Well The Lost Book of the Grail has been out for a couple of days now, so I’m sure by now you have bought a copy and are busily reading it. But just in case you haven’t: I often get queries from readers and collectors about how they can obtain a signed copy of one of my books. I’m sure a lot of authors get these. Some ignore them, some send out their tour schedules, and some have a local bookstore they work with to sell signed copies. I am the luckiest of the lucky, however. Not only do I have a local bookseller who will be glad to sell you a signed copy of The Lost Book of the Grail (or my other books) by mail order, but that bookseller is also a fantastic literary non-profit and when you buy from them you are supporting programs throughout our community.
For the past two and a half years I have been lucky enough to be president of the board of Bookmarks. Here in Winston-Salem, we call ourselves the “city of the arts,” and our city has a long history of deep involvement in the visual and performing arts. Since its founding thirteen years ago, Bookmarks has expanded that vision to include the literary arts. Begun as a committee that put on a small book festival each year, Bookmarks has grown dramatically in recent years. We now host the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas, author events throughout the year, and an Authors in Schools program that reaches thousands of children.
During my time on the board Bookmarks has gone from two people working part time in residential basement to an organization with its own offices and full time staff. We started selling our own books three years ago, and book sales have increased every year during that period. Now we are ready for the next step. This summer we will open a new space in downtown Winston-Salem that will include meeting and event space, offices, and a non-profit independent bookstore. By being located downtown (and with ample free parking) we will be able to serve the entire community.
So, if you’d like a signed copy of any of my books, you can always order from Bookmarks (the ordering link is on my website). In fact, you can order lots of signed books from them, and every time you do so, you are supporting a great non-profit organization that connects readers with authors, supports writers, promotes literacy, and encourages reading. And if you are ever in Winston-Salem, stop by and check us out. You might meet a famous author. Or you might meet me.