Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Awesome, Exciting, Freakin' Cool Experience at LDSBA!!

So, I put up a teaser on Facebook, saying I had a great announcement to make. I shouldn't have done so that early - waiting until yesterday or even this morning would've been better. :-) But that would've been so painful!

The gist of the news is this: I'll be signing in Costco! Starting next month, I'll be in the Lehi, Murray, Sandy, and West Valley stores. I'm sooo excited!

This is a huge opportunity for me as an independent author! There's more to the story, and if you're interested in reading one of those uplifting, right time/right places/right person type things, read on!

Last week, my editor and friend, Tristi Pinkston, took me to the LDS Booksellers Association convention (LDSBA). It's a closed convention where a bunch of people set up booths and show the things they produce while "buyers" walk around, deciding what they want to sell in their stores. Stores such as Deseret Book, Seagull Book and Tape, independent stores, etc. Authors go to sign books and meet people who would potentially carry their books at their locations.

At the start of the convention, Tristi asked me if it would be okay for her to tell people about my books. I said yes, of course. :-) Right then, one of her friends, a Deseret Book representative, walked by. Tristi grabbed her, spoke with her briefly, and the lady referred us to another woman. We'll call her Jamie. When I told Jamie I'd had several Deseret Book managers approach me, telling me they'd had many customers request my books, Jamie said that Deseret Book actually distributes for independent authors, and that they'd be very interested in representing me.

She asked me to send her my information, along with all three available books in my series, and let her know how my sales have gone, etc. She would get back to me in a couple of weeks. I was soooo excited! Being distributed by Deseret Book would be so cool!

But that's not the end of the story. :-) Deseret Book only distributes to their stores. And Tristi, who follows the Spirit, had a feeling to introduce me to another woman. We'll call her Savannah. Savannah was there as a food rep of some sort. She and I instantly hit it off--she's energetic, fun, and knowledgeable. When Savannah found out that Deseret Book wanted to be my distributor, she said, "No. We'll represent you." Tristi, in all her sneakiness, hadn't told me that Savannah also works for one of the largest distributors in Utah, and has for many years. When Savannah wants a book, the company takes it.

And after hearing how successful my eBooks have been, and the fact that Deseret Book wants to represent me, Savannah now wants my books. :-)

She spent a few hours telling me why I should choose Brigham Distributing over Deseret Book. After I got over my shock and excitement, I realized it was a no-brainer. I talked to my hubby and we both felt good about it. :-)

Brigham Distributing gets books not only into Deseret Book, but also all Barnes and Nobles, Costco, independent bookstores, etc.

The excellent thing about all of this: I still own my rights. They only take 25% of my royalties, where an actual publisher would own the rights to my books AND take around 90% of my royalties. As an independent author, this puts me in a very, very good position! My books go everywhere an author who has a publisher goes, and I can do whatever I need to do with my books, along with keeping a very large part of the royalties. So exciting!

While I was talking to Savannah, two well-known authors (one a NYT best selling author) walked by. Savannah stopped them and had them tell me how they started. They both said she was the one who got them on their current paths. She turned to me and said, "I didn't pay them to say that." It cracked me up!

I still can't believe how things fell into place!

A year ago, an author friend (Jenni James) told me to contact the owner of Brigham Distributing and ask them to distribute for me. I did so, but was rejected a couple of months later, which didn't surprise me - I imagine they probably reject a lot of authors who submit. However, I felt very, very strongly that I would end up being distributed by them, so I didn't do what some authors would be tempted to do: write/call them back and tell them they'd regret their decision. Or beg - telling them how successful my books had been, etc. And the night before the convention, I had a feeling to ask my husband how he would feel if a distributing option came up while I was there. He said, "That would be good, but don't go to them in a position of weakness. Don't act needy or desperate. They should be wanting you just as badly as you want them." That might sound a bit pig headed, but I agreed - they'd already rejected my books. No sense in begging!

And with how everything fell into place, it was amazing. :-) Savannah took me to meet the owner. He remembered my books, remembered why they were rejected (the young adult fantasy market was saturated), and said, "If Savannah wants your books, I want your books." Yay!

Tristi is a very inspired person. She knew I had to be at the convention, so arranged it. She knew who to talk to, in what order, and what to say.

Anyway. What this means for my hubby and me is this: Savannah is putting me in Costco next month. I'll be signing just the first book in my series at the Lehi, Sandy, Murray, and West Valley stores during the month of September. Since I don't have a publisher, I'll have to foot the printing bill for 300 books. That ends up being a nice chunk of money! Savannah is absolutely positive I'll do well, and that my books will be popular. In October, depending on how September goes, they want me to sign at all eight Costcos in Utah (not including the one in St George), with all three books in my series, and with a print run of 3,000 books. Wow!

I'm going to be very busy! But I've got a couple of independent author friends who also work with Brigham, and they've promised to help me quickly learn the ropes.

Anyway. I still can't believe how quickly everything fell into place and how good it all feels! The Lord is really watching over us. It's pretty neat. :-)

Wish me luck with this new endeavor!



  1. Wow, what a great opportunity for you, Andrea! Big congrats!

  2. That is the best news! I'm so excited for you!!!

  3. This is so awesome, Andrea! Great news!! Now, Tristi, how about sending some of your inspiration MY way! ;)

  4. That's really wonderful, Andrea. I'm so happy for you. And I agree that Tristi is wonderful!

  5. HOORAY!!!!!!! So, So, SO excited for you!!!! You deserve all the good things that have been coming your way! Congrats!!!

  6. I wish you the very best of luck! Congratulations Andrea!

  7. Glad to hear it and I really hope things keep going well for you!

  8. Congratulations! I've read the Key series and LOVE LOVE it as well as Samara - you are a very talented author/story teller. I'm sure they will do well at your signings - wish I was closure, I would come to meet you.

  9. Great to hear your exciting news!!! Congrats and all the very best to you!!

  10. Thanks, everyone! I'm so very excited! Can't believe this is falling into place. I'm going to take those Costco signings by storm! They won't know what hit them. :-)

  11. Way to go! I'm thrilled for your good news!

  12. Congrats! I love your books!

  13. Wonderful, Andrea!! So happy for you!!!

  14. Congrats! Too bad you won't be doing that final store in UT down here is St. George :( But I guess I already got to meet you so it's ok.

  15. Congrats to you Andrea. It's so wonderful when all of the hard work pays off!

  16. Congratulations, Andrea! So happy for you!

  17. That's wonderful news, Andrea!!! One day you can do for another indie author what Tristi did for you...introduce you to the right people.