January 26th, 2009

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BOOKSIGNINGS – THREE DAYS IN A ROW

        Here I am at Barnes & Noble in Pleasant Hill, CA

November 28 - 30, 2008……….This was a whirlwind of activity right after Thanksgiving.  On Friday I signed books at Barnes & Noble in Dublin, CA..  The Christmas shoppers were out in force and my table was set up near the entrance.  While I didn't sell that many books (I had been warned that you don't sell a lot at book signings) I took the opportunity to observe human behavior.  There were those who saw my table and made a point of walking down the aisle that didn't pass my table.  Others walked right by but kept their eyes straight ahead or in the opposite direction, as if I had a communicable disease.  As a newbie, I didn't realize I needed to be more outgoing and engage the customers as they walked by, not just give them a welcoming smile.  But I was learning.

On Saturday I signed books at Barnes & Noble in Pleasant Hill, CA..  I was part of our California Writer's Club event where several of our members had their books available. It's our annual fund raiser for our Young Writer's Contest held each May for middle school children in our county. I did better with sales at this event.  I was learning.  I had to reel the customers in so they would pause by the table. 
 "Hi.  Do you like true crime or memoir?  If so, you might be interested in my book.  It's a true story."  I also had several people show up who had already read the book and wanted to meet me.  They had such kind these to say about how the book inspired them.

On Sunday I was at the Borders in San Ramon, CA..  This was another awesome day....not necessarily in book sales....but in the women who came in to meet me, some with tears in their eyes as they shared their terrible experiences with their own antisocial men.  I wrote the book to help others and it was heartwarming to see that desire being fulfilled.

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BOOKSIGNING at CREDIT UNION



December 2, 2008……….I was at a credit union in Antioch, CA..  This was one of the disappointing experiences.  I have known many of the members for quite a few years but not that many showed up.  It was in the evening but it was not raining and most live in the area.  I felt sorry for the staff that set out refreshments and manned the office after closing hours.   However, I didn't let it dampen my spirits and I enjoyed all who came in for a signature and a brief visit.  It had been several years since I had seen some of the cheery faces.

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BOOKSIGNING AND SPEECH AT CALIFORNIA WRITERS CLUB



December 13, 2008……….I spoke at the monthly meeting of the California Writer's Club, along with two other members.  As I started my talk I pulled out a large time clock and set it for my fifteen minutes.  That got a laugh.  Then the seconds whizzed by as I talked about marketing and publicity in my publishing journey and the fact that marketing starts the day you decide to write the book because you have defined an audience.  We all jumped when the timer went off with its extra loud r.r.r.i.i.i.n.n.n.g.g.g..  I feel so privileged to be in the company of talented authors.

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BOOKSIGNING AT BARNES & NOBLE


I haven't gotten the photo of this event from my friend so here's a filler....Sierra my office cat


December 14, 2008……….This time my book signing event was at the Barnes & Noble in Antioch.  It was a rainy day but the customers were in a jovial mood.  A long-time friend came and sat with me most of my two hours.  The CRM treated me to copious cups of coffee and shared homemade cookies.  I did quite well with sales and even had a gentleman buy the book.

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DISCUSSION, Q&A, AND BOOKSIGNING at BOOK PASSAGE

    

January 5, 2008……….Book store signings and events are each unique and I've met many wonderful people.  This evening I was at Book Passage in Corte Madera.  This was my first signing to do a discussion with Q&A before the signing but I wasn't nervous.  I put together a series of lessons from my journey and the story.  I had 17 people in the audience, the most to this date.  Not bad for a Monday night on the first day of many people going to work after the holidays.  The NBC cameraman showed up to film the event for use in my Dateline story that should air in March.  This is the first event where I had a glass pitcher of water with ice and lemon and a real glass of water on a tray next to the podium.  Very nice! 

