can alert him about a new baseball book or seminar before he’s heard of it.

Steve does not buy used books unless it’s a rare or hard-to-find title. If it’s not hot off the presses, he’s probably not interested. He is not only a consumer of books – but he devours book magazines and websites. His favorite authors are the father and daughter duo, James Lee Burke and Alafair Burke. The best thing he’s read recently is Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.

He loves to attend signings and considers his vast – and ever growing – collection of autographed books among his most prized. The most memorable signing he attended was that of Sophia Littlefield, who was interviewed by her longtime friend, Juliet Blackwell. As Steve tells it, they threw away the script and carried on an impromptu interview for an hour which he found utterly delightful. Questions he’d most like to ask his favorite authors include “How autobiographical is your work?” and “Are you considering moving into the YA market?”

The book that most surprised Steve recently was William Landay’s Defending Jacob “because he wrote beyond the obvious end of the story.”

A history major with an avid imagination and a very funny storyteller, Steve does not fancy himself a writer at all. I think he really shorts himself in this area – but he will tell you he’d much rather read the words of a true expert than dabble at conveying a convoluted message.

He recently left me a Facebook message with a new proposition. Because he reads almost any kind of fiction but would like to get to more nonfiction titles, we are going to begin a book club of two. He’ll choose two NF titles that interest him and ask me to choose the one I’d most like to read. He’ll buy it, read it, pass it on to me, and then we’ll discuss. Like grownups. Our first assignment is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. I’ll let you know what I think of it when I find a moment to stop nattering.

Happy reading!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!

Read Full Post »

An unlikely book of questions … well received, nonetheless

For the next 15 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.

______________________

Day 14 writing prompt:

What has been the biggest surprise about writing/publishing your book? What has been the most enjoyable or most memorable aspect?

Although I always thought I’d write a book, the book I did write got the strangest start. It was by complete accident that 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women came to be; it definitely was not planned. As question after question came to me and I started writing them down, the book concept began to take shape.

I knew very little about publishing at the time the book idea first presented itself. Figured I’d compile it, pitch the idea, find someone who saw its promise and wanted to publish it, make my millions, become a household name, and retire early. OK – so maybe the household name part is a stretch.

Little did I know it would take 10 years to finish the book – and even after all this time, I’m not sure when it will really be finished. The amount of time this has taken has been one of the biggest things that surprised me about the process.

The question book concept is not new. Gregory Stock’s The Book of Questions was published in 1987and is still ranked in the top 8,300 titles on Amazon – a pretty significant achievement. Event knowing that, I’ve been amazed at the immensely positive reception the book has received from all the various people I’ve shown it to. To a woman, all are intrigued and inspired by the questions – and the possibilities they create for conversations with both partners and other women.

The goal is to reach a whole bunch more of them. Implementing my own book marketing plan is the next step.

Happy reading!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It started June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!

Read Full Post »

The challenge of time and priority

For the next 16 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge. There’s still time to register. Join today and qualify for drawings for daily giveaways for every day that you post.

______________________

Day 13 writing prompt:

What has been the most challenging part of your book process: writing, building the book, printing, distributing, marketing, etc.? What do you wish you’d known before you began?

The original idea for my book, 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women, came to me in March 2001. It took me a few months to compile the questions, and the book was nearing completion in early September 2001. Then, like so many dimensions of all our lives, it came screeching to a halt as a result of the 9/11 tragedies.

While I lived in the NYC area, I commuted to the Financial District from New Jersey. I worked in the World Financial Center, the complex directly across the street from the World Trade Center, connected to it by a footbridge. In fact, the PATH train I took to work every day was stationed in the WTC. Certainly these tragedies resonated uniquely with every American, but because a former co-worker lost her firefighter husband, and my friends and loved ones were lucky to escape with their lives, for me the events were eerily personal.

Eventually, though, the shock began to abate, and my own life crept back toward a routine – but for a long time, images of the WTC (before and after) appeared everywhere, and each time I gasped anew. The site of the Twin Towers in pre-9/11 movies still catches me off-guard sometimes.

So, for a long while after the terrorist attacks occurred, I put aside this project. It felt trivial and ridiculous in light of the events of the world. But slowly, I was drawn back to it – because it is important and worthwhile. Upon rereading them, it seemed to me that a number of the questions required re‑wording in our post-9/11 world. I offer them with humility, honesty, and the utmost respect.

Eventually I hit on a layout for the interior pages that I liked and seemed to prove useful to the readers – and I had an official launch in December 2010. In 2011, I entered the Global eBook Awards contest and won in the category of Women’s Studies. Since then? Nada. Marketing plans that have been waylaid by client work. Formatting for Kindle and a paperback version, with only the questions (as opposed to a workbook format) in process but incomplete.

My biggest challenge? Continuity. Time. Priority. I seem to work in spurts, making giant progress. And then back on the shelf for another six months to a year. The good news is that the book has a certain timelessness about it – and I know the right things to do. It’s just now making a concerted effort to do them.

Writing about it again as a part of the blog challenge is motivating, though! Glad to be in the mix, just like everyone else in the Challenge.

Happy publishing!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: