Otterbein University, in Westerville, Ohio, is chock-full of the nicest kids I’ve ever known. And Paige Schortgen and Haley Young, former writing students of mine, are two of the nicest. Which makes them, in fact, two of the nicest girls in the entire world. (Good writers, too.) Their geeked-out celebration selfie above is the best reaction my book has provoked so far. (Other readers, your mileage may vary.) Girls, you are funny, kind, and definitely keepers.
Though Amazon began selling the book on or about April 15, the official publication date of Shepherd: A Memoir is today, May 1, 2014.
I’m not sure I can send the treasured photo of my student friends to booksellers as proof they should stock my book. So Shepherd’s review in Kirkus carries a tad more weight in the book world.
With Shepherd’s dribs and drabs of attention, maybe independent bookstores and even Barnes & Noble will stock it. If so, look for it in the gardening or nature section. Although it’s a literary memoir and not how-to (more like how-don’t), it is categorized it on the back Nature and Animals / Horticulture / Memoir. Those are the labels that influence booksellers regarding where to shelve it. I asked my publisher to use such codes because I’ve noticed that memoirs come and go rather quickly in stores, and I believe it may sell if back-to-the-land types come across it.