Hi there. I just got my first book, Return to Sleeping Bear, published earlier this year, February 2019. After getting your book done and published, the next step is marketing your book. There are so many books out there that if you don’t shout it out to the world that your book exists and is worth reading, no one will find it; no matter how good it is.
THE BOOK MARK, LUDINGTON, MI
I decided to go last Friday and Saturday up to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Traverse City area, where most of my book takes place, to market my book. I was excited and nervous. The Book Mark already ordered a couple of my books, so I stopped there to thank them and give them some freebies; pens and book marks. The clerk at the register was very friendly. I left there relaxed and confident that this would be a fun trip – and it was.
THE WINDOWSILL, LUDINGTON, MI
The next stop was The Windowsill. The owner was there, so I got to talk to her. She had lots of questions about the book and was excited about it. It was fun talking to her. I gave her a free copy so that she could read it and decide if it was something she wanted to have in her store. Hopefully, you will be able to find it there soon!
Next, I went to the Ludington Library and donated a book to them. You don’t make any money doing that, but Librarians are good about getting the word out about the books that they like. And that, my friends, is how you get sales. To buy it, they have to know it exists.
I can’t travel Michigan shorelines without visiting the beaches. I’m a water freak and the water draws me like a magnet. It was raining all day. I think God did that on purpose to keep me moving. I could spend all day sight-seeing. The above picture is Lake Michigan in Ludington.
I had never been to Manistee before. What a beautiful town!
HAPPY OWL, MANISTEE
Looks like a happy customer coming out of The Happy Owl with her purchase and coffee. Rainy day, coffee, good book. Perfect combination to escape inside a good story.
Such a pretty store, and the two ladies I talked to were very friendly. They got a copy of my book too.
Why I like this distorted picture through my rainy windshield, I don’t know; but I like it! The Manistee Library got a book too!
Arcadia is a small town and this picture was all I got of the scenic turnout, north of the town, because of the rain. It was absolutely gorgeous. I was there another time and I was in awe of the views. I donated a book to their library and someone there said the locals call this scenic turnout inspiration point. If the views there don’t inspire you, nothing will.
Again, I had to go to the beach. Frankfort. Water sports are the perfect thing to do in the rain. You’re going to get wet anyway. As long as there’s no lightning; why don’t more people swim in the rain?
This is where, in my book, Bree looks back at the town of Frankfort slipping away, as they head out into Lake Michigan. They had just left the marina in Betsie Lake.
It was a windy, wet day. The waves were getting spunky and not too many people were at the beach this day.
THE BOOKSTORE, FRANKFORT MI
This is the one store I went to where they already had my books out.
It was so exciting to see my book on the first table as you enter the store. They had it in another spot too!
Since I was there, I autographed their copies. The owner was there. I had sent her a copy of my book in the mail. She said she took the book with her on vacation and read it. She absolutely loved it and asked me if I would come some time to do a book signing. It’s hard to schedule those (Frankfort is three hours away from me) because I’m currently working 60 hours a week at my job for four weeks. I usually only work 50 hours a week, but we were able to work something out. I have three days off for Labor day, so I’ll be at The Bookstore in Frankfort on Sunday, September 1, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00. Hope to see you there!
EAST SHORE MARINA, FRANKFORT
In 2001, I went on a charter fishing trip here with my three favorite men in the world; my dad and my two sons. It was one of the best days of my life. It was so exciting catching those fish. They were huge! I think Captain Mike’s son was our Captain for that trip. They ran the business together from what I understand.
Anyways, in 2008, I drove up there to ask Captain Mike Bradley if I could interview him because I had questions about boating on Lake Michigan for my book. He was glad to help. I was sitting across from him at his desk and his phone rang. It was business hours so he had to answer it. I could hear him say “I’m being interviewed right now by an author…. yes… a romance writer!” A big smile came across his face. I think he got a kick out of helping me. He was such a sweet man. Shortly after the interview, my life went haywire. I had just gone through a divorce, my mom got sick and later died from cancer. I lost my job that I had for 15 years due to a bank merger. My dad got sick and died 15 months after my Mom. Long story short: I had to quit working on my book for several years. It was a long time before I started working on it again. I would have liked to thank Captain Mike in person for his help, but he passed away in 2013.
Thank you Captain Mike for taking the time to help me out!
A few years ago, I got serious about working on my book again and getting it done. I had to make revisions to it and new questions arose. I went back to Frankfort and asked John Sarya if I could ask him questions about boating on Lake Michigan. He was more than glad to help and his insight was very useful. Him and his wife own Jacobson’s Marina. I went there and presented John with a free copy of my book. Thank you John for answering my questions.
One thing that I found was common in everyone I interviewed about boating on Lake Michigan was that when I asked them if they ever got caught in a storm, there is a brief moment of silence as they remember back to the experience. There definitely is an awe and respect for the power of a storm and the huge waves they create. The love for the water is so strong though, that it doesn’t keep them from going back out again and again and again. But they try to avoid storms!