I feel honored to have presented at this store where many famous authors have appeared over the years.  In fact, Jimmy Carter will be there in February.  The events person treated my husband and I to coffee in the cafe before the event.  It was fun to sit there and watch people pick up my book from a center display, purchase it, and leave.  They weren't even coming to the event, yet they bought my book!  At the end of the event, Book Passage gave me a thank you gift of beautiful note cards with an imprint of my name.  Very classy.

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DISCUSSION, Q&A, AND BOOKSIGNING and A PARTY

                  

January 9, 2008………. This evening my book signing was at A Great Good Place for Books, a small, intimate book store in the Montclair District of Oakland, CA..  This was my second discussion gig and I used the same presentation from Monday, but revised it to improve the flow of information.  We had a reasonable attendance and I sold several books.  One thing to note is that each store has a different seating arrangement so I suggest authors get to their gig at least a half-hour before show time to get situated. Before I left, I signed the store’s stock of my book so Kathleen, the owner, could sticker them with "Signed by the Author" to help boost sales.  I do this at each book store, too.

 

Afterwards, my friends Susan and Steve, who live in the area, hosted a small gathering at their home.  Steve makes the best pizza!  Yum, yum.  Susan and Steve are members of the Contra Costa Home Winemakers Group, as we are, and we all shared the fruits of our labor.  Yum, yum, yum.

 

Alas, my photos from this evening went poof in cyberspace. I thought I had downloaded them into the computer and my husband cleared the flashcard by the time I discovered my error. Boo hoo. One thing I like about our wine making hobby is that I get to design our labels. The bottles above are from the book release party last November. We didn’t bring sparkling for this party but the labels were the same with the cover of the book. If you want to see more of my labels and some of our awards, you can go to www.bentleycellars.com . I’m ashamed to say that it is a bit out of date, but last year was just as successful as what you’ll see on the website.

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EDGAR AWARDS – I DIDN’T GET NOMINATED

 

January 16, 2009……….BIG DISAPPOINTMENT DAY….I DIDN’T GET NOMINATED FOR AN EDGAR AWARD. BOO HOO! But wait….what the heck….Ann Rule didn’t make it off the submission list either. The way I look at it, it was an honor just to be submitted. It meant two things: I was published in 2008 and my editor felt the book was good enough to submit to the Edgar Awards. But all is not lost. I’m entered in two more book competitions – the California Book Awards and the Nautilus Awards! Stayed tuned for more on those later in the year.

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YOU TUBE POSTING


January 18, 2009……….I put together a four minute video trailer for the book and posted it on You Tube. I use Pinnacle software to produce my travelogues so that’s what I used to put the photo stills and captions together in a dramatic little piece with exciting music.   Then I tackled the You Tube process and was pleased to find that the software is quite user friendly. 

I have a link to the video on the home page of
www.adancewiththedevil.com or you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rmtJw6iArc . If the link doesn’t work you can go to www.youtube.com and put in the title of my book in the search field. 

Be sure to click “Watch in High Quality” under the video screen and turn your computer volume up. 

So far 75 people have watched.

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BOOKSIGNING and the STATE of the ECONOMY



January 21, 2009……….I was back at Clayton Books to present a discussion, Q&A and book signing. Only five people showed up, plus my husband and a friend. Joel, the owner, was disappointed. He said that I was his third event of the year and I had the highest attendance. I think this speaks for state of the economy.   Independent book stores have been feeling the crunch from major chains and the internet. I pray the financial problems don’t ring a death knell for the independents. Get out there and support your local bookstores.


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QUERY FOR NEXT BOOK



January 24, 2009……….I’ve started the process once more….this time I want to get my fairy tales published. I wrote FAIRY TALES FROM THE HEART: THE BLACKSMITH’S DAUTHER TRILOGY over several years and have also done watercolor illustrations for each story. The editor for A DANCE does not do children’s books so I am almost at square one again in the publishing journey. I say almost because I did get a lead from my agent for someone she knows in the business. Also, I have a lot more experience under my belt. I’m jazzed about my fairy tales because I had two children’s authors read the tales and they loved them, including the illustrations. A manager at a Barnes & Noble also read the first tale and absolutely adored it. She even recommended where it would be placed in her store….picture books for the 4 – 7 year old range. Here’s a sample from “The Blacksmith’s Daughter” that goes with the illustration above.

