Free Advice + California Bookstore Day @Laurel Bookstore

No snack in a bookstore ever ruins your supper. That’s why I’ll be bringing a few bakery treats all the way from Castro Valley to Oakland to help celebrate California Bookstore Day at Laurel Bookstore. Neighborhood stores, where you actually can touch, smell and sample throughout a book, are opening their doors wide this Saturday, with a day-long meetup of writers and readers. I’ll be ready to chat about what goes into writing stories and publishing books.

Laurel Bookstore has a full day of events lined up, including free books, plus time with illustrator Julie Downing, who has an art project planned for kids, and children’s and adult’s author Elizabeth Partridge. Plus reps from Lonely Planet! 

I’ll be hanging out in the 4 o’clock hour. Even though I have always specialized in the “L” of LGBT publishing, if you’d like to chat about your work-in-progress or what readers in my part of the book world seem to be looking for these days, or the general challenges facing writers, I can probably offer a useful word or two.

P.S. The snacks will not be gluten-free, vegan, paleo, raw or remotely good for you. You were warned.

Here’s a free bit of advice: 

If your neighborhood store carries the kinds of books you are writing or plan to write, then that bookseller knows the answer to the question, “What are my potential readers looking for these days?” So ask (maybe not one of the busiest days of the year). And when s/he pulls three examples off the shelf and explains why they’re H-O-T, buy at least one of them* and read it. You’ll have compensated the bookseller for the time and the invaluable advice, and read a spot-on example of what readers are paying for. Both are acts successful professionals in the field do under the heading of Market Research.

*Don’t be cheap and leave the store without buying something. You just got an expert’s advice plus the relevant book, and at a fraction of what any marketing consultant or book packaging guru will charge you.  

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