Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tattered Cover Bookstore & Me

It can be difficult for a self-published author (a/k/a indie author) to get their books into bookstores. Add the fact that my books are published by Amazon, which many booksellers believe is the sole cause of their struggles, and well... you see the challenge.

Tattered Cover Bookstore is one of the premier independent bookstores in the country. If they were in danger of closing, I would petition hard for Denver to do whatever it had to do to keep this gem open. They are so special and iconic that they intimidated me. I never asked them if they'd be interested in selling my books. Not in the two years since my first book was published.

Instead, I approached a newer and smaller (much smaller) bookstore. The owner advised me that she didn't have a crime fiction section in her store. What? A staff member later backed her up by saying that she didn't even have room for a cookbook section, and the owner loved cookbooks. I got the impression of a bookstore catering solely to non-fiction readers and fiction that would fit nowhere else other than solidly literary.

Imagine my sadness when I spotted some crime fiction in the store (big name, big publisher, and crime fiction) and even some lesser known CF authors holding book signings. Apparently she didn't think I'd notice. As much as I loved that little bookstore on my few visits to it, I won't be back unless she comes to me to sell my books. It's just not a wise use of my energy... physically, emotionally, or economically (it ain't close).

Fast-forward to my friend, Jenny Milchman, approaching me to do a joint presentation next month at Tattered Cover. Whoa! I'm pretty sure I didn't hesitate three seconds before responding with a huge yes. Jenny, working through her publicist, was setting up another cross-country tour promoting her newest book. She had the big connections and hoped I might have the smaller, local connections. (That's yet to be seen, but I'm trying.)

I put off contacting Tattered Cover (that intimidation thing) until a couple of weeks ago to see about selling a few of my books in their stores (they have three locations). Yes, one month before the presentation.

Imagine my surprise to be warmly hugged. That's the best description I can give you. It might have helped that I'm doing an "event", it might have helped that my latest book is a finalist for two literary awards in Colorado, but I suspect that this is SOP for the bookstore. They truly want to support local authors, regardless of how they're published.

For readers: my books are now available through one of the finest independent bookstores in the country. Here's the link: Peg's books at Tattered Cover If it's in your DNA to support one of the most respected independents in the country, this is where you ought to shop.

For writers: don't hesitate to contact that intimidating independent bookstore where you live. Yes, they might have a couple of requirements but they want you in their store. If they don't, move to Denver and contact Tattered Cover.

For everyone: If you or someone you know is in the Denver area on May 14th, let them know about this event. They can thank you later.

It's all better with friends.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014 Colorado Book Award Finalists

Ernest L. Blumenschein: The Life of an American Artist by Robert W. Larson & Carole B. Larson (University of Oklahoma Press)
Joe Mills of Estes Park: A Colorado Life by James H. Pickering (Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc. Press)
Miera y Pacheco: A Renaissance Spaniard in Eighteenth-Century New Mexico by John L. Kessell (University of Oklahoma Press)

Children’s Literature
Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navajo Rodeo by Nancy Bo Flood & Jan Sonnemair (Wordsong)
The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog by Marty Crump, Steve Jenkins, & Edel Rodriguez (Boyds Mill Press)
The Tumbleweed Came Back by Carmela LaVigna-Coyle & Kevin Rechin (Rio Chico)

Creative Nonfiction
Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food by BK Loren (Counterpoint Press)
Deeper into the Heart of the Rockies: Selected Columns from The Denver Post 1999–2012 by Ed Quillen (Sidewalk Press)
thickerthanpaint: A LIFEWORK by Sandra Wittow (Rose Markus Press)
This is not a dachshund by Craig Marshall Smith (Craig Marshall Smith)

General Nonfiction
Drink It In: Wine Guide of Western Colorado by Dave Buchanan (Grand Junction Media, Inc.)
My Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People and Their Animals by Leslie Irvine (Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State by Michele Morris (Farcountry Press)

Genre Fiction
Changes by Pamela Nowak (Five Star)
Doctor Lovebeads by Gary Reilly (Running Meter Press)
The Mountain Between Us by Cindy Myers (Kensington Books)

Historical Fiction
The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire by Linda Lafferty (Lake Union Publishing)
Prairie Grace by Marilyn Bay Wentz (Koehler Books)
The Pursuit of Mary Bennet: A Pride and Prejudice Novel by Pamela Mingle (HarperCollins)

Deep Roots: AspenPointe and Colorado Springs—Together Since 1875 by Eileen Welsome (Aspenpointe)
Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream by Erika D. Walker, Wendy Rex-Atzet, Sally L. White, Thomas J. Noel, & John Fielder (John Fielder Publishing)
The History of City Market: The Brothers Four and the Colorado Back Slope Empire by Anthony F. Prinster & Kate Ruland-Thorne (The History Press)

