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June 20, 2001 - Itís been incredibly hectic, exciting, and still overwhelming (and more than two weeks). The book is out . It was officially published on May 29th.  That night I opened my PR campaign at the Barnes & Noble in Westport, CT, not that far from Bridgeport where I was born. Two auspicious beginnings. The turnout was incredible, thanks to Bob and Elaineís friends, friends of my parents, the whole group of my Hispanic friends that I first met when they lovingly took care of my mother, lots of relatives, a fairly sizeable group of people who had seen an article about me in the CT POST two days earlier, around ten people from my high school class, two from my elementary school class, and probably a whole bunch of customers who stopped by to see what the standing-room-only crowd was all about. It was pretty exciting.

The next day I took an Amtrak train to Washington. Debbie Sharpe-Lunstead who is the events coordinator for Travelers Book and Music Center on Wisconsin Avenue had invited me to stay with her family and I accepted. (Her family was great. Debbie and I met on the phone when she booked me to do an event in her store.)

I was in Washington to do talks and signings in three bookstores and to be on Diane Rehmís nationally syndicated show out of WAMU in Washington. The Rehm show was on the morning of the 31st. I was nervous. Her show is two hours long and she has a tremendous following in Washington and all over the country. The first hour was Janet Reno. I was worried that my life and book would sound shallow after her interview.

Diane Rehm was terrific. In the two minutes we talked before the show, she put me at ease. I was only nervous the first couple of minutes. Her questions were good and I felt she was genuinely interested in what I had to say. I was able to tell some good stories as well as share with the listeners my enthusiasm for life. During the call-in part, I felt a connection to the people who had questions. Only one caller threw me a bit. He wanted me to talk about my life among cultures around the world in the context of Carl Jung. It was a little like a college exam question. Diane helped me out of that one.

The three bookstores (Travelers Books, Barnes & Noble in Falls Church, VA, and Politics and Prose on CT Ave.) were very successful thanks to old friends Susan Lechner and Debbie Barr, new friend, Debbie Sharpe-Lunstead, and the Diane Rehm show. When I got home after the Barnes & Noble signing, the same day as the Rehm show, there were 50 e-mails from all over the country from people who had heard me that morning on the radio. I had tears in my eyes reading the e-mails from so many people who were touched by my life. All of them had had to go my website in order to e-mail me. Many of them shared their lives with me.

So now Iím back in CT, answering e-mails that Iím getting from readers of the book. I just got number 128. They are absolutely fabulous. People who have read the book really do feel as though they are "unmet friends." Many of them have been touched deeply by my choices and are looking within themselves to find their own dreams. Most of them are inviting me to visit them on my tour, and they are all telling me about their lives. I love it. And I do plan to stay with as many unmet friends as I can.

I have nearly finished planning an itinerary into December. Itís a lot of driving but I canít think of any other way to connect around the country. I canít afford to fly and rent. Iím hoping the itinerary will get posted on my site at the same time that this entry goes up. Once that happens, Iím ready to book groups, stores, libraries, places to sleep, and media interviews all over the country.

In two days Iíll be talking at R.J. Juliaís in Madison, CT (the 20th at 7 PM). And the next day Iím moving out of Uncle Irvís in Fairfield to base myself in Mitch and Melissaís house in Shushan, New York (not too far from Albany). From there I will spider out through New England and New York, with a side trip down to Annapolis, Maryland, until September 4th when I will be leaving for my trip around the country, driving the Nomadmobile (that I still havenít bought) west from Albany.

A couple of days ago I excerpted dozens of the wonderful e-mails Iíve gotten and sent the package to the publisher. (I was going to put the excerpts up on this site but I have been told I need permission from the writers.) My editor reported that the marketing woman was very impressed and that they were going to do a second printing of 2,000 books. Two thousand? Iím sitting here thinking hundreds of thousands and theyíre printing two thousand. I could sell that many at a flea market! Maybe I should do the flea market circuit!

This is such an up and down business. Every time I get another great e-mail, I feel wonderful. Then I realize that my publisher has never put an ad for my book anywhere, no banners on websites, and I have yet to walk into a bookstore where my book is on one of the front tables (unless Iím talking there). Itís a tough business. If every one of those 2,000 books sells (Iíve never asked for the original print order because Iím afraid to know), I will make about $4,000 (10% of the cover price of $23.00 minus 15% agentís fee). I have already invested $12,000 of my own money on promotional help, and Iím about to spend the next year on the road for this book. It seems a bit lopsided, but I donít know how else to get my message out there. My e-mails are all telling me that I can make a difference in peopleís livesÖÖÖ..and Iím going to go for it the only way I can Ė with energy, creativity, and caring. Iím hoping to create a base of people who love the book and its message and who will pass the word on to more people who will do the same. Itís been done before.



Introduction - Home Page - A Brief Bio



The Book - Why I Wrote the Book? - The Proposal - In Search of an Agent

The Writing - The Editing - Cuts - Reviews



More Than One Way - Servas - Trust & Serendipity - Connecting - Family

Practicalities - Physical Challenges



Ongoing Journey (Dated Entries from Rita) - National Nomad Tour Itinerary - Discussion Group



List, Photos, Descriptions & Links to Order - Bio for Kids




 © Copyright 2001 Rita Golden Gelman, All rights reserved.