The biggest challenge an author faces is how to be a seller. By starting close to home, I found it was an unexpected amount of fun.

I wrote A Book of Kells in 2003 to get my life together in a broad perspective that would interest all people of all time. If I had any talent it was with a pen.

My parents had left behind tantalizing remnants of their puzzling, adventuresome behavior in the form of assorted scribblings and snapshots kept safe in boxes. I was a minister’s daughter, a voyage that compares to being a vaudeville star’s offspring shoved early on stage to help the family business.

#1.The Family Reunion
Our extended clan gathers for a picnic every July. I contacted my cousin who sends out the invitations and he put my book cover on the notice. These thrifty farmers forked over without hesitation, adding to the family fun.

#2. College Pals
My best friend from college made a spoof of my ego, setting me up on a throne in her living room with a sign “Author’s Chair” on it. Thirteen of us have kept together for 50 years. I took a little ribbing; they had to buy copies to see what I said about them in the book.

#3. The Local Library
Our local library supports local authors by hosting book launches for them. They provide the room, staff members and a press release. The author brings people and refreshments. Members of my church, former colleagues and friends came. An author friend sent flowers and the mayor gave a speech. What a help to get a picture into the community newspaper!

$4.  A Friendly Merchant

The owner of a stationery store in our mall likes to have an author standing outside as an attraction. He invited me to come whenever I wished and he gave me advice: wear red, stand up, make eye contact and bring loads of books. This worked wonders. When I made a sale, he rang it up on his cash register and took a 15 % discount.