Friday, November 21, 2008

The things we do to promote our books

I'll start by telling you that Husker Harvest Days seems like a really MANLY event. What with it being for farmers and ranchers, NOT a traditionally female-centric occupation, although there were a lot of women there and any farm or ranch wife will tell you it's a partnership.
Husband and wife are BOTH farmers and ranchers.

So, because it's a manly event, this guy struck me as almost ZEN-LIKE in his masculinity.

How secure do you have to be to walk around Husker Harvest Days wearing a purple back-pack. My goodness. Very impressive.

Below is a close-up.

Even more than the guy wearing his purple backpack, how about the guy NEXT TO HIM? How secure must he be to HANG with the guy with the purple backpack.

I really was impressed with this...a canvas building. It's like we've gone in a full circle and are back to living in tents and teepees. The guy selling this said the building in this picture above, is five years old and he expected it to last just as long as a steel or wooden structure. Seems like a good idea to me. Ought to be fast to erect, but who knows. Maybe not. Or maybe it springs out of it's carton, like one of those tents that just SNAP up, when you pull them out of the box. If it doesn't they ought to consider inventing that.

Now we're on T-Shirts. Click on these to enlarge them and read them. Very funny.

As a writer, I have always been impressed with brilliant use of words. Jokes really intrigue me, and comic strips, and greeting cards and well done commercials.

Because they're so short, a writer has to use words perfectly to get every ounce of nuance from them. I thought these T-Shirts were a good example of words being used very well.

Okay, this is just funny. I should have bought one, except for that whole "I don't drink beer" thing. But that's the ONLY thing that stopped me.

And this one above, is the truth, the whole truth and nuthin' but the truth. In fact my husband says we ought to repeal that pesky law about one man, one woman being married, make a 'polygamy exception' for ranchers. Because he says a rancher needs TWO wives working in town to properly support a ranch.
I'm not entirely opposed to that. I could use some help around this place.
And this was just nice. And I love that guy posed there. I want him.

Ummmmm....I mean........I want him on my BOOK COVER!!!!!!

Please, where is YOUR head at???

And now we get to the portion of Husker Harvest Days I call


This (above) is a wagon.
And no, it's not a phony lawn ornament demo-wagon,
built to draw in the buyers like some twenty foot plastic ice cream cone at Dairy Queen.

They really sell these things.

Note the people walking past.

These are real people, full sized people, not children dressed up like people.

Not that children aren't people........well, moving on.

Big Belt Buckles. Honkin' big horse...

no idea why they had to bring a GIANT horse.

But this is Husker Harvest Days.

Size matters!

This is a tractor that drives itself. I think. The truth was never made clear. Not that I asked. who's got time for that? But the truth should have been out there. Like...on a sign or something. So this sign is on the tractor's window and it seems to infer (or imply? Yes, English is my first language, shut up) the tractors were driving themselves.

Isn't this how the Terminator Movie started?

The machines became self-aware?

And thus began the 'RISE OF THE MACHINES'.

Well, blame it on farmers when it happens because I've got the proof right here on my blog.

Once you get past the tractors that drive themselves, then you go on to the tractors that are bigger than buildings. Note the tent in the background.

It wasn't that small a tent.

Only compared to that tractor.

And this yellow's about the size of a small town.

It is a combine. With a bean head. It has it's own zip code. Based on the men staring at it, I decided it might have its own gravitational pull.

It's so big it seems like you'd only have to drive through the field once and you'd be done. Look at the guy walking past that combine. A full sized human being...I SWEAR.

Which brings me to the point of this blog.

(You had your doubts. I respect that)

I was kind of a big deal at the annual Husker Harvest Days.
If you'll note...I was featured prominently in the Rural Life Tent.

You're not even trying--look CLOSER

Here, let me help you.

Oh, for heaven's sake it's there. You're not even trying!


As I said, I was kind of a big deal at Husker Harvest Days.
Nothing like that Cowboy Poet, though. (He's on the sign with me)
That guy seriously kicked I mean is, he drew a huge crowd.

People were all, "When's the cowboy poet coming."

And at the end of my talk I'd ask for questions and they'd say, "We thought the cowboy poet was speaking, when is it his turn?"
And he was good, too.

They ought call him the Cowboy Show Off.
I thought about including his blog link and maybe one of his poems.

But I figured you'd all desert me and go hang around with him.......I base this on cruel experience. So, if you want to find the cowboy poet, I'll be darned if I'll help you.

My daily presentation was on how to make money online. Let me summarize my points here.
You can't.

Give up, get a job and commute like everyone else.

I didn't say it was a LONG TALK.
And I didn't say I was being asked BACK.
Whew, well, that's the story of my adventure at Husker Harvest Days.

Ya'll come back now, hear?

I'll sign off with my new official picture. Do NOT look at those four people sitting on the stage. Angela Hunt, Karen Ball, James Scott Bell and Brandilyn Collins.

Just because they got asked to sit up there and I didn't doesn't mean a THING.
Look at the jumbo-tron behind them, up-look up, no, up and to the left.
Maybe click on the picture to make it bigger.
Just forget it. I'll do it for you. I have to do EVERYTHING AROUND HERE!!!
That is ME on that Jumbo-tron. Pretty cool, huh?

This was in the Mall of America. So I'm ending this blog with my new official photo.

I'm gonna see if Barbour Publishing will put it on the back of my books.

And if someone wants to infer that Hunt, Ball, Bell and Collins had some part in my book, well, that's what inference will get you.
Let the buyer beware!

So what are you willing to do to promote your books, huh?

