One year ago this week, my little Charlemagne book hit the shelves. To my amazement, the book-buying public actually cared. From Massachusetts to Louisiana, on TV and on the radio, I’ve spoken to countless people about Karl, King of the Franks—but before I gear up to promote the (very affordable) paperback, please indulge me as I pause for a moment of requisite but sincere sappiness, in the spirit of the holiday.
I’m thankful for…
…the editors, agents, and publicists who have worked hard to discover opportunities that otherwise would have passed me by.
…friends, family, and colleagues, who have indulged my endless Charlemania with remarkable good cheer.
…book-buyers, all of whom took a chance on a new author. Their e-mail, their questions, their overall enthusiasm—heck, even their occasional criticism—have made those interminable evenings of research and editing entirely worthwhile.
…the many teachers, bloggers, bookstore managers, librarians, adult-education directors, festival organizers, and radio-show hosts who let potential readers know that a book about the coronation of Charlemagne doesn’t have to be boring.
…and you, my “Quid Plura?” guests, whether your visits are frequent or occasional. Please keep reading, linking, and commenting!
Creating a book truly is a team effort; selling it is, too. After spending the last year meeting the people who keep culture alive by organizing book salons, developing continuing education programs, and rounding up audiences for lectures and library talks, I’m even more humbled by their commitment to their work—despite the chorus of naysayers who argue, wrongly, that no one cares about history and literature.
Aspiring writers, take note: This isn’t something you can do alone. The lesson of the past year, for me, is that it wouldn’t be worth it if you could.