 
 

       “Inside, the Blacksmith’s Daughter stood in a dark room lit only by a moonbeam shining through a small stained glass window. The moonbeam illuminated winding stone steps at the end of the room. She slowly climbed the stone steps. There was no other way to go.

        At the top of the stone steps, she crept toward an open doorway and peeked inside to see a large hall lit by glowing colored candles and warmed by a roaring fire in a huge fireplace. A wise old man with long silver-white hair sat in a red high-backed chair facing the fireplace. He wore a blue velvet robe and his feet rested on a white bear rug.”

 

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POSTING ON AMAZON.COM COMMUNITY for PUBLICITY



 

January 24, 2009……….Over the past month I have joined several Amazon.com communities where I feel my book has a place. Today I did a posting on the Women’s Community Site where people write about the books they have written.   http://www.amazon.com/tag/women/ref=tag_ybc_ycc_itdp    I saw my web hits jump to 40 for the day and almost immediately got one good comment.

 

 I keep looking for opportunities to post in appropriate places. I posted several times on one survivor site on the web last November and feel good that I can share my experiences with women who are still in the throes of the crazy-making world of psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists.  http://www.runboard.com/bnarcissisticabuserecovery

 

 IF AN AUTHOR DOESN’T BELIEVE IN PROMOTING HIS OR HER BOOK, WHO WILL?

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INSPIRING COMMENTS FROM READERS



January 26, 2009……….Over the past several months I have received emails from women and men who have found inspiration in my book.  I’d like to share a few with you.  They show how important it is to get the word spread about my book.  The work is far from being finished.

 

YOUR BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! AFTER DEALING WITH A RELATIONSHIP THAT NEARLY KILLED ME AS WELL, YOUR BOOK HELPED ME ALOT. IT MADE ME REALIZE THINGS THAT I WOULDN’T HAVE IF I DIDNT READ YOUR BOOK. HE’S NOW IN JAIL, BUT IT HAS BROKEN ME AS A PERSON AND I AM TRYING TO PICK UP THE PIECES AND START NEW AND FRESH. THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING THIS BOOK, I TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT, I STAYED UP ONE NIGHT AND READ THE WHOLE BOOK IT WAS SO INTRESTING AND I WAS SO COMPELLED TO FINISH THE BOOK BECAUSE I COULDN’T PUT THE BOOK DOWN!!!! YOU ARE TRUELY AN INSPIRATION AND I WISH NOTHING BUT THE BEST FOR YOU!!!!!          (Note:  the message was sent in all capital letters.)

 

Dear Ms. Bentley:

Thank you so much for sharing your horrific.  I, too, was married to a sociopath.  My children and I escaped on July 5, 2005 and each day is a struggle to stay safe.  Until I read your book, I felt alone in my struggle.  Now I feel I have a friend.  Like you, I have recognized an injustice in the family law code--sociopaths should not have unfettered access to their children.  I have decided I would like to change as well.  I will continue to follow your book signing schedule in the hopes of eventually being able to meet you in person.  While my children and I continue our journey of healing, your book has inspired me to not let the abuse my children and I suffered define us, but for us to move forward and redefine the situation.  Thank you again for sharing your struggle and helping me to move my own life forward again.

 

Dear Barbara,
I am a police officer in NW Minnesota.  I have been a police officer for approximately 5 years now and have witnessed some bad domestic situations.  You are a true survivor and an inspiration.  I am almost done reading your book.  I cannot put it down.  Amazing work!! Thank you for writing this book and telling your story.  (Male reader)

 

I wrote a post about a month ago about wanting to write a memoir on my weight struggles and depression, so reading your book has given me more inspiration to do this, so you not only get emails from women who you have saved lives from, but also other kinds of people! :) I think you've achieved so much more! And hopefully Lifetime will add the story to their archives. I would like to see that.  (Male reader)