hit tracker Dave Shields Author Blog: May 2006

A journal detailing my efforts to launch my career as a novelist. The goals are to share info about succeeding in this field with other aspiring authors, to provide updates to the many supporters who have asked me for them, and ultimately to build the momentum necessary to assure success in this venture.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Best of State!

What a week it's been! I've been contacted by top flight editors who are interested in aquiring my work, asked to play major roles in cycling events, attended great races, and much more. To top it all off, I just learned that I've won a Best of State medal! I've seen these awards go to the most prestigious corporations in Utah on the televised ceremony, and I've watched as they publicized the accomplishment and pushed their business to even higher levels.

I'm honored (and slightly stunned) to have joined their ranks, but that doesn't mean that I don't feel I've earned it. A few years back, if anybody had told me I was going to have to work so hard to make my career as a novelist a reality I wouldn't have believed them. I had no idea of the lengths I'd go to to market my novels, guerilla or otherwise. The process has changed me for the better. I'm primed for success, and can't wait to accept my new award at the black tie affair on June 24.

Until then I'll keep flying too and fro promoting my books. I'll be at a race in Lehi tomorrow, and a huge recreational ride in Chicago the next day, and one of the nations largest female only cycling events shortly after that. Ride on!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Book Expo America!

If you're an author and are in need of some good luck there's no better place to put yourself than at Book Expo America. A million great things happened to me in the last four days. Here's an example:

I was one of about 250 participants in a panel discussion. The speakers included a prominent book reviewer, two top authors, a well known publisher, a publicist, and a top-notch independent bookseller. The audience included numerous industry movers and shakers. I raised my hand and asked a question relating my novels to the discussion. To my surprise and joy, the bookseller responded, "Are you the author of The Race? I love your book. I sell it alongside Armstrong's and recommend it often." Wow! What a gift to receive an endorsement like that in front of such a prominent crowd.

Needless to say, it led to a very nice discussion with the reviewer afterwards, as well as numerous conversations with other influential people. Something good is certain to come of it. And that's just one of many great situations I found myself in. Check out this page for a peek at a great endorsement that came directly as a result of attending this conference for three straight years. I have more irons in the fire than ever before. Something great is going to happen soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Knock knock. Is Oprah available?

Thanks to an enthusiastic reader I've just been invited to attend Bike the Drive in Chicago to sign books. I can never resist the thought of 18,000 cyclists all amassed in the same place, so I booked a flight and I'll be there on 5/28. My stay in the windy city will last less than 24 hours, but if I get a free moment I'd like to swing by Oprah's pad and see if she'll take a look at my novels. Are there any readers out there who could make an introduction for me? Hey, anything goal worth dreaming about is worthy of dreaming big!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Where's My Helmet?

Yesterday I had a wonderful evening speaking to Ben Driggs neighbors at his home. Ben and I took some very long (300 + miles) bike rides together when we were teenagers, and he reminded me of something I'd forgotten. We didn't wear helmets. Times have sure changed.

I realize how lucky I am to have a friend like Ben, and I'm glad that we're in touch again after a long hiatus. It's interesting that last night I realized I'd named my protagonist in my cycling novels in his honor. When selecting a name for a character an author obviously looks for one that, to them, carries the qualities that they see in their fictional cast member. Without question, Ben Driggs is the reason that I used Ben for the hero in my books. He proved to me last night that his character has only improved with age as he invited so many neighbors into his house to learn my story. His words to them proved that his expectations for my future are as big as my dreams. Thanks Ben!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Here's to the Readers!

Tonight I'm attending an event for my book hosted by Ben Driggs, a high school friend. He ran fliers around his neighborhood and passed them out to his clients as well, telling them how much he enjoyed my books and how certain he is that they will, too. What an incredible thing to do!

Yesterday four separate readers followed up with me on cycling events they hoped I could attend. Each one introduced me to the organizers and put in a good word to help me land the gig. There's no way I can adequately express my grattitude.

Earlier today my Web site got a deluge of hits from a cycling chat board I'd never heard of before. I followed the links backward and discovered some great discussion about my novel. I'm so thankful to people who take the time to spread the word.

Also today the first Amazon customer review showed up for The Tour. When I finally hit the big time it will be thanks to people like the reader who wrote that review who the credit should go to. People who take the time to let others know about books they love are the reason that new authors are able to crash the party from time to time.

If anybody ever asks me how I got my big break I'll let them know that what I really got were a million little breaks, thanks to people who love books, bikes, or both. Thank you all!