Saturday, March 8, 2008

Have Pen, Will Travel

I've started my traveling road show, hitting the bookstores in the Boston area to sign stock. This is a huge change for me. When we lived in Missouri, the nearest Barnes & Noble or Borders was 100 miles away. Now I have 19 Borders and 23 B & N within 25 miles of my home. Now this might sound like I've got it made, but if you think so, you obviously have not tried to get around Boston!

Let's forget for a moment that I totaled a car in city traffic during a snow storm about a year ago. I'm strong-willed enough not to let the traffic stop me from driving, but I do pay for it with increased anxiety. Thank God for my GPS! I wouldn't find my way anywhere without directions from that well-modulated voice from the sky.

If I go by car, parking is a devilishly difficult issue. I travel with a pocketful of quarters to feed the meters. And if I end up paying to park in a deck, chances are good that I'll spend more to park than I'll make if the bookstore sells every single copy of DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS that I stop by to sign. Sometimes, my Dear Husband drives me to the bookstores and this helps tremendously. The only problem is that if I hop out and he tries to drive around the block, it may be awhile between passes for him. Boston is not laid out on a grid. You can't make 4 right turns and be assured of ending up where you started.

Today, I rode the T (Boston's subway) to visit a couple of stores that are located near a T station. Taking mass transit is less stressful, but seems to take longer. I wish there were more bookstores by T stations. This is my preferred mode of travel, even though there was a shooting at the T station two stops south of where I was just this week. When you travel about in the city, you have to be aware of your surroundings and you need to move with purpose. By the time I got home, I needed a stress nap.

So why am I doing this? First of all, because even though I'm by nature a bit of an introvert, I want to meet the booksellers. They are my heroes. And I want to help them sell my books. If my signature and a bookmark makes their job easier, it's a win all the way around.

And I want to give my readers a little extra. I appreciate it when someone is willing to plunk down their money to read my story. I want to make sure they get their money's worth.

So if you're in the New England area, you can find signed copies of DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS at the Borders in the Cambridge Galleria, in Boston on Washington St near DownTown Crossing, and across from Copley Square. I signed copies at the Barnes & Noble on Harvard St. in Brookline, the B. Dalton in the Arsenal Mall in Watertown, and CharlesBank Books in Belmont.

I'll be hitting more stores each week and I'm scheduled for a talk and signing at the B & N in Saugus, MA. I'd love to see you there!


Devon Gray said...

Love the trailer, Emily! Getting around Boston sounds like a headache. I'm in Atlanta, and we are big on ample parking here. I get what you mean about the four right turns, though. I have gotten completely lost downtown several times (one very ugly GPS incident while trying to get to the aquarium with a carful of whining kids comes to mind!). I am adding your book to my TBR pile. Being an editor/reviewer (not to mention my own writing) keeps this pile growing, but I'll move yours to the top- I can't wait to read the story.


EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Devon! I'll be anxious to know what you think after you've read my DUCHESS.

I was in Atlanta a few years ago for the RWA Nationals. I was impressed with how easy it was to get from the airport to the hotel on the Mark (is that the right name for your light rail?)

I wouldn't trade my GPS for anything, but she does tend to bug out at inopportune moments. She can't seem to commune with the mothership from the manmade canyons of downtown Boston.

Please tell me about the books that YOU write! I'm always looking for another favorite.