Many of you may know that this book, THE GREEN BOUGH, which is a memoir I wrote about my husband’s aunt, is one of my most popular. I don’t sell thousands, or even hundreds a month, but it’s always on the list of my books sold through Amazon or Smashwords, and definitely a top seller at the two Arts & Crafts Fairs I attend every year. When I ran out of copies at the November show two months ago, people actually stopped at our club table and asked me for it.
Aside from the writing, which I think is some of my best, perhaps the reason is that it’s a true story and the book contains pictures of her school and her first pupils, taken by Aunt Gladys herself. Or perhaps it’s because of the title.
Some years ago, when I was attending a writers conference, I became friendly with another writer whose first name was Phyllis. Only her name tag spelled it “Phylis,” one “L” instead of two, and she told me her mother had spelled it that way. Since we live in a time when “Alice” is often “Alyce,” and “Larry” might be “Lary,” that’s not surprising. In fact I have a long list of names that didn’t exist when I was a child. (But I digress.)
Phylis asked me if I knew what the name meant and when I admitted I didn’t, she told me it means “The Green Bough.” What she didn’t know was that I had just finished writing Aunt Gladys’s memoir and I titled it THE GREEN BOUGH. Shortly after that I purchased a book of baby names and, sure enough, it was there. A good omen.
In one of his blog posts, Joe Konrath, an early self-publisher, and one who admits he makes a good income selling his books, wrote something interesting, which I plan to emulate. Joe has far more published books than I do, and he pointed out that he revisits his older ones from time to time. He might lower the book price temporarily, or give it a new cover, or update the back cover blurb. After all, e-books never go out of print, and new readers come along regularly. Plus, in the case of THE GREEN BOUGH, Aunt Gladys’s year of teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in an Oregon logging camp is historical. It took place in 1913.
So... within the next week or two, I plan to lower the price and get the word out. Check back here from time to time so you won’t miss the announcement for when it goes on sale. Stock up for gifts to your friends and relatives who are schoolteachers. I think they’ll enjoy it.