(Looks like I forgot to get a picture of their marina. It’s very nice. Trust me.)
This is the location that inspired the birth of my story.
The waves were crashing. I tried several times to catch, on camera, a big wave at the exact right moment when it was crashing up into the air. I wasn’t having much luck. You’ll have to trust me that they were slightly wild.
The second and last day of our promotional trip began with visiting Point Betsie. How can you just pass that Point Betsie sign? You can’t.
Me and my good friend, Debi.
I asked Deb to come along because it’s so much more fun to have someone with you to enjoy the adventure with.
When we pulled into the parking lot, I was amazed. The water was further up on shore than I had ever seen before. Water levels are up!
Look at the drastic change in the water color from sandy to a slight green tint to silvery blue.
Next, we headed up into the Sleeping Bear Dunes territory. It’s a National Park so you know it’s got to be amazing – and it is.
You probably think I’m looney taking a picture of a bathroom, but if you’re in a wheelchair, it’s nice to have a modern bathroom, not an outhouse, to use. This park at Loon Lake was designed for those in a wheelchair. Just wait until you see what they have here!
They have this nice pavilion with a paved path to it, but there’s even more.
They have a set-up so that someone in a wheelchair can get in and out of a kayak! I just love that! This is the first place I’ve seen with something like this.
This is where they get in and out of the kayak.
This is the last picture of Loon Lake. Isn’t it beautiful?
WHERE THE PLATTE RIVER MEETS LAKE MICHIGAN
I don’t know where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein, but this is where the road ends. I love how the fog makes it look like it drops off into nothingness.
At this park is where a lot of the Platte River canoe trips end. They don’t let you go past this point. They don’t want to be responsible for someone drifting away into Lake Michigan.
Love those shades of green!
This park at the end of the Platte River is another one designed with handicapped vacationers in mind. Thank you for making these parks accessible to all.
From pictures I’ve seen of South Manitou Island, that looks like her right there off in the distance. She has steep dune drops on the west side and the elevation gradually slopes downward to the east.
Another view at Empire Beach.
The park in Empire has Lake Michigan on its’ west side and this lake on the east side of it.
THE COTTAGE BOOK SHOP
The Cottage Book Shop is in Glen Arbor. I had to post this picture. Isn’t that building adorable?
On the drive up to Leland, there were lots of hills and some of them were letting off steam!
LELAND, MICHIGAN (AKA: FISH TOWN!)
This is their dam.
This is the Dam Candy Store. Hmmm.
This is such a cool town. By Lake Michigan they kept the old fishing town look on the outside of these buildings. Inside, the shops, etc. are very modern and nice.
Way in the distance are several things; the parking lot for cars, a “docking lot” for boats and the office for the Manitou Island Transit. If you want to go out to South Manitou Island like Denver and Bree did, you would get on there. You have to call ahead to make reservations.
I loved coming to this place. It was hopping and the owner was definitely busy. You need to stop in here if you’re in the area, especially if you have kids. Nice set up. And she wanted my books! Yeah! You can get Return to Sleeping Bear here!
BAY BOOKS IN SUTTON ‘S BAY
Nice town. Beautiful store. It was getting to the end of my second day. Somehow I forgot to get a picture of this store. Trust me; it’s adorable! The owner was there and very pleasant. She was very interested in my book. Hopefully, it will be available there soon!
TRAVERSE CITY TALL SHIP CO.
SONG OF THE LAKES
Some of the businesses in my story are fictional, but these are not. Denver and Bree go on a romantic evening sail on The Manitou. You can do the same by contacting the Traverse City Tall Ship Co. I went on it to do research for my book. You can look at my post about the experience on this blog. The post is called “Sail away; the Schooner, the Better.”
Song of the Lakes is a real band and they are fantastic! You have to hear them! I went to the Traverse City Tall Ship Co. and left a copy of my book for their company and one for Song of the Lakes.
HORIZON BOOKS, TRAVERSE CITY.
I sooo wanted to get to this store. So far, they’re the only book store I’ve done a book signing for. They were the first store to purchase my books and they treated me like royalty while I was there. The store is huge. It has three levels and it even has a refreshment bar if you’re getting thirsty or need a snack. If you get a chance, stop in.
I ran out of time and steam and couldn’t get there. I work third shift and having to switch each weekend and stay up in the day when you normally sleep is hard. You can get my book and my editor’s books, Scott Couturier, there. I’m almost done reading his first book, in a series of three, called The Mask of Tamrel. He is such a brilliant editor and author. Thank you Horizon Books! Thank you Scott Couturier!
OBTAINING A COPY OF MY BOOK
If you want a copy of my book, try your local bookstore. It’s Return to Sleeping Bear by Mary K. Eastman. Supporting local businesses is a great thing to do. However, if you can’t get it at your local bookstore, you can always order it on Amazon.com.
If you’re a bookstore, you can order it through mppdistribution.com. I also was told it’s available for bookstores from Ingram Sparks. These are only for retail orders.
Thank you for your support. Enjoy your journey to Sleeping Bear!