During the Covid Lockdown of 2020, I had a lot of extra time on my hands. (And on the rest of my body too.) To take advantage of all that extra time I decided to write a book. I published my paper baby just days before Christmas of 2021. Which means that the past 4 months have been full of exciting new experiences.
My book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media was uploaded to Amazon, on December 16th. It went live on December 18th. I ordered a copy and had the first physical copy of my book on December 19th. That Amazon is pretty amazing.
As soon as I shared the news that my book was available I had friends and family members across the United States share that they had purchased the book. First, they sent me pictures of their orders or notes that they had bought the book. Then they started sending me pictures of their new books in hand. Which is mindblowing.
What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? has now been featured on Television and podcasts. I have been in local newspapers too.
Covid Strikes Again
Because of a massive spike of Covid cases due to the Omicron variant, my in-person speaking opportunities and book talks have been largely delayed. My talks begin in earnest in April. Which is exciting for me. (But less exciting for Earnest and April.) I already have speaking events scheduled through the fall. (And I would be thrilled to add more.)
Now At The Library
Last week I had another new first. I donated a copy of my book to my local public library. As a new author, I was very curious about how the process of donating a book to the library worked.
Here’s how it happened.
- I sent an email to my local library introducing myself as a resident of the community who had recently published a new book. I shared that the book contained 80 of the most valuable life lessons I have learned throughout my life. I also shared links to TV appearances, newspaper articles and Amazon reviews to prove that this book was legitimate and worthy of a little shelf space at the local library. As a bonus, I added that I hadn’t been shushed at a library for many months.
2. I got no response.
3. I stopped by the library unannounced with a copy of my book and told the person at the check-out desk that I was a local resident that would like to donate a new book I wrote. The young man told me that I should talk to the woman at the information desk.
4. I walked 50 feet to the information desk and told the woman at the desk the same thing I told the young man at the front desk. She told me that she could take the book. So I handed it to her. And that was pretty much it. She told me it would take about a week for it to be added to the system. But they would try to work on it between all the shushing they had to do.
There was no ceremony. No confetti. No certificate of literary citizenry. And I didn’t get to meet Dewey Decimal.
A few days later my daughter Ava announced that she was looking on the library website and found What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? available for checkout. I immediately logged in to see it too. Then I requested my own book from the library. Which was pretty cool. Yet also pretty dumb, since I have about 200 copies of the book at my house already. But I wanted the experience.
Yesterday I stopped by the library to pick up my own book. I entered the library and went into my semi-quiet mode (because I don’t have a Full Library internal setting. I walked to the area of the Frank C. Weyenberg library where they hold reserved books for pickup. And I found my book waiting for me.
It was interesting to see the book in library form. It looked like my book, but more official. It had a formal clear plastic protective jacket. I felt like my book had won the library equivalent of a Green Jacket for winning The Masters. Or a yellow jacket for induction into the NFL Hall Of Fame.
The book also had new markings. Including a couple of 14 Day Loan stickers, an official system sticker with the number 158.1 and the name Albrecht. Which seemed to be the equivalent to the Dewey Decimal system number, but perhaps newer and Deweyer.
The book also had an official barcode for checkout. This was my favorite part. It made it official. Seeing that barcode on my book let me know that my book, with my carefully collected and curated body of knowledge, was not just available on Amazon and at Winkie’s in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. But it was also now a part of the publicly available body of knowledge in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. Anyone in Ozaukee County can now access the most important lesson I know for free by clicking this link.
While the donation process of the book was anticlimactic and unofficially, the book itself looks like it is part of a special club. Which offered a special and unexpected reward.
Share what you know. Create value. Offer it to the world. It may be more valuable than you think. The process itself will help you learn and grow and have more to share with the world.
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