Saturday, September 11, 2010

Networking Works

Yesterday I discovered just how much networking really pays off.

As an art docent at the Loveland Museum/Gallery (with more experience than most, if not all, of the other docents), the museum recommends me to teachers for tours. An art teacher called yesterday. Before we ended our conversation I told her about my upcoming book, the proposed book signing at the museum and asked if she could pass on the information. I hoped she'd share the information with a few peers. She surprised me when she admitted she is head of the Thompson Valley School District's art teachers. She suggested I might make a presentation in March or April at a teacher's district meeting. Wow! Was that luck or is Someone watching over me?

I usually refrain from taking advantage of such an opportunity. Guess I learned a good lesson - don't pass up any chance to push your product. Because of just mentioning the book, I now have a possible district teacher's presentation and book sales. Hopefully, those teachers will want copies.

Next I'll contact librarians for the district. I'll also contact other school districts within driving range.

I recently "took the bull by the horn" and queried my editor with another book idea. There again, I was out of my comfort zone. I told her I was beginning a second book for the series "How the West Was Drawn." Neither she nor I had called it a series. I also suggested the series might be called "Looking at Art" to include other artists in other regions.

At any rate, I inquired if the publisher would be interested in a similar book on Frederic Remington. After over a month, she got back to me this week. Yes, they would be interested. The best part of her comments was "We would rather stick with the series name How the West Was Drawn for a while. Should we later branch out to other regions or topics, we can have a different name for a new series." Again - WOW! Those words opened a whole new world for me.

So, I've checked out or purchased several books on Remington. I'm reading and taking notes, choosing possible pictures, and preparing to write this second book. The moral is: Don't pass up the opportunity to offer your editor something new.

Next, I'll send her a synopsis and chapters of "Monkey Madness," an already written fiction book based on a time travel adventure of three boys to Paris through the picture frame of "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat. It, too, is part of a series - "Through the Picture Frame."  I hope I'm not getting in over my head!

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