Writers: Are You Ready to ‘Play Ball!’?
by Robert Scanlan
- An Empirical Analysis of the Infield Fly Rule
- On the Necessity of Spitballs
- Class D: The Nine Eventful Seasons of the Ohio State League, 1908-1916
These agenda topics, among many others presented at the 22nd Annual Spring Training Conference, sponsored by NINE, struck me as esoteric even to die-hard baseball fans. I chose to attend the far more practical discussion, “Pat Gillick and His ‘Many Rivers’: One General Manager’s Approach to Gaining an Edge” and then stay for lunch.
Important issues in my life needed attention, such as selling my book! Why is a fledgling author – a denizen, along with other writers, of Phoenix coffee cafés deep into most evenings over the past two years – now attending a geeky baseball conference in Mesa?
Simple. My lifelong best friend and his wife, whom I hadn’t seen in nearly a year, recently accepted responsibility for the program. They extended me a personal invitation to stop by. To not see them and join for lunch while they’re in Phoenix … well that would be unthinkable.
Membership to NINE is open, but a roster review of the 80 participants discloses a universal age 50+, overwhelmingly but not exclusively male, and with an impressive list of initials and credentials behind each name, drawn heavily from the fields of science and education. Most had published at least one book, including, among others, a contribution to the culture and history of baseball.
I was unaware that the lunch that day was planned as a gathering for writers in the crowd to share their latest and next projects. And I was invited to participate!
What started as a social event between old friends was suddenly an opportunity to present Tigers Under My Bed: Life Lessons Tamed During Three Organ Transplants. Not exactly a natural follow-on to “Baseball Mystery and Baseball History: The Mickey Rawlings Novels of Troy Soos,” I had copies of my book in my car (always!) and business cards in my pocket (always!). Along with other attributes, Tigers Under My Bed has several references to baseball, including an emotional chapter about viewing my six-year-old grandson’s baseball game just months after my last transplant.
My emphasis was how baseball permeates the life of many Americans, even in crisis. In a benign environment, I suddenly participated in a book promotion to two dozen writers and high-visibility people from all parts of the country.
Are you ready for your next opportunity to promote your book? Are you looking for that opportunity? Do you wait in line at the bank or enter a restaurant with your book in hand? Are you ready when the person next to you or your waitress asks, “That book… is it any good?” If you are ready and open to all possibilities, you will likely be pleasantly surprised.
Robert Scanlan recently published Tigers Under My Bed: Life Lessons Tamed During Three Organ Transplants, a five-star rated book on Amazon.com. He is a recipient of three organ transplants over the past 17 years, and the recipient of awards from Donate Life in both California and Arizona for his work in promoting donor registration. Robert facilitated the liver transplant support group at UCLA under the auspices of the Clinical Social Services Department for two years. He is a lecturer at USC in Los Angeles in their post graduate program for social workers. His speaking engagements have addressed thousands of nurses, doctors, patients, and the general public. Reach Robert via LinkedIn.com or at Robert@tigersundermybed.com . You can subscribe to his blog at TigersUnderMyBed.com