A Surprise Invitation
An emailed invitation from CSLA, the Church and Synagogue Librarians Association, was a complete surprise. They were holding their annual conference at Lake Junaluska, one of my favorite places in North Carolina. I’d never heard of CSLA.
Eight authors were invited to create table displays and address the group of librarians for two minutes each. A different group was invited for each day of the conference. I brought a sell sheet with the information I thought librarians would need, gave my spiel in one minute and entertained Q & A at my table. Several books left that afternoon with librarians and would end up in church and synagogue libraries in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and other states.
The chairperson in charge of the authors was from Pennsylvania. I asked her how she found us Carolina authors. She searched the internet and found the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) then narrowed her search and found ACFW Southeast, then finally ACFW Carolinas. She discovered the members and sent invitations to us. Several declined, she said.
When I look at my expenses and how many writers organizations I subscribe and belong to, I wonder if those memberships ever benefit my business in any real way. Now I’ve learned they do. I’ve just earned back this year’s ACFW dues and then some!
Professional organizations and their acronyms are more than a list in our query or cover letter, more than decoration on an email, business card, or to impress friends on facebook and Linked in. They are a real connection, a pipeline into the world we’ve chosen to live in, the literary world. Keep your memberships up to date and stay connected. You never know when someone may go searching to find something that turns out to be you!