Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Pulpwood Queen Bows to SHELF AWARENESS!

Dear Readers,

As always I have a lot of things to say when it comes to great books! I consider my mission in life helping authors get their books into the hands of good readers. I do this as it's just a part of who I am. Books saved me and to explain this you just have to read my book, "The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life", Grand Central Publishing you can order from my website,!

But what has happened in the last 24 hours has blown my socks off! First, I had the most incredible reception as I spoke by invitation from The Women's Council at The Dallas Arboretum yesterday. I think all the lovely ladies and yes, men too, came by to personally comment on my presentation and then they proceeded to buy every single one of my books. That made me feel pretty good since I had just received a notice from my agent that I had only sold 350+ books the last six months. I left that event on Cloud NINE! All the women told me they were roadtripping to my hometown, historic Jefferson, Texas. They just had to see my shop,!

So I woke up a little late this morning and scrambling to get all my postings and reminders done for today is the beginning of the first of the three book festivals I do, Books Alive at! You have to see it to believe it! Please come, your life will be blessed and what a great gift to you and others. You see these books can be personalized by the author and make fantastic Christmas presents. I will even gift wrap for FREE!

But then something happened, I started getting a ton of emails on a Shelf Awareness feature that I was supposedly featured in today. I found the Shelf Awareness posting and as I read, I started crying because Robert Gray gets it. He understands exactly what I am doing and shared it with the world. Here it is folks, my story in his story. This is what my life is all about so sharing now with you below!

Make authors, books, literacy, and reading a big part of your life. Reading has taken me places I never dreamed and I am living proof that doing so leads to an authentic and purposeful, wonderful life! I am going into this weekend knowing that the next few days are going to get us all on the same page, that reading is important from THE GOOD BOOK to good books! Won't you join my reading life?

Tiara wearing, Beauty and the Book sharing,

Kathy L. Patrick

Hairdresser to the Authors

Author of "The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life"

Founder of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Indie Booksellers & Publishers--It's About the Book

Earlier this year, when Kathy Patrick, owner of Beauty and the Book

, Jefferson, Tex., read and loved My

Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change

, a self-published

book by Sam Bracken and Echo Garrett, she did not hesitate to take the

next logical step and dye her hair orange.

Well, no, the story is not that simple, though Kathy's passion for this

book is a classic example of how, in our ongoing discussion about

independent publishers and independent booksellers, we might pause to

remember that sometimes it really does come down to the book.

Kathy loves books and authors and readers. Talk with her for a minute

and you know that if you know anything. Even a partial list of her

accomplishments in the book world is impressive: the Pulpwood Queens

Book Club


which now has 400 chapters nationwide; her book The Pulpwood Queen's

Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life; and her now legendary

Girlfriend Weekend

, an annual

convention hosted by the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys book clubs.

I forgot to ask Kathy whether she plays poker, but if she does I suspect

she goes "all in" with every hand because that's how she handsells the

books she adopts. Traditional publisher? Independent publisher?

Self-publisher? Kathy's response is the same: Show me the book.

My Orange Duffel Bag is a perfect example. When co-author Echo Garret

sent her a copy, Kathy quickly realized it was "exactly the kind of book

that I want to get into the hands of readers, an incredible story but

more important, Sam Bracken is doing something proactive to help

homeless teens and those aging out of foster care. As the youth group

leader for my church, children are as close to my heart as authors,

books, reading and literacy. I am a firm believer that if we treat our

children as our most precious gifts, this world would become a much

better place."

Echo recalls the beginning this way: "We had a pilot program with the

state of Georgia to train 25 foster youth on the principles in the book,

and it had been tested in a school in Roswell as well. We printed 5,000

books in our first print run, and got our first shipment in May. I

happened to see a write-up about how influential Kathy Patrick is in the

book world, so I wrote her an e-mail, said a prayer and put a book in

FedEx to her. By the time I got back from the FedEx box, she'd already

written back, saying that our book sounded like exactly the kind of book

she looks for.

"The next night she called me and told me she was making our book her

November pick. We talked for an hour, and I explained that we were

self-publishing because we didn't neatly fit into the traditional realm.

Nobody knew what to do with us. But we knew where we were heading. The

more I told her about our crazy journey to trying to get My Orange

Duffel Bag published, the more engaged she became. I told her that we'd

invested a ton of our money and time and love and life into this

project. For us, it's a passion. We're creating a movement to help spark

literacy and positive change for kids that most of our society

overlooks. When she understood that we needed help selling the book fast

to pay for our printing bill, she declared that she'd dye her hair

orange if we sold 1,000 books in that first month. We did and she did.

Kathy was the first one I sent our full vision to. She believed in us

from the beginning. Having our vision validated by someone as

influential as Kathy gave us great courage that we were on the right

path. Now we've almost sold out of our first printing, and we've ordered

10,000 more books. We're on a rocket ride and the momentum is building


Kathy launched her national campaign for My Orange Duffel Bag on her

Facebook page. "It was kind of

a crazy promotion," she said. "We sold like 326 copies the first day and

made our goal after a week and a half. I was just a walking billboard

for the book. I didn't even know the power of Facebook until then."

Echo noted that while their agent had shopped the project to major

publishers and found considerable interest, "each wanted to turn it into

something very different from what our vision was." Kathy said she also

called some publishers, but did not have much luck "because they didn't

know what it was. Is it a book? Is it a journal? Is it a diary? Whatever

it is, it's a tremendous story. I just know that every time people read

it they call me."

Kathy's orange hair may have faded, but the orange book lives on, which

pleases her. "I'm a big believer that a book is not a six-week

commodity. Who made up that rule? I question everything. People either

think I'm an amazing innovator or a pain in the rump."

She also shared a story that occurred this week, which sums up nicely

what indie booksellers can do when they choose to make a book their own:

"A judge and his wife stopped by who had heard about me through their

Methodist Church in Canton, Tex. I took my youth group to help repair

homes and paint houses as part of U.M. ARMY project there. Anyway, they

stayed for two hours and when they left, they had decided to purchase My

Orange Duffel Bag for all their Christmas presents. As they were getting

ready to leave, this judge handed me his card and told me that if I do

indeed start my own Pulpwood Queen Publishing endeavor, give him one

week, and I will have all the investors I need. I am in awe of the

wonderful places books take me, so it just energizes my batteries and my

endeavors to help authors, their books, literacy and reading efforts.

Thank you Echo and Sam for letting me be a part of your book and it's

message. I have done nothing more than share a great read and it just

proves to me sharing a good book is a gift that keeps on

giving."--Robert Gray (column

archives available at Fresh Eyes Now

1 comment:

River Jordan said...

Congratulations on the wave catching for what you are doing and it's effects are so far reaching. Do you realize that I went a few nights ago to see Fannie Flagg at Davis Kidd - and you know what we talked about??? Pulpwood Queens and Girlfriend Weekend!