12658008_10208890105157669_1913906864123034865_oOur friend and recent guest, Dawn Camp, releases The Gift of Friendshipher second book, on February 16, 2016.  Despite the chaos of activity that surrounds the run up to the release date, Dawn took a few minutes to share the following bit of artist-to-artist insight on her Facebook page.  We appreciated it enough to ask if she’d allow us to share it with you, and she generously obliged.  Though directly specifically to authors, we feel there is a great message her about being your own best advocate and recognizing that the work isn’t done just because the piece – whatever the medium – is complete.

Thank you, Dawn, for speaking back into the artist community.

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I totally get that awkward, self-conscious feeling when you go into a bookstore looking—hoping—you’ll find your book there. Don’t be afraid to ask them to check if they have it or will have it. Maybe the fact that you’re local will make them more likely to stock it. Employees at bookstores are book lovers and will probably enjoy connecting a book on their shelves with a real person.

My local Barnes & Noble kept The Beauty of Grace in Christian new releases way past the new phase and in a prime spot (facing the Starbucks seating area). They had run out at Christmas, which made me a little nuts, but have ordered a fresh batch for when I do a signing there next weekend. I went into a larger market B&N last night and signed copies of my new book, The Gift of Friendship. It doesn’t release until next week and hadn’t hit the shelves, but they pulled them out for me.

Yes, I had to suck it up and ask.

“Hello, I’m a local author and want to know if you will be stocking my new book and if so, when you expect it to arrive?”

GiftOfFriendshipAwkward? A little. Is anyone else going to do it for me? Nope.

The employees said they have no way of knowing if an author is local unless they come into the store and tell them. Because I did, they plan to place the book in the Local Author section (which is more centrally located) and hopefully in the Christian section too. I’ve got the business card for the Community Business Development Manager there to try and coordinate a future signing. Many B&N locations have someone with that title, and they’re the ones who plan store events.

My local small, independent Christian bookstore stocked The Beauty of Grace because I went into the store and told them about it. Sometimes they find hardbacks harder to sell, but they ordered it after my visit. I stopped by again yesterday and told them about The Gift of Friendship. I think they will stock it now too.

Last night at B&N, they said signed copies (they put an “Autographed” sticker on front) sell better.

I’ll stand there and sign them all day long; I hope I never get tired of it. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and the chance to promote other authors at the same time.

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