Friday, September 28, 2012

Read for the Record and Reading Invasion and Books

We're gearing up for another event-filled week to start October, and my stack of books that I want to read right now is getting taller!  JK Rowling's first book since Harry Potter, Casual Vacancy, went on sale at 6 a.m. yesterday, and I haven't had time to open it yet.  The other book I can't wait to read is Lois Lowry's companion to The Giver, one of my top three all-time favorite books.  Son goes on sale October 2.  Maybe on the way to Minneapolis next week for the Heartland Fall Forum, hosted by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, I'll have some reading time.

Meanwhile, instead of spending my days at the store reading as my kids accuse me of doing, I'm filling boxes with books for a bookfair at St. Vincent de Paul School.  So far we have 21 boxes ready to go!  That bookfair will be October 6-16 and coincides with the Seward County Bridges' Family Night event Oct. 16, featuring author Jim Aylesworth.  It's exciting to have such a big name author in town!

Now that the boxes are mostly ready to go, I'm focusing on next week, which is Banned Books Week.  Check out the list of the most frequently challenged books of 2011 and previous years here.

We're celebrating our "freadom" to read in Seward by working with the Friends of the Seward Library to sponsor Seward's first ever "Reading Invasion."  Pull up a blanket or lawn chair to read together for a half hour on October 3 from 5:00-5:30 on the Seward County Courthouse lawn.  All you need is a book--a banned book, maybe--and a chair.  We're hoping that we have enough readers to cover the courthouse lawn.  Cheryl is closing Chapters at 5:00 so she can go.

October 4 is Jumpstart's annual "Read for the Record" day.  Bring your favorite child(ren) to Chapters anytime from 9 am-5 pm October 4, and read together in our big comfy chair (courtesy of Davisson's Furniture) to be counted for the world record-breaking effort to get as many people as possible reading the same book on the same day all across the world.  You'll receive a photo of yourselves reading, a FREE ladybug craft kit (courtesy of St. John CDC), and other fun items--and you'll be sharing the joy of reading with a child you love.  To learn more about Jumpstart or to make a donation, click on this link.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Live Streaming

I just put a link on our website for the live streaming video of tomorrow's Local Authors' Event.  Click here, and this link will also take you there.

Link to Live Streamed Video

If you watch it, let us know what you think!

Busy week!

What an exciting week it's been in Seward!  On top of Seward High's Homecoming (did you see what the freshmen did to our windows?) and Dish Network's decision to drop Big Ten Network and reinstate it just in time for today's game, there were thousands of kids in town yesterday to hear the authors who were participating in the Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival at Concordia.  We were thrilled that Clare Vanderpool, Ted Scheu (rhymes with "poetry guy"), and Gary Schmidt were able to stop by the store and sign books while they were in town.  Clare has a great story about the call from the Newbery committee notifying her that Moon over Manifest was the winner of the 2011 Newbery Medal!

Now we're ready for writers, aspiring writers, and friends from the Seward area to continue the excitement through tomorrow's Local Authors' Event here at the store.  The event is from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and features a panel discussion of the business aspects of a writing career.  The panel will convene about 1:30, with time for networking and refreshments before and after.  See blog entries from the past few days for details.  Hope to see you here!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dennis Kahl video

Here's another video preview for our Local Authors' Event, which is this coming Sunday, September 23, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Chapters.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Upcoming Local Authors Event

I'm learning a lot about technology this week!  Dennis Kahl gave me a tutorial on shooting and uploading video to our blog and facebook page.  You, too, can learn these skills if you come to our Local Authors' Event Sunday, September 23 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  Dennis will be there, streaming the event live for those who can't make it in person.

Other panelists who will be sharing their expertise on ways to market and promote yourself and your work include Connie Reimers-Hild and her husband Jim Hild.  Here's a preview of Connie talking about the event.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Business of Writing

Here's a video of Victorine Lieske, one of our panelists, introducing our upcoming Local Authors' Event.

This is Vicki at the Seward County Business Fair in 2011, talking about her writing career.  At our Local Authors' Event, she'll be talking about her success with e-books.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival

See yesterday's post for information about our annual Local Authors' Event, which is coming up September 23 at 1:00 p.m.

That same weekend, September 20-22, is Concordia's Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival.  Every year, the Festival brings well-known authors and illustrators of children's books to Seward.  I think our local kids have been spoiled by the opportunity to interact with "real" authors every year!  I still remember the first time I met a published author--it was Nancy Carlson, and I was a teacher in the Lincoln Public Schools.  Thanks to the Festival (and to Chapters, of course, since we've brought several authors to town over the last eight years, including Nancy Carlson), our kids don't have to wait till they're grown up to meet the creators of their favorite books.

This year's featured guests at the Festival are:
  • David Wiesner
  • Clare Vanderpool
  • Gary D. Schmidt
  • Andrea Pinkney
  • Jarrett Krosoczka
  • Ted Scheu
  • Tom Lichtenheld
  • R. W. & Zoe Alley
Read about the featured authors and illustrators and the Festival schedule at

While Chapters is not a host of the Festival and not involved in book sales at the event, we do have books by the featured authors and illustrators at the store.  Purchase your books at Chapters before September 19, and we'll have them signed for you while the authors are in town.  We're grateful to Vikki and the Festival committee for making it possible for us to have books signed for our customers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Events

It's September, and that means time for two big events at Chapters, our annual Local Authors' Event and Concordia's Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival.

This year's event for local authors focuses on the business aspects of writing--working with publishers, creating e-books, marketing yourself and your book, self publishing, paying your taxes, and other related questions our area writers may bring to the discussion.  A panel of experts, many of whom are familiar faces from previous events at Chapters and at area writers' groups, will share their advice and answer questions from attendees.  We're hoping one of these experts, Dennis Kahl of the Seward County Extension Office, will also help stream the panel discussion live for those who are unable to attend the event in person.

So far, our panel includes:
  • Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, author, entrepreneur, and academic.  Dr. Reimers-Hild is an Extension Educator in Innovation at the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City.  Learn more about her at
  • James Hild, author and Facebook guru, who will share his social media expertise, providing useful information about promoting yourself and your work.
  • Dennis Kahl, Seward County Extension agent, will also share his expertise in using facebook, twitter, YouTube, and other tools for marketing.  Dennis plans to stream the panel discussion live for those who are unable to attend in person.
  • Victorine Lieske, New York Times Bestselling author, will talk about self publishing and her success selling e-book versions of her books. 
  • James Reisdorff, owner of South Platte Publishing, will share his experience as a publisher and answer questions about the publisher-author relationship.
  • Annette Snyder, author, will discuss her experience with Whiskey Creek Press and ways she markets herself and her books, both through the press and independently.
  •  Laz Flores and Kathy Prevo, Revenue Educators with the Nebraska Department of Revenue, who will talk about taxes, specifically sales tax, and when and how to collect and report it.
Anyone who writes for adults or children, both published and aspiring, is invited to this event.  Friends and family are also welcome.  The event will be Sunday, September 23, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Chapters Books & Gifts.  We hope to see you then!