This week I'm plowing through the Books for Keeps to do list. In investigating opportunities, I've come to the realization that I'm not equipped to handle any major (or even minor) publicity. And I'm a little overwhelmed.
I was talking to someone from Hands on Northeast Georgia about how to get Books for Keeps listed in the Blueprint section of the Athens Banner Herald. Then it struck me: where will people drop off books? I can't give everybody my phone number and tell them to call and I'll work out a pickup. I can't give them all my home address and expect they'll all just zip right over here and deliver the books.
I'll need drop off locations. And if I find drop off locations, I'll need bins. And if I get bins, I'll need signs. Sigh. I just want to give books to kids!
So Monday I met with some Athens Books for Keeps supporters and they had ideas for drop off locations. Using their employers and other connections, maybe maybe maybe I will really have a few drop off locations. Now I'm thinking of what sort of bins or boxes I could use, and what sort of sign I could put on them. They had some other great ideas for how to raise more books here in Athens. I have quite a few leads to follow up on, and there's only 1 of me so far.
Donna, a supporter in Canada, has given me so many ideas that I'm almost frightened! Can I really handle this?
Yes, I admit it. I am afraid of what it would be like if Books for Keeps exploded onto the scene and the phone started ringing off the hook. I'm not a media-savvy marketer. I am just a gal who had an idea that apparently resonated with a lot of other people. Don't get me wrong - if Oprah calls I'll figure out a way to make it work! But in the meantime, yeah, I'm a little nervous.
So I've thought and prayed and agonized, and decided to do what usually works best for me: trust my gut. My gut is telling me not to rush anything. To focus on getting books for Athens kids for next May... carefully try a few things to see what works and what doesn't... use this year as a learning experience. And in the moments where I start thinking "what have I gotten myself into?" I just focus instead on the joy I saw on the kids' faces last May when they realized the books they were choosing were theirs, for keeps.
So it feels like a lot of hurry up and wait. The over-achiever in me wants to have major progress to report daily. And really, I just want to see books pouring in. But first I have a lot of legwork to do. For now, I'm going to line up some bins and drop off locations and see what happens with Blueprint. Even if it doesn't go smoothly, I'll learn from it.
One thing I don't have to worry about: storage space. The girls laughed Monday when I told them I know I can store 2,000 books at home. But Leigh, another Athens supporter, has offered temperature-controlled warehouse space at her family business. Now THAT is a huge burden off my shoulders.
So I've gotta get busy folks. But first, a special thank you to Whitney, Stacy and Cindy for all the ideas and for the legwork you've offered to do. And to Donna for the amazing ideas for how to grow. And to Leigh for the storage space... here's hoping I have enough books to need it!