|Salina Yoon, Floppy, & me at Cover to Cover|
How to Meet Published Authors
- If you are a bookstore junkie or library hound like me, get on the email list or join the Friends of the Library group. Know your local children's librarian and establish a relationship with the children's buyer/manager at your local bookstore.
- Get connected via Facebook or Twitter and let the author know you will attend. Salina is very friendly and even chatted with me about her board books via private message long before I met her in person.
- Offer to make the author's visit a bit more relaxed. Salina was on a fast track Midwest tour. I offered to bring coffee or get her food. Don't push, just offer.
- Take advantage of your unique skill set. As a former school librarian and Past President of OELMA, I was well-connected with many schools. Salina's publicist asked if I could secure a few school visits, but our wonderful indie bookstore Cover to Cover had Salina "covered."
- Well-established authors have much to share with newbies, pre-published folks as well as kids and parents. I took notes about how Salina conducted her Columbus visit. She's a pro!
- Authors may miss family and be a bit lonely. I took Salina out for iced tea at a funky gathering place across the street from Cover to Cover. (I asked her in advance if she was interested in meeting somewhere.) We had a great chat. Remember authors may need their "down" time and would prefer meeting you at the official visit.
- Be respectful, but ask questions about them, their books, how the tour is progressing, AND (gulp)...maybe about your own writing. Salina genuinely wanted to know about what I was working on. I let her lead that part of the conversation.
- Sometimes authors have small audiences. I witnessed this at a Peter Brown visit in Phoenix. Most writers are thrilled to have knowledgeable audience members who can ask great questions.
- Cover to Cover had a huge array of Salina's books. What an opportunity to really peruse her concept books, board books, and her traditional picture books! I internalized how the styles/formats differed via the book type. I realized by comparison that my manuscripts were too complicated and wordy for very young children. (Big, big "ah-ha" for me.)
- Salina shared some possible mentor texts published by Bloomsbury(S&S) with me. I am struggling to find the best structure/age range for my biography and the "Women Who Broke the Rules" series opened my mind.
- Salina complimented me on starting career 2.0 at my age. She liked my NF biography idea and indicated the importance of the topic. She validated me and my journey! All writers need this support, and you never know who can help you.
- The best gift Salina gave me was simply being Salina...a writer with hundreds of books a super star due to talent, perseverance, personality and her willingness to give back to others. Kamsahamnida, thank you so much, Salina!