Thursday, January 31, 2013

When You Travel, Take Your Books With You

For those authors who travel in the United States or abroad, it's always a good idea to take along some of your books. You never know when you might have a chance to contact a bookstore, toy store or gift shop that might take your book. Writing children's stories, I try to contact these outlets as I drive north or south in California to visit family. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes not, but usually I am met with, "Why, yes. Let's try your books and see how they sell." I always keep a stack of my books in my car along with my brochure and business cards.

Perhaps equally, if not more exciting, is when I take copies of my stories with me when I travel abroad. I have traveled extensively over the past few years and now have books at elementary schools in Fiji and Burma. In addition, several families around the world also have my books, including children in France, Burma, Chile, Tunisia, New Zealand and Africa. I wish I had taken more books on my recent trip to Burma because I met many children and would have loved to give them away. In many of the developing countries, there are few books for children in English, especially in the villages. Many of these children or their parents read English, and I am glad to provide them with books for them to read. Of course, the illustrations help to tell the story as well. It's my way of connecting with children around the world in a very personal way.

I remember one little boy in Chile (his father happened to be our guide). I gave him a couple of my stories, and at a later date, his father emailed me to see if I could send him some books about Dinosaurs in English. It seems in Chile there are few books in English about these creatures. Fortunately, I had written a dinosaur book which I sent him, along with some other dinosaur books as well. Both child and father were very happy.

So, don't leave home without a few copies of your books in your car or your suitcase. The rewards are many and can be unexpected. Beryl

Beryl has three books for young children published by OTP: "The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake", "Camouflage" and "Ants on a Log". She has recently self-published a book called "Wild Africa" about African Animals with Createspace and has a number of self-published books with Visit her website at for more information.

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