Self-publishing Update—Grass Roots Promotion

What to do? What to do?

I could be searching the tweets for a willing soul to pitch my book to in hopes of a review or recommendation. Or I could be reading the Goodreads recommendations on how to promote my book and hold book giveaways. I could be reading Amazon’s helpful suggestions. And making lists. I could be making lists. Lists of people to contact. Lists of organizations to contact. Lists of things I’ve accomplished so far. Lists of things to do.

Can you tell I’m on a denial, or at least a procrastination, jag here?

Instead I’m going to tell you what I did today, which will be yesterday (or even later) for you.

Mary Katherine Lemmon

My mom is my best book promoter. Today she sold three books to her friends from high school who she’s known on-again, off-again for 60-odd years. I picked her up at her house, said good-bye to my dad and good-luck to Paula, (my dad’s home health aide) and drove about 45 minutes north to my parents’, and my, small midwestern hometown of Piqua, Ohio. There we met about a dozen or more of Mom’s friends from high school for their monthly lunch that Mom hasn’t attended in over a year.

Mom brought three copies of Dancing in Heaven with her in a plastic Kroger’s bag. She was going to give one to the group that they could read and pass on. She had extras just in case. Instead of passing one around, three of her classmates bought her books. These are the young men and women who knew my mom before everything that occurs between the pages of Dancing in Heaven ever happened. They knew her when she was a relatively carefree, straight-A-student who got in trouble for talking too much in class.

And the really great thing about today, about old friends in general, and my mom’s friends in particular, is that they brought back that youthful girl. They provided a mirror that reflected back a part of my mom that has gotten trampled, beaten down, and spilled out through the course of a long life of caring for others and  the last several years that have been nearly too hard to bear.

Do I care that I sold three books today? Not so much. Do I care that my mom’s friends will be reading her story of commitment, devotion, untiring vigilance and compassion in the manner in which she (and my dad) picked up the responsibility for the care of my sister Annie and carried it for 51 years? More than you can know.

So here’s to grass roots book promotion and three books sold.


The latest of what readers are saying about Dancing in Heaven:

“I sat down and read it all in one sitting. And I’m never going to read it again. I had to take my glasses off and put them back on too many times.” Mom’s sister, my Aunt Sharon.

“I started reading your book this afternoon and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It’s a wonderful story.” My mother-in-law, Alberta Grote.

24 thoughts on “Self-publishing Update—Grass Roots Promotion”

  1. Aw, Christine–how wonderful!!! I am so happy that your mom had such a great reunion with friends and that “her” part of the Annie story is getting shared even more. How special for you to be able to share that day with her!!! And next time you are in the area, let me know! Piqua isn’t that far from where I am right now. I would love to come meet you in person some day!!! Tell me when you have book signings !!! Maybe I can make one of those!!!

  2. I hope to drag her up there again next month. Their lunches are the first Wednesday of the month. Maybe we could meet for lunch sometime and I could drop her off. Where are you now?

  3. Christine, you are someone who knows who and what are important in life, and I’m sure that shines through your book as it does in your life…and now we know where you get it from, your mom.

    1. Yes. I’m not all that encouraged about the web stuff, but then I’m not a very patient person either. It may take time for my little book to drift around the ‘net and find a good landing place.

  4. That’s such a sweet story! I’m so happy–and envious–for your mom (and you) that you went to see her high school friends. What a wonderful way to celebrate your mom’s amazing lifetime work and commitment!

    1. I second that Nancy….notice the fall leaves …and then dig deeply…notice one single leaf…enjoy the Journey.

      And woot! for your mom getting to visit her friends. BIG yay! ‘success’

      And woot! you sold THREE books. ‘success’.

      And guess what, you were MARKETING ! hehe

    1. It is the reason, but sometimes it’s hard to remember that. Had fun today talking about my book with a small class at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

  5. Hi Christine .. all in all a wonderful vindication of writing the book – really good news and I bet your Mum is chuffed .. all the very best and many thoughts … Hilary


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