Sunday, August 12, 2018

Combining Two of The Best Things About Life, Bread And Books

I made my first loaf of bread when I was a teenager. Bread baking was not something I learned at my mother's knee. She didn't make bread. None of my relatives made bread. I didn't know anyone who made bread. This was just before making bread became a thing. You couldn't walk into a library back then and pick up something like "The Big Book of Baking Bread." I must have just found a recipe in my mother's one cookbook. I think she only had a bread pan because she used it to make meatloaf that I wasn't fond of.

I have no idea what I was thinking. Why did I make my first quilt back then, too? I don't know. My guess is that I read about baking bread and making quilts in books. Novels.

I have baked a lot of bread over the years. In college I worked summers in a kitchen, for the baker. Later, I baked elaborate tree-shaped and teddy bear-shaped bears at Christmas time. The braided bread with with hard boiled eggs at Easter. Cinnamon rolls. Sticky buns. Lots of those. I made stuffed sandwiches of various kinds. Yes, stromboli. I worked out how to let bread rise overnight so I didn't have to do the kneading and some of the rising the day I wanted to serve the bread to guests. (I didn't want to bake the day before, because, you know, day-old bread.) I've done Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I have a stone for baking. I have  peels for getting bread into and out of the oven. I'm on my third bread machine. I have a baguette pan.

Which brings me to my point.

Baguettes And Books

I was walking through my local grocery store last spring and passed the book section where some children's books were prominently displayed. What do I see, but Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems? I see that it's a beautiful book. It's shockingly cheap. And it's about bread!

Well, right away, I mean in...stan...taneously, I knew I could do things with that book.

As it turns out, Nanette's Baguette is a terrific story about a trip to a bakery to buy a baguette and the tempting splendors of this marvelous bread. It's a really fun read, particularly if, while reading it, you're eating baguettes. And you have a guest to eat them with.

With the help of that bread machine I mentioned earlier (and my baguette pan) I made baguettes the morning I was expecting company for dinner.

The baguettes were a big hit with my visitor, as was Nanette's Baguette. So much so that I froze the leftover bread, brought out it out the next time he came, and, since the book was still in the dining room, he ate bread, and we read again. (Frozen, reheated baguette is a little limp. Still.)

Love baguettes. Love Nanette.

Today I'm taking part in Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Environmental Book Club

I discovered April Pulley Sayre last winter. She uses photography to illustrate her writing. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe her photography inspires her writing.

Full of Fall  combines stunning photography with spare, expressive, poetic writing.

This spring I became interested...just a bit, to be nature poetry. That's what Sayre's Best in Snow is. Nature poetry for children with some more fantastic nature photography. I wouldn't have thought I would like the photography as much as I did.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

#STPStwittered: The Results Post

I finished my July Saving the Planet & Stuff summer reading push a couple of days into August. But I did finish it.

You will recall, of course, that the July marketing month involved a series of quote images from the book. They cover the entire story without giving away the entire story. The Kindle edition, all that's available now, has been marked down from $2.99 to $1.99 since July 1. I did a post here at OC on Saving the Planet's Vermont setting, as well as one on the Norwegian textbook that includes a STPS excerpt and the recycling crafts described in the book.

What Did This Book Marketing Get You, Gail?

Well, here is what I hoped to gain from this effort:
  • Sell a few books.
  • Get a couple of decent Goodreads or Amazon reviews.
  • Collect a few new Twitter followers
  • Gain experience running a new marketing strategy. 
Here is what happened:
  •  I sold 1 eBook. Hurray! Really. Hurray!
  • No new Goodreads or Amazon reviews, decent or otherwise.  
  • Whatever new Twitter followers I got last month were due to my own trolling. People were not beating a path to my door because they were so impressed with my quote images.
  • Computer Guy and I did gain experience using Twitter quote images as part of a marketing campaign.


What Questions Does This Book Marketing Experience Raise?

Notice I didn't ask "What have I learned?" That's because I've learned nothing. Absolutely nothing. I just have questions I didn't have before.

  1. Is this quote image thing just a poor marketing tool? It is free and pretty easy, after all, and "You get what you pay for" is a much more accurate cliche than "The best things in life are free."
  2.  Are older books like Saving the Planet & Stuff impossible to market?
  3.  Is Saving the Planet & Stuff impossible to market? 
  4. I've been experimenting with different types of marketing over a long period of time for what is now a self-published book. Is this pointless? Are self-published books just like traditionally published books? The only opportunity for sales is during the big opening, like movies?

It's All Good


This afternoon, a family member and I were discussing how we'd used part of our summers on activities that weren't very productive when we could have been doing other things that might have been more so. (He did better than I did last month.) But all experience has value. What we did will be good for us somehow, sometime. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Grand Opening For New Bookstore In Central Connecticut

For months I've been hearing about a new bookstore coming to Wethersfield, Connecticut. That Bookstore opened on July 15th, and it's grand opening will be this Friday, August 3.