Category Archives: authorpages

Laurie Graves Author Pages

Another Way to Support Writers: Ask Your Library to Purchase Their Books

Recently, courtesy of my daughter Shannon, my book Library Lost traveled south to the public library in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Shannon asked the Chapel Hill Public Library to purchase Library Lost to add to its collection.  And voilà! They honored her request, and Library Lost is now in the library’s young adult section. (Two years ago, Shannon did the same thing with Maya and the Book of Everything.)

Readers, this is such a wonderful way to support writers—not just me—and it only costs a little bit of time. Now I know very well that not all libraries have big book budgets, but it never hurts to request the purchase of a book. And if the library does honor the request, checking out the book, even if you’ve already read it, gives the book a good start.

Finally, when returning the book, take a few minutes to tell the librarian how much you liked the book and provide a brief synopsis. By calling it to a librarian’s attention, you will have given the book a little leg up, something that cannot be overemphasized, especially for indie writers. Librarians’ recommendations go a long way toward promoting a book.

In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I’m going to ask my own Bailey Library to purchase Myrtle the Purple Turtle written by the fabulous Cynthia Reyes

In addition, I will request Myrtle’s Game, again by Cynthia and also with her daughter Lauren Reyes-Grange. Both books would make for a terrific and timely program on bullying and inclusion, and I will be sure to mention this when I ask my library to purchase these books.

Finally, if you do ask your library to purchase my books, and Maya and the Book of Everything or Library Lost are added to your library’s collection, I have a favor to ask. If you have time, take a picture similar to the one of Library Lost in front of the Chapel Hill Public Library.  Send the picture to me, and I will feature it on my blog.

What fun it would be to see either Maya or Library Lost or both in front of different libraries.

 

 

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A Repost of “Buy Indie, Borrow the Big Bestsellers” by Cynthia Reyes

Cynthia Reyes, a writer, blogger, and journalist from Canada, is someone I’ve featured in my blog several times. Most recently, she and her daughter have written the delightful Myrtle’s Game, featuring the delightful purple turtle as she deals with those who would exclude her.

Anyway, Buy Indie, Borrow the Big Bestsellers, her latest post on her blog, exactly captures my philosophy. Cynthia writes, “The way I see it, the bigtime authors will still get my support, via the public library.  Local libraries are among my favourite places on earth and librarians are stars. I borrow the famous books there….But Indie authors and presses need my money. ” And when Cynthia purchase books, they are usually from indie authors and presses.

Hear, hear! I, too, do my best to support indie writers, artists, and other creative types who earn money selling their creations. Readers, I know a lot of you do, too. However, Cynthia’s eloquent words remind us why it’s so important to buy from indie writers and artists.

This post, of course, falls squarely in the department of shameless self-promotion because not only am I an indie author and publisher, but also my book, Library Lost, is featured in Cynthia’s post.

Many thanks, Cynthia!

 

 

A Warm Bear of a Place

Yesterday, we took our books and illustrations to Bear Bones Beer in Lewiston, Maine. It was part of a pop-up event sponsored by the Sunday Indie Market.

While we didn’t sell many books—it was a fairly quiet January Sunday at Bear Bones—we had one heck of a good time. First of all, Bear Bones is such a warm, inviting place to gather, whether you’re a beer drinker or not. There are wooden tables with chairs scattered here and there as well as comfortable chairs in front of a gas fireplace. (Alas, we did not take more pictures of the charming interior. What were we thinking?) In short, Bear Bones has a great vibe, a place to come on a cold day, to meet people and talk.

And talk we did, mostly with the other delightful vendors. We were lucky enough to be next Nate and Megan Chasse of Sweet & Savory Bakehouse. My oh my, what good bakers they are! Nate generously gave us a bag of mixed bagels, which we had with soup when we got home. Their bagels taste tangier than most bagels, and Clif and I had to be firm with ourselves and stop with just one each. We learned that Nate went to culinary school and that he and Megan are able to support themselves with the proceeds from their bakery.  Go team, Chasse!

