Book Fair – Lessons Learned

Since I wrote my last post about going to participate as an exhibitor at the Ventura County Author Book Fair last Saturday, November 5, I thought I’d follow up with some observations. The Good Things · I sold seven books. · I gave away lots and lots of bookmarks. · Many people shared their stories of suicide and mental illness in their families when they came by my table, and I got to tell them about the Putting A Face On Suicide project when they admired Paul’s poster. · I was at a table at a good location in the room. It faced the center of the room, I felt sorry for the folks who sat at the room’s perimeter and had to face the wall. · I had a successful reading – I spoke about the book briefly, read the piece about comforting someone who is grieving, and I read five poems · I met some wonderful authors – one who works in oncology who told me a statistic I never knew, that many people who are diagnosed with cancer commit suicide. So she took a lot of my bookma … [Read more...]

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Learning to compartmentalize

Someone on Twitter recently asked me what the hardest thing I had to do while writing my memoir. And I responded – keeping the tears from smearing the words on the page. Then, I had to concentrate on the writing and now on the marketing, leaving any emotions I have about Paul’s death outside the scope of my work. So, I have become a master of compartmentalization. Now besides being a mother whose son died by suicide, I’m a survivor. I’m a strong woman. I’m an advocate for erasing the stigma of mental illness, of putting a face on suicide, of telling my story so others can know it’s possible to heal after the death of a child. Next Tuesday I have another radio interview where I’ll be asked to discuss Paul’s and my story – how can I get through that on the radio? The other parts of the interview won’t be as hard. But going through what we went through especially during his years with bipolar disorder will be gut wrenching. I hope I won't fall apart. And next Saturday I’ll be rea … [Read more...]

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A book launch and signing – Part Three

Here’s the third installment of my blog about my book launch and signing. Signing a Book - What a Pleasure Part Three – Lessons Learned. Book the venue early. I contacted the Pages (http://www.pagesabookstore.com/) bookstore on February 2 and received an answer the very next day. I booked May 12 – four days after the book’s scheduled release – absolutely perfect timing. Be prepared to do most of the publicity yourself – I used my Facebook and email network; the bookstore helped by posting it on its weekly newsletter with a nice blurb and links to my book cover and trailer. Try to arrange for other publicity early. I asked both of my local newspapers way in advance to publish a story about the book. One published a great interview with me on the day of the event; the other just posted a brief notice on their weekly calendar of events. Even if someone says they’ll be glad to support your event, it doesn’t always happen as expected. Send out lots of invitations – don’t worry … [Read more...]

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A book launch and signing – what’s that?

Paul's Bench I'm going to write about the book launch and signing of Leaving the Hall Light On in three parts: Preparation, The Actual Event, and Lessons Learned. Part One: Preparation I think the worst part of the preparation stage was waiting for the book signing to happen. I booked it for the first Thursday after the book's release at Pages, my local independent bookstore, several months in advance, and I started to stress right away. I always stress before speaking in public and always end up calming down right before I speak, so it’s really the waiting time that drives me to drink. I also arranged for publicity in our local newspapers, "The Beach Reporter" and "Easy Reader." "The Beach Reporter" interview happened the Monday before the event and appeared on the day; "Easy Reader," though it got a review copy of my book, has yet to print something. Well, as I said to them in my email today, it’s never too late. Then I sent out invitations. I created an event on Fac … [Read more...]

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First booksigning – May 12, 2011

I have scheduled my first booksigning at a wonderful one-year-old independent bookstore in my hometown, Pages! I hope you'll attend. The venue is great and the refreshments hosted by Dinah Alcon will be delish! To RSVP please call Pages at 310-318-0900 or go to my event page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=189497844418284 and click away. Time Thursday, May 12 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm Location Pages Bookstore 904 Manhattan Ave. Created By Lucky Press, LLC More Info 310-318-0900 info@pagesabookstore.com (email) www.pagesabookstore.com (website)www.luckypress.com/madelinesharples.html (book information) … [Read more...]

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Recap of 2010 Events

Before I move on to 2011, I thought I'd recap some of our family's 2010. We sent this list along with our holiday cards. January: Bob recovers from knee surgery Bob publishes Volume 1 of Family History – Bob's family story Bob’s brother Richard’s dies; Madeline and Bob travel to New York February: Ben and Marissa announce intention to marry Madeline takes novel writing workshop at UCLA and begins first novel March: Madeline begins blogging on Red Room, a writers website -http://www.redroom.com/member/madeline40 April: Madeline retires from Northrop Grumman on April 30 May: Madeline has several poems published at Survivor Chronicles, unFold, and Poetsespresso Bob ends 14 years of consulting for TRW/Northrop Grumman on May 7 Madeline and Bob begin five-week vacation with trip to Chicago, Washington, and New York City to see family and friend June: Our five week vacation continues to London, cruise from South Hampton to Scandinavia and St … [Read more...]

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