Books, books, books!

Me, Sandi Kahn Shelton, thinking about books but not doing what she should be doing, which is writing the one that is due.

Welcome to Books New Haven, a site that I hope will give authors and their readers a chance to get together. I’m a longtime (VERY long time!) Register reporter, as well as the author of seven books–three nonfiction books about parenting and four novels. When I first started writing books, publishers spent a bit of time and even money to get the word out about new books being released. There were stories in newspapers and magazines, spots on the radio, even a few television appearances!

Well, those days, sadly, are gone. Most of my writer friends have had the same experience that I have: with over 200,000 books published in the U.S. last year, most publishers (even enthusiastic ones with lovely publicity departments) simply don’t have the more than 3.5 seconds to devote to letting the world know that a new book has just been launched. They wish us well, but we all know if we’re going to sell more than 12 copies, we are going to have to get the word out ourselves.

This has turned us into bloggers, networkers, twitterers, facebookers, Linked-Inners, Klouters, Pinteresters, and in some cases–I hate to say this–whiners. Trust me: with very few exceptions, we don’t want to whine.  All we want is to hold our heads high and know that somebody besides our Aunt Mary and our mother will see our book. (Oh, and we’d like to get an audience of people who will love us and want to read everything we write from now on until the end of time.)

Which brings us to this blog.

As a Register feature reporter, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished to shine a light on someone’s book but haven’t been able to because–well, there just isn’t much space in the newspaper to do so. Only a very few books actually get mentioned or reviewed.

But being as how we’re all Digital First in the media now, I figured I’d start a blog that would serve as a kind of gathering place for local authors (think: throughout Connecticut) and the people who want to know about them. Click on a link–and presto! There would be news about these authors, their books, their upcoming events, even information about the process of writing for those who might want to try this in their own homes. These days we all want to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE. (I know. I’m like that, too. Can’t get enough of it!) So here’s a place where writers can talk directly to the readers, and answer their questions in the comments section, and tell nosy fascinated readers like me all about their lives, which pen is their favorite, and how they can’t write a word unless they’re just eaten a grape popsicle, played four games of Spider Solitaire, and managed to get the cat to sit in a certain spot. Whatever! We NEED to know these things.

So the blog is launching today. I hope you’ll bookmark it and come back often. Tomorrow we’ll feature a guest post from the fabulous Kristan Higgins, who is the bestselling author of several novels that feature love, humor and romance. Her latest, Somebody to Love, was just released and has gotten wonderful reviews. She has a lot to say about how she does it!

I’m in touch with lots of area authors who are going to write posts here. But I don’t know everybody, so if you, too, are an author with a book coming out, or if you’d like to write a guest post, or if you’re connected to any book-related event, leave me a message in the comments. Don’t be shy! Self-published authors are welcome here, too.

Let’s face it: we all need all the help we can get.

All best wishes,