As a picture book author/illustrator you have to get out and promote your books. Mostly I’ve attended book festivals like the Warwick Children’s Book Festival and The Collingswood Book Festival. Sometimes I do appearances at bookstores. I’ve been to quite a few, like the White Rabbit in Leonardstown, MD and the Hockessin Bookshelf in Delaware. I’ve done some things in interesting locations such as the Wild About Reading event at the Salisbury Zoo, The Ghouls and Gourds Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, or Storytime Under the Big Tree at the Woodside Farm Creamery.
So last week I attended an author event in a very unusual location (for me at least). I was one of the authors at the Author Celebration at the Somerset Patriots baseball stadium. Not being much of a sports fan, this was probably only my fifth time attending a professional baseball game. It was a nice night to be out and the game was well attended. I was very pleased at the number of people who stopped by my table.
It wasn’t my best evening ever for book sales but I sold enough to make it worth coming. I met some very nice families who stopped and read a book or two (in a couple of cases, 3 or 4) before choosing one. The best part was when I gave them my school author visit information and they said they would give it to their school. I even spoke to a few educators who were out for the game.
The pinnacle of the evening came towards the end. A family walked over and asked about my books. After chatting for a bit I offered to read one to them. As I read I Hate Picture Books! to the kids I could hear the mom laughing over my shoulder. When I finished I turned and caught her wiping tears from her eyes. She was a little embarrassed but I told her how pleased I was that my book had moved her. This was the third time someone has teared up a bit in front of me while reading I Hate Picture Books!. I used to feel uncomfortable calling myself an author. After the first time that happened, shortly after it was published, I stopped referring to myself “an illustrator who figured out how to put a few words together” and proudly called myself an author.
I’m looking forward to some great festivals this fall. I’ll be appearing at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, NY ComicCon, my second time at the Warwick Childrens Book Festival and the Baltimore Book Festival amongst other events I’ll write about later.