(To listen to the audio of this blog post, use the purple play button.)
Now that we’ve published K-9 Kudzu: Observations of a Working Dog Who Loves to Play and we’ve had our first book signing with steady sales, I want to thank everyone who has helped me. Some of you are mentioned on the acknowledgement page of K-9 Kudzu and others are promoted on my blog posts, but you’re all important. Thank you!
I’ve often said that only a published author knows what it feels like to birth a book. There’s the thrill of having completed a major undertaking and there’s the hope that someone beyond immediate family will read the book. The whole adventure is unpredictable, demanding, disappointing, uplifting, and gratifying.
Last week I had a friend drive from Wichita to Hutchinson for my book signing at Bookends bookstore. I had many old friends purchase K-9 Kudzu and ask me to sign their book. The event was important, especially with all the people who went out of their way to purchase my book. Thanks to each one of you for being a part of our celebration.
I really appreciate people—customers—who buy my book. They stand out. They are different than the people I’ve paid to assist me in my publishing. I’m not paying them; they’re paying me! Each one is taking a risk and making an investment as they look forward to a good read. I honor them for their trust, faith, and action.
A new friend who I just met this week wants to learn about creative writing. Where does one begin to examine the topic? Isn’t all good writing, creative?
I’ve always had a problem comprehending the genre “creative non-fiction.” But, after publishing K-9 Kudzu: Observations of a Working Dog Who Loves to Play, I have a better understanding of the concept. Since K-9 Kudzu is a book that introduces law enforcement to children, and the information is accurate and true, then it’s non-fiction. Right?
However, the narrator of the book is a German shepherd police dog. He’s written the book in English. Since all the canines I know, can’t write, it’s safe to say that this four-legged dog who narrates the story is not real. The children’s book must be fiction. Right?
This begs the question, “Should my children’s book be classified as non-fiction or fiction?” I tend to call it non-fiction since Kudzu is my alter ego. I’m telling my true police story through his voice. But, either way, fiction or non-fiction, I can better appreciate the complexities of the genre “creative non-fiction.”
For now, I’m going to attempt to stay away from labeling the book’s genre and just call it “educational.”
My new friend is a pastor. By my definition, he’s already a writer, actually, a creative writer. I wonder, “Why is he asking me about writing?” I need to have him be more specific about what he wants to learn.
I’m not sure what advice to give him. He writes a sermon every week. He goes through the process of gathering ideas and developing a story that will send a meaningful message to his congregation. He has a real deadline. His literary work must be completed in time for Sunday church service. By definition, he’s an experienced writer.
I guess I could recommend he read different authors and genres.
Maybe he wants to make the jump from a weekly sermon to a published book. He might consider publishing a book with his best sermons. It could be a book of essays. Or, maybe he wants to go in a different direction. Science fiction? A dystopian novel? Romance? I know, he could write a book about a pastor who’s faith is tempted when an attractive, vulnerable congregant requests personal counseling due to her spouse repeatedly battering her.
If the pastor writes the romance novel, I better caution him. Use a pseudonym.
For an old guy, I can still learn a thing or two. Of course, at my age I’m trying to remember more than I forget. One business goal that I’ve achieved is making the purchase of my books easier for people when I meet them in public. I guess the days of carrying cash or a checkbook is coming to an end. Recently I’ve added the credit services of Square and Venmo to my phone and website that already offer the choice of PayPal and most credit cards.
A couple of days ago I had an encounter with an old friend. After we greeted one another with a hug and I checked up on her and her family, she told me that she’d seen a photo of me at my book signing and asked me how it went. Fine, I replied as I pulled out a fresh copy of K-9 Kudzu from my book bag. She said she wanted to purchase it but didn’t have any money with her. I smiled and told her that if she wanted it then, she could buy it on her phone. I instructed her to go to jimpotterauthor.com. She did. She was going to use her credit card but then she saw the opportunity to use Venmo. In a couple of seconds, the transaction was complete. I signed her book, and we hugged goodbye.
When you’re an indie author, every book sale is important and appreciated. The recent transaction with my friend was a new adventure for me. Before my most recent update of technology, I would have missed the immediate sale.
Until next time, happy writing,
- Bookends bookstore, 123 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS, is open Wednesady through Saturday. Phone 620-259-7511. Website link http://bookendshutch.com
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- Better than Amazon with free S/H and no sales tax to you. Purchase one (or more) of my books directly at my website by clicking https://jimpotterauthor.com