This weekend we went to Martha's Vineyard which, besides being my favorite place in the world, is also home to one of my favorite bookstores - Edgartown Books. It's an incredible bookstore, with a large front porch where you can sit, rock, and watch the island life pass by. And to top it all off, Edgartown Books carries Star Sisters. It's hard for me to explain how exciting it is to see my work in a bookstore that I have loved for years. A place where I spent many rainy afternoons with young children, dreaming of being one of those authors on the shelves, dreaming of having that kind of creative life.
I publish independently, which brings many challenges. But one big challenge is that stores like Barnes & Nobles will probably never carry my books (at least not with the way things currently stand). When I decided to take the indy route, this worried me. I was dreaming of big, huge, total Star Sisters world domination. Then I stopped dreaming and started doing and everything changed for me.
First, I learned that world wide domination was going to take a heck of a long time. My books weren't going to land with a splash. They were going to land with a teeny, tiny drop in a very big ocean. And they were going to spread from there. Second, I realized that there is no greater feeling than seeing my books on the shelves of local independent bookstores. I love going into these stores and talking with the owners. I love seeing my book spines (or sometimes forward facing covers) on the shelves. I love the smell of the places, getting to know the people who work there, and bringing my girls along to browse the shelves and get recommendations.
I've written this before and I'm sure I'll write it again: independent bookstores are the best. If you're professional and have a good product, they will take the time to get to know you and your books. They will invite you to special events and recommend your books to customers. They will cheer for you when you get press and help you brainstorm strategies when you have a slow month. They will make you feel like you belong in this industry even when you have days where you worry you never will. Working with places like Edgartown Books, Wellesley Books, Newtonville Books, Winchester Bookends, Brookline Books and many more has been one of the highlights of this experience and one of the reasons why, even though I sell my books on Amazon, I will only buy my books from stores like these.
And since we're on the topic of Martha's Vineyard and following dreams, I have to share the incredible home of Molly and Eric Glasgow, owners of the Grey Barn Farm. This home was recently featured in Architectural Digest and it blew me away. The short (and I'm going to guess very simplified) story is that the Glasgow's were working in high powered jobs in London when they decided to make a drastic change and move their family to Martha's Vineyard to open a dairy farm. Several years and twenty-five cows later, just look at what they've built. We drove by the property several times this weekend and I almost pulled my neck out straining to get a view of the place. I'm pretty sure they open the farm to visitors during the summer and it is at the top of my list for next year. In the meantime, I will visit these images whenever I need some inspiration to keep pushing on my making my own dreams come true. (All images via Architectural Digest).