Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Promotion in a Parade

I have an absolutely thrilling (to me) announcement to make.


But first, I have to lay some groundwork. The first book in my Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series, Deadly Currents, takes place in Salida, Colorado during their annual FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas) whitewater festival. FIBArk is billed as the "oldest and boldest" whitewater festival in the United States, with this year being its 63rd year.


Thousands of people converge on this mountain valley town in mid June (this year, June 16-19) from all over the world to compete in and watch the events. There are a variety of long-distance and sprint races for kayaks, canoes, rafts, and stand-up paddle boards. There are rodeo events where boaters display gymnastic prowess, flipping and twisting their boats in the rapids. There's the famous "Hooligan Race" where teams build creative rafts out of anything that can float, pick a theme and dress up in costumes. And there are junior races for youngsters, running and biking events, karaoke contests, musical performances, and more. Multiple award ceremonies and parties last long into the night.

And on Saturday morning, there's a parade. The FIBArk Parade draws hundreds of spectators who line F Street to cheer everything from homemade raft entries for the Hooligan Race to horse-drawn wagons and monster trucks, all in a spirited family atmosphere. A VIP guest is selected to be honored each year in the parade, riding in a convertible near the front.


Guess who that VIP is this year?

Me!

Yes, me!

Is that cool or what? I'm so pleased and proud to be selected that if I was wearing a shirt with buttons, I would be busting them!

To boot, the Book Haven bookstore in Salida will be selling copies of Deadly Currents behind the Boathouse Cantina, which is between the boat ramp and Riverside Park, next to the main walkway along the Arkansas River. I'll be autographing books Friday and Saturday afternoons during the festival at that location.

Since I'll be spending the weekend in Salida for the festival, I volunteered to do whatever else the festival organizers want me to do--hand out awards, speak at ceremonies or dinners, judge costume or crazy river dog contests, try my hand at paddling a watercraft, whatever. This is going to be so much fun! I know I'll be beaming the whole weekend.

My participation in FIBArk is one example of "outside-the-box" book promotion activities I've been doing to target the whitewater paddling community as well as traditional mystery readers. I've guested on river ranger and whitewater outfitter blogs, held a fundraiser booksigning for American Rivers, placed copies of my books in rafting outfitters' stores, will be appearing at PaddleFest in Buena Vista, Colorado over Memorial Day weekend, and more.

Now, I just need to practice my princess wave! :)

32 comments:

Robin Allen said...

Huge congrats, Beth! Did you have to apply for the VIP position or did you just get a phone call one morning while eating cornflakes?

Be sure to wear something unique and memorable in the parade so people who don't catch your name will recognize you on the street.

-Robin

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Robin,
It happened pretty much like the second option you listed. I just got an email one morning from the FIBArk Parade Chair after eating Kashi Go Lean. :)

Thanks for the advice on the memorable outfit! My critique group thinks I should wear a "fascinator" like those worn to Kate & William's wedding.

Terry Odell said...

Congrats! That's so exciting. You're really making waves.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Mario said...

Yes, practice your princess wave. And carry your paddle like a scepter.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Mario and Terry! You know, in past years FIBArk has had a duckie race for media folks, and I'd love to be invited to participate in that. It's mainly a chance for locals to jeer at their local celebs while the celebs flounder in the whitewater park. :)

TheaH said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! Congrats on the honor. I love parades too -- they make me cry.

Ann Parker said...

Wow! Beth! That is absolutely stupendous! Congratulations, and have a wonderful time! (Will you wear a special hat to go with the royal wave? :-) )

Shannon said...

Very cool!

Jess Lourey said...

Congratulations, Beth! You're gonna sell A LOT of books. Were you a whitewater rafter before you wrote the book, or has this been a learning experience the whole way?

Terri Bischoff said...

THAT IS AWESOME!!!! Congrats!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Enjoy every minute! Very cool.

Darrell James said...

Sounds like great fun, Beth! And what a cool wau to get you and your book in front of the public. Wish I could be there.

Alan Orloff said...

Sounds like a great time! I hope you get a sash! Or maybe a cool hat!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for your comments, Thea, Ann, Shannon, Jess, Terri, Kathleen, Darrell and Alan!

Whee! I'm going to have sooo much fun with this.

Ann,
I'm going to have to do some brainstorming on what to wear in the parade. All suggestions are welcome!

Jess,
I was a "river rat" before I wrote the book. I did a lot of whitewater canoeing back east in the 80s before I settled down and had kids, and I still go whitewater rafting at least once or twice a summer in Colorado. I love the thrill of riding rapids!

Darrell, I wish you could be there, too. In fact, I wish ALL the MI gang could be there. :) And Alan, a sash would be great, wouldn't it? I'd wear it to future book signings.

Robin Allen said...

I was thinking of something along the lines of a bright yellow slicker or a hunter orange shirt. Something they can't miss. Mindful, of course, that *you* look good in that color.

-Robin

Beth Groundwater said...

Hey, all, I'm up on the FIBArk website! Look here:
http://fibark.net/parade.php

Susan Whitfield said...

Super, Beth. You've arrived. I haven't yet been asked to ride in a parade. Have a fun time!

Lois Winston said...

Beth, this is super cool! I hope you have great weather for the parade. And if you're going to wear a fascinator, I hope it's better looking than some of the ones worn by the royal family at the wedding -- especially Beatrice's. What was that girl thinking?

Lisa Bork said...

Awesome, Beth. What a great opportunity. So happy for you. Enjoy!

Beth Trissel said...

Mega humongous congrats!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Susan, Lois, Lisa, and Beth, for your comments! Isn't it funny what measuring sticks we use to say we've "arrived"? I still think mine will be when people STOP asking me at signings, "Have I heard of you?" :)

Cindy Sample said...

Congrats, Beth. This is so well deserved. You've worked so hard. Okay, I vote for a yellow fascinator, matching slicker with book cover on the back, and your very own paddle emblazoned with DEADLY CURRENTS!

Alice Loweecey said...

Congratulations, Beth! Sounds like a great time and the perfect book promotion event. Have fun!

Marne said...

Beth,
That is So exciting! I could not be happier for you! Make sure you wear waterproof mascara, as I'm sure watersports will be a BIG part of their festivities.

Beth Groundwater said...

I love your parade costume suggestion, Cindy! ;-)

Thanks, Alice, and Marne, I'm really not a mascara-type. I wear it about twice a year, at most.

Dru said...

Congratulations Beth!

G.M. Malliet said...

Very cool! Wear a crown.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Wow, Beth. What an honor! Congratulations.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Dru, G.M., and Marilyn!

Sylvia said...

Congratulations, Beth! I'm happy for the exposure the festival is giving you and it sounds like a lot of fun, too. Enjoy!

jennymilch said...

Just the *idea* of being a VIP is the coolest, Beth! Big congrats!! What fun that will be. I hope you have a terrific time, your wonderful book continues to do, well, wonderfully, and your princess wave is well received!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Sylvia and Jenny!