Two hundred copies of my book of poems, The Sad Joy of Leaving, arrived the second week of October, too late to sell at the Kansas Authors Club convention. Even so, I sold one book there based on a picture of the front cover I took with me and put up in the book room. After the books came, sales took off. I was surprised, but happy. Many of my Facebook friends bought one from me or from the Blue Cedar Press web site (http://bluecedarpress.com/product/the-sad-joy-of-leaving/). Some of my Wichita friends shelled out $15 to pay for the book. I got positive feedback from a few readers, who said they identified with certain poems or thought the book spoke to them.
Mike Poage, the publisher and one of the editors, said we needed to do a book launch. He suggested I read along with him and Kelly Johnston. All three of us had been published by Blue Cedar Press We discussed where to hold the book launch and readings and decided to approach Watermark Books and Café (https://www.watermarkbooks.com/). Around thirty people came, most of them writer and poet friends. We had a great time, and as is the practice at Watermark, we went to the basement to sign the wall. Our names are there with such luminaries as James Lee Burke and Katha Pollitt. It was a perfect evening. I wore a tiara—don’t ask. Well, yes, ask. After Mike, in the e-mail exchanges before the launch, told me I was the most important person, etc., etc., I said I felt like a queen and I should wear a tiara. He and Kelly thought that was a great idea. I happened to be in the grocery store right after Halloween and the clerk found a tiara, complete with fake pink gem, for me to wear..
People laughed in the right places and became somber when I read my poem, “The Yellow Dress,” a poem about domestic violence.
During the time between getting the boxes of books and having the launch and reading, I was busy selling the book and keeping track of sales. I also set up plans with Watermark and had to get ready for our big night. Nothing much mattered during that time. Now life has returned to normal. I’m still selling books, but I think I’ve sold enough to start earning royalties. We’ll see when I have time to add up everything.
In the meantime, I also got a poem published on the Ekphrastic Review web site. I may try to get more poems published there if I get a moment to do that.
Now I have to get ready for another publishing venture—or adventure, if you will. Another publisher, one who has seen my work online, wants to publish a manuscript of mine. I have until May 1, 2019, to pull something together. We’ll see how that goes. I already have an idea for the book and a picture for the front. My friend Sandra Loux will once again do the picture as she did for The Sad Joy of Leaving.
So, here I go again. It’s pretty exciting to be doing this at my age, as it would be at any age. Off to the races!