What have I learned in the All Ways a Woman book journey? I’ve learned that after publication, a different journey begins.
The transition becomes a study in contrasts. From private to public. From tapping into one form of creativity for the creation of the book to another form of creativity for marketing the book. From working alone in an office or studio to becoming a “public person” and a business person.
Creating the book’s text in the silence of my office or during a quiet walk was both hard work and a joy. Co-creating through emails and meetings with artist Lynn Centeno was synergetic and exciting. I found myself working with an intense desire to find the words, dig to the meaning, search out the truth, tap into the feelings of the poetry and the art.
when the book was finished, we became a needy writer and a needy artist. What did we need?
We needed sales, we needed venues.
Boom! We were into marketing and promotion. Gone were the silent, contemplative, and solitary cocooned creatives working in an office or studio. Now we were public people, we were giving talks, we were giving readings and presentations. We were writing on our Facebook pages, sending letters, making phone calls, hitting the pavement. Trial and Error were close friends. We worked on venues. We looked for places to give voice to our book such as magazines and organizations. For example, I became a guest blogger on the National League of American Pen Women website, a 120 year old organization with members the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Georgia O’Keefe, and Maya Angelou. NLAPW.org
We needed input. We asked our readers to share with us their favorite pieces, their favorite images. We found that readers like to do so. (Do so if you feel the inclination!) We find the input touching and real.
One reader writes:
I like “Quartet.” I guess I’ve been married long enough now to fully appreciate the seasons of our relationship, especially the comfort of how constant it is … As to the paintings … I like the last painting, “The Gift of the Gathering.” I like the feel that my women friends are always there, sometimes in the background, but there for me to reach out to when needed.
I read the passages and think about my life experiences in each one. I find I am relating to all of the passage, or wishing I could relate to it more. But the depth that is drawn out in each piece brings it home. I love “A Woman’s Hands”, “Sunlit Tulips”, and “The Moment.” At this point I find myself thinking a lot about these.
My husband’s favorites were “Voices” and “Raggedy Ann.” I loved “A Walk With Her Father” and of course “Life Song.” Hard to pick only one or two as I love them all!!!
Love it! Amazingly, the quality cover and paper even feels good to the touch. Perfect hostess gift! I found the pictures and poems to be relaxing.
Readers post reviews. (Do so if you feel the inclination!) On Amazon:
This is truly a book of beauty, inspiration, and memories. The art work is fabulous and the poetry- exquisite. I’m generally not one to read poetry, but I love Ms. Mann’s descriptions- simple, and some provocative. I now have All Ways A Woman displayed on my coffee table. I do hope these two women do another book. It’s a joy.
Readers send us pictures:
We found we had readers in Sweden, Viet Nam, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, Minnesota, New York, and our home state of California. If you have the book and you are in another state or country not listed, let us know your state or place in the world. This just in. We are happy to add Calgary, Alberta, Canada to our reader list.
We needed to know how we were doing. We tracked our sales on Amazon, opened a bank account, and assessed our inventory.
We needed The Square, that unique little attachment you add to your phone or iPad that allows you to take credit card transactions. I bought the Square at my local Verizon store, downloaded the app, and followed the prompts.
We needed things like bags, and pens with ink that won’t bleed through paper but dries quickly when doing a signing. (Sharpie – fine point.) We needed signs to tell the cost of the book and that we take credit cards. We found we needed an event helper to be with us at the signing table. A signing table can be a busy place with two authors, credit cards, signings, coin of the realm, checks, questions, conversation, spelling a buyer’s name correctly when signing.
We needed chairs. We can stand or sit on a sofa or sit on a wooden stool such as used in a reader’s theatre setting (not too comfortable.) We’ve done it. But some of the venues are larger and the presentations a little longer. We bought two director’s chairs, the high ones.
We needed energy. We made the decision to make this book journey creative and fun. To find and keep the joy of pursuing our passion. Energy comes from within but also comes from the people in the room with us at a presentation. The synergy builds as they get used to us, to our voices, to our story, and decide to go on a woman’s journey with us.
What have I learned? I’ve learned to dig into my writing, my words, the meaning, the truth. I’ve learned about myself by working with a co-creator, by risking, and allowing myself to be vulnerable. It can be a gamble giving your words to others, but mostly it can be and is fulfilling. The book journey is worth every step. And by making that journey with a talented collaborator, you add another level of richness.