Hello Booksellers and Librarians,
I am currently on the beautiful island of Bequia in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, a country in the Caribbean. It is no coincidence that this is the setting of my novel, Island in the Clouds, and where the next three novels in the Bequia Perspectives series will be set. Here’s the cover:
See that hammock? I just hauled myself out of there to come inside to the laptop to write this blog post to all of you. That’s the harbour and the jetty in Port Elizabeth in the background, as seen from our verandah.
And the reason I’m writing to you specifically is because I have had a thought (and I can hear bjH groaning: Oh, no, Susan! Not another idea! Can’t you just relax???) … Why should we allow distance to stop us from promoting books and their authors? I am quite capable of giving a reading or talking about my book, about Bequia as a travel destination, writing, publishing – really, whatever topic that interests you – while I sit on my verandah and sip a fruity drink or, maybe not as exciting a backdrop, at the desk inside this house.
If anyone out there is willing to give it a whirl, I’d be more than happy to organize a Skype chat with your store/library for the benefit of your customers/patrons, anywhere you happen to be. As long as it’s somewhere English is the first language, since I’m not proficient in any other language.
All you need on your end is a dependable internet connection, Skype (free to download and use if calling between computers), and a monitor and speakers, as well as a group of people interested in what I have to say. These can be book club members, anyone interested in travel, or beginning writers. I have a slide show of Bequia photos that I’ve prepared. These could run on your screen while I read from my novel. I also have some interesting videos to show so your audience gets some “local flavour” of this place … And, speaking of which, if you’re really ambitious, I can even recommend a few “local” treats you can prepare and serve the audience you do round up.
Please give this some thought. It’s a new method of promotion that has not yet been explored enough, as far as I’m concerned, but it does have a great deal of potential to open up international possibilities, both in presenting interesting reading materials and information/ideas, to the people you serve – your customers and patrons.
And, here’s the best part – it’s free! At least, I’m offering to speak or read from my book for free right now, just to test this as a viable means of promotion. All I ask is that you stock print copies of my novel in your store for sale prior to the event, or add a print copy to your library collection for circulation. And promote the event to your local community well in advance! (Also, this novel is available as a eBook and I have a way for bookstores to sell that, too, so mentioning the eBook availability to your customers is in your best interest!)
So, if you are interested in pursuing this idea with me – whether you’re back in my home country of Canada, in the United States, England, Australia, or anywhere else there’s an audience that speaks and understands English – please send me an email: susanmtoy (at) gmail.com
(I’d also like to organize a few long-distance literary salons and invite a group of authors to participate with me, but that’s an idea for another blog post.)