Mary Connealy


  1. Thats so cool Mary and I love the photo at the end. my friends daughter is doing a nursing placement in my town so I lent her Calico Canyon. well she was doing a late then early so I got the blame for her not sleeping much that night. but she couldn't put it down and she loved the book.

  2. Oh, wow, Mary. That's too funny. I gotta get your books if this is the way you write. Wait - I won a $20 Amazon gift cert on another blog and didn't know what to use it on. Talk about promoting your books - you're a pro!!!

  3. Mary,

    What about the food? Did they serve biscuits with apple butter? Corn on the cob? Have a hog roast?

    The food at those types of things can be fabulous.

    Just curious.

    Also, would you mind letting us know, in general terms, if you sold very many books at Husker Days?

  4. Always good to laugh first thing in the morning, Mare, so THANK YOU!!

    And anyone who aspires to write knows that SIZE MATTERS ... LI and Heartsong approx. 50-60,000 words, trade books, 90-120,000 and Julie Lessman books ... uh, 150,000 and up.

    Ausjenny -- LOVE your new pic, girlfriend!

    Anita Mae ... you haven't read a Connealy book yet????? How deprived ... and how boring! Mary is one of the few out there that makes me laugh out loud in her books ... especially Calico Canyon -- WONDERFUL!!

    And, Cathy -- way to keep your priorities straight, girl -- can the agricultural and cowboy stuff and let's go straight to the food!


  5. made the mistake of reading your post at work. was laughing too much at your picture commentary, especially the one about the combine having its own gravitational pull. coming from a farming family background, i can so appreciate that comment.

    will have to check out your books.
    hmmm, better go, my coworkers are looking at me like i'm crazy.

    deb h.

  6. There was the smell of roasting meat everywhere, all the time.

    And they gave a lot of food (and other stuff) free. I'd wander from booth to booth picking up lunch free.

    There was a rumor that one place had a beer garden in the back but you had to know the 'password'.

    I thought I DID know the password but since I didn't want beer I didn't abuse my power. :)

    I also got enough free pens to make the computer obsolete. So now we have to build onto our house to add a 'pen-room'. Everyone has one of those, right??? :)

  7. And honestly, the sales weren't great. They were okay but not great. Let's face it, this place was mainly populated by men and they're NOT big romance readers... we all know they oughta be, but they're not.

    I had a sign up that said, "Books Make Great Christmas Gifts"

    Figured that would create a frenzy of 'sourvenier' shoppers, looking for something for the little woman.


    I would say I sold about ... oh, I can't guess. Because I was an invited speaker I got my hotel room comped, and the food seemed to keep flowing, so it wasn't an expensive trip. But it's pretty lonely in a hotel room at night. And it lasted three days. So I don't think I'll do it again.

    Oh, and......the Cowboy Poet... he gets PAID to show up.

    But then he's a huge draw. Seriously.

  8. Making money from a remote location using the internet.

    So that is how you hooked them in?

    Are you the mad genius behind this email I keep getting:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I discovered that my father deposited the sum of ($9,800 000) Nine Million Eight Hundred Thousand USA Dollars in a security company here in trunk box...

    I wish to invest this fund In your country. I also plead, if you help me on the investment part of the business, You have a free hand of operation.

    A legal process will take place to ensure mutual transfer.

    All effort made to the successful of this transaction will highly be appreciated.....

  9. Mary,
    This post was hilarious. I love the idea of the Husker Harvest Days. Reminds me of life where I live.
    And those t-shirts....Oy! Love 'em! LOLOLOL!


  10. How did we miss this? Dang it!

    I knew DS1 was growing up a few years ago ... we took him out of kindergarten for the day for the Farm Progress Show, which is an Indiana-Illinois-Iowa thing.

    He and his dad left me in the rural life tent, AKA the women's tent, so they could go watch harvest demonstrations. Sigh. If Mary would have been there, it would have been all better!

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Ann, they kept talking about the Farm Progress show, in Iowa or somewhere. I think it's all part of the same organization.

    Farm Progress Magazine maybe.

  12. LOL Mary....good for you.

    Exposure of anykind is good.

  13. Hi Mary:

    Your post was very funny but:

    I woke up this morning in the middle of a nightmare (are there morningmares?) about a cowboy poet. The poet just finished a reading in a busy shopping mall bookstore and was wearing his cowboy outfit. Two young children, a boy and a girl, come up to him and pull on his pant leg saying he has to help them find their “lost” mother. She has told them cowboys are heroes. (She must be into cowboy romances.)

    He very nervously takes them to the food court where he asks for the mother to be paged on the PA system. He then starts reciting wry poetry to the children to keep them entertained until the mother is reached. The kids are entranced by his poetry when the mother shows up with two policemen. She yells “that’s the man who took my children.”

    I woke up thinking OMG he is going to be accused of being a child molester. From a simple act of kindness to his world falling apart in one second.

    When I got to work this morning I remembered a blog entry recently where there was a question about writing a ‘different’ inspirational. Then it hit me: How about a cowboy poet for a hero? A cynical, alienated, loner who lives by his ironic sense of humor, delighting crowds, while all the time hiding a profound sadness.

    Reading real cowboy poetry would give a writer a million ideas for building such a character. He could continually use humor to distance himself from the heroine because it hurts too much to get close to a loved one. A strong cowboy poet hero could fill the pages with lots of funny ‘rewards for the reader’. The heroine would help him find faith by her role as a loving mother.

    How about someone writing a strong Cowboy Poet hero?

    Mary, you might be ideal for such a story given your recent experience.



  14. Mary, how did I miss this blog post? Anyway, it was . . . okay it was weird, but I liked it. At least, I read it all the way through.