Juvenile Literature
Grave Images by Jenny Goebel (Scholastic)
The Miner’s Cap by Ann N. Black (CreateSpace)
A Summer of Sundays by Lindsay Eland (EgmontUSA)

Literary Fiction
An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky by Dan Beachy-Quick (Coffee House Press)
Little Raw Souls by Steven Schwartz (Autumn House Press)
Monument Road by Charlie Quimby (Torrey House Press)

Funeral in a Feminine Dress: Depravity Reborn as Virtue by M.J. Burke Sr. (M.J. Burke Sr.)
I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail D. Storey (Mountaineers Books)
Kismet: From the Joy of Romance to the Agony of Alzheimer’s by Elizabeth Gibbons Van Ingen (Daniel & Daniel Publishers/Fithian Press)

Desperado: A Mile High Noir by Manuel Ramos (Arte Publico Press)
Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas (St. Martin’s Press)
Missing by C.T. Jorgensen (Five Star Publishing)

Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts by Andrew Beckham (George F. Thompson Publishing)
The Peaks of Telluride: Labeled Images and Stories Behind the Names of the Mountains Surrounding Telluride, Colorado by Jeff Burch (Jeff Burch)

Little Oblivion by Susan Allspaw (Elixir Press)
Natural Takeover of Small Things by Tim Z. Hernandez (The University of Arizona Press)
Seven by Sheryl Luna (3: A Taos Press)

Finding Cassiopeia by Frank H. Coons (Lithic Press)
Hyacinth by Kyle Harvey (Lithic Press)
Ndewo, Colorado by Uche Ogbuji (Aldrich Press)

Cries in the Night: A Denver After Dark Suspense by Kathy Clark (CreateSpace)
Double Dare by Michael Madigan (Adventure Publications)
The Sacrifice by Peg Brantley (Bark Publishing, LLC)

Young Adult Literature
Ascendant by Rebecca Taylor (Crescent Moon Press)
Backwards by Todd Mitchell (Candlewick Press)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Colorado Authors' League 2014 Award Finalists

Three Top Award Finalists Named in CAL 2014 Award Categories

1.   Book Adult Fiction Mainstream  

Blood Feather by Don Bendell
Ursula’s Yahrtzeit Candle by Steven R. Berger
Not to be Forgiven by Nancy Mayborn Peterson

2.  Book Adult Fiction Genre

The Sacrifice by Peg Brantley
Double Dare by Michael Madigan
Rope Burn by Bruce W. Most

3.  Book Young Adult

Worthy of Trust and Confidence by Donald Brewer
North Mystic by M.J. Evans
Backwards by Todd Mitchell

4.  Book Children

Steppingstones to the Sun by Nawashani, illustrated by Pat Wiles.
The First Rainbow by Phyllis J. Perry, illustrated by Jeff West.
Bandit, The Chihuahua by Pat Postek, illustrated by Brad Davies.

5.  Short fiction: Adult/Children

The Widow of Loreto” by Page Lambert
The Well” by Claudia Cangilla McAdam.
“Footprints in Water” by Twist Phelan.

6.  Book Adult General Non-fiction

Author YOU by Dr. Judith Briles
Natural Childbirth Exercises by Rhondda Evans Hartman
Tasting Colorado by Michele Morris

7.  Book Adult Creative Non-fiction

The Boys from the Bushes by Lou Dean
I Promise Not to Suffer by Gail D. Storey
Sea Monsters by Joseph Nigg

8.  Feature articles/Essay      

The Hotel Jerome” by Kimberly Field.
“A Final Farewell” by Kara L. Stewart.
Alive and Aloft in the Aeolian Zone” by Gary Raham

9.  Poetry 

      We Leave the Safety of the Sea by Art Elser
      Schrodinger’s Cat by Dan Guenther 
      Marked Men by Joseph Hutchison

10.  Blogs

      Choose Happiness. Love all Life by Susan J. Tweit
      Culinary Colorado by Claire Walter.
      Traveling Trees and More by Sandy Whelchel

Join us to celebrate these winners and our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipient Poet Lois Beebe Hayna. Also, the Tattered Cover’s Joyce Meskis is
also being honored with the CAL Author Advocate Award. 

I want thank Jerrie Hurd ,VP  Membership  and Kim Field, Publicity Chair for
help in coordinating contest information. Also, heartfelt thanks to the South
West Writers for their energy and care in judging the 2014 contest.

Barb Lundy