Posts Tagged ‘Justin Bieber’

Last Friday I was invited to participate in a “Famous Author Event” sponsored by the Greater San Diego Reading Association. The event teamed up seven authors and a storyteller to meet at a local elementary school. Each classroom was assigned a book/author to study prior to the visit and then at the end of the week, the author would visit the classroom to share their story. It was a rewarding and touching experience.

As an author, I have gone on many travels with my little picture book. Some have been a tremendous success and others have found me sitting by myself at a table waiting desperately for someone to walk by. I can honestly say that I have never attended an event where I was so catered to. They not only provided breakfast and lunch, but the children studied my work and had marvelous questions and created projects based on my book. They even studied the story arc of my book. Those kindergartners knew more about the motivating factors behind my main character than I did. And I wrote the story!


So what about Justin Bieber?

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Photo credit: Getty Images.

During my question and answer period with the first grade class they discovered that I grew up in the Los Angeles area. They assumed that since I was a “Famous Author” I must know other famous people and proceeded to ask me a series of questions about Justin Bieber. After all, don’t all famous people know each other? Alas, I know virtually nothing about young Mr. Bieber and was not able to give them any information about his life and quickly directed the talk back to books.

At the end of the visit, I was asked to sign copies of my book. Not to be outdone, the students who didn’t purchase copies asked for my autograph instead. I found myself signing pieces of paper and writing notebooks. I even signed extra signatures for parents and siblings (remember, they thought I was famous).

excited-babyIn the end, it was a great day. I was so thankful to be invited to attend. And for a brief moment… I was famous.

Happy Reading,

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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It was reported last month that Barnes and Noble and Borders are struggling with diminishing paper book sales. There are some who are predicting the end of paper books in the next ten years. Authors are panicking and publishing houses are taking a serious look at how they do business.

For all of you worrywarts I urge you to stop and take a deep breath…are you a little more relaxed? No? Take another deep breath. We have seen this type of thing happen before to an industry and if we are smart we can come out of this on top.

When I was young we had piano and organ stores in the mall. You couldn’t go pick up a pair of socks without hearing “Lady of Spain” being played at least once.

Here is a lovely version if you are not familiar with the tune:

The entire piano and organ industry was shaken by the introduction of the electronic keyboard. These cheaper, lighter, and more versatile instruments were replacing the classic instruments that your grandma handed down from generation to generation. Many predicted this to be the death of the piano as we watched many companies fail, and soon the organ and piano store in the mall was a thing of the past. But pianos and organs didn’t totally go away, they became a specialty item. The companies that survived began manufacturing electronic keyboards as well and enjoyed even more business and today grandma can still buy a piano to pass down to her children and grandchildren if she wants to.

When I was young we also had record stores where we could purchase vinyl albums, and 8-track tapes (yes 8-tracks)

The record companies moved with the times on to cassette tapes and then to CD’s.  It was only when they began to deal with music downloads that they struggled mightily trying to hold on to their old way of doing business rather than go with the times. Steve Jobs saw a need and rather than fight the trend he created a whole new way to distribute music. Today iTunes is the #1 distributor of music in the world, maybe the record companies should have been a little more flexible.

And now for young Mr. Bieber…

If you are not familiar with the story, Justin’s mom posted video’s of her son singing on YouTube to share with family and friends. He was discovered by Scooter Braun who became his manager. Scooter introduced him to Usher who helped him launch his pop career.

He didn’t follow the typical path to becoming a pop sensation but today he and his fabulous hair are one of the most popular entertainers for young girls and can be seen regularly on Tiger Beat Magazine.

So here are three things that Authors can learn from these examples:

  1. There will always be a need for good writing. Whether it is an e-book or paper book, people will still seek out something to read.
  2. Be flexible– If you hold on to the old tried and true methods you may find yourself in the dust.
  3. Look for new opportunities to promote your writing – Consider blog tours, book trailers or websites, there are many new and creative ways an author can promote your writing or your books, you just have to be open to them.

Don’t be panicked by some of these dire predictions of the future, if they all came true I would be driving my flying car to pick up my son from school instead of driving a mini-van or he would be flying himself home on his jet pack.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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