I also had some time to sit in a comfy chair by the fireplace. I chatted with Sheri Withers Hollenbeck, one of the organizers of the Sunday Indie Market in Lewiston, and her mother, Bonita. So lovely to get to know them.

Food is not served at Bear Bones, but customers are allowed to bring in their own from other places. In a table not from where we were set up, a man brought in a whole cheese cake, which he shared with Nate and Megan and Clif and me. He even provided plates and spoons for us. It’s that kind of place.

When our stint was over, Clif got a baby beer—a $3 hobbit-sized glass of the Bear Bones IPA.  A nice way to end the day.

Readers, if you live in the Lewiston area and want a warm place to go on a cold winter’s day, head to Bear Bones Beer. They also host events such as trivia nights and open mics, so check out their events page before you go.

 

 

At Quiet City Books

Yesterday, as part of Lewiston’s Sunday Indie Market, Clif and I went to Quiet City Books, where we had our own little table for our own little books.

Quiet City Books is one those shops that feels like home to all nerdy, wordy folks who love books. (Yes, that would include me.)  Courtney MacMunn Schlacter, the owner, has managed to tuck in bright, funky art and sweet little gifts among an astonishing assortment of books that appeal to readers young and old.

What a delightful way to spend a winter’s day. We sold some books and chatted with Courtney, who has a commitment to making Lewiston a better place. We talked about how too many people only hear what’s bad about Lewiston, a mill city that has seen better days, but nonetheless has a lot going for it.  Thanks to Courtney and other bright, creative people, Lewiston now has a hopeful spark.

So readers, if you live in the area and find yourself in Lewiston, stop by Quiet City Books, look at the art and the books and support this wonderful local store.

I’ve Been Book Reported

Here we are, firmly in November.

We set back the clocks on Saturday, and now it gets dark at 4:30, which always gives me a claustrophobic, restless feeling. I have come to the conclusion that I am neither a morning person nor a night person. Instead, I am a day person, and when the dark comes, I am ready to kick back. This is fine when it stays light out until, say, 7:00 p.m. But when the dark comes at 4:30, it’s too early to relax for the evening, and in addition, it makes me fidgety to be inside so much. Therefore, as soon as I am finished with the copy editing of Library Lost, I will be spending some part of every day outside. Being outside helps with the fidgets.

Speaking of Library Lost, I am coming down the homestretch with copy editing. Wowsah, what a job! Fortunately I have the patience to go over the book line by line. Many times. I wish I could get it right with one pass, but there you are.

This weekend, at a craft fair, there was another first for me. A young man who was about thirteen came to my table and told me that he liked Maya and the Book of Everything so much that he did a book report about it for his English class. Readers, I have been book reported. Holy cats, I was thrilled.

In the United States, tomorrow is Election Day, and it’s going to be a nail biter. As I have written in previous posts, I am heartbroken about the direction this country has taken—the ugliness, the racism, the threats, the lack of tolerance and compassion, the total disregard of the environment.

There are some—a minority, I hope—who think it doesn’t make any difference as to which candidate wins. How wrong they are! And I can use the small state of Maine (population 1.3 million) as an example. Because of our current governor and his refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion money available through the  Affordable Care Act, 70,000 people  in our state have gone without health insurance. These are people who earn too much to qualify for standard Medicaid and too little to qualify for subsidies from the ACA. They are caught right in the middle.

How many people died because of our governor’s refusal to expand Medicaid coverage? How many went to the emergency room, thus driving up the overall cost of healthcare?

In each Maine gubernatorial election—alas, our current governor won two times—if the other candidate had won, then those 70,000 Mainers would have had health insurance. This is but one issue of many where there has been a sea of differences between the candidates, and the same is true with the current election.

So out Clif and I will go tomorrow, to cast our votes and hope, hope, hope that we have come to the turning of tide.