And now, here's Katy...
Meanwhile, Back at the Distribution Center...
Hello Seekerville! My name is Katy Lee and I am a new author of Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Before I was ever a writer, however, I was an avid reader…and still am.
At the beginning of each month, I make a stop at my local Walmart to peruse the book shelves of the latest releases. I don’t know about you, but for me, I love to see all those crisp, shiny covers sitting up there in their rows waiting for their new owners to pick them up and take them home. I might even do a little book maneuvering…er, I mean straightening of my favorite titles. You know, just to make sure they are neat and are looking their best for all passersby to see.
Now, with my first LIS, Warning Signs, releasing October 1st, I am counting down the days to when I will make my monthly trip to the store and get to see my own book up there for all to see. I might even pitch a tent and camp out all month. Just kidding, sort of. But anyway, as giddy as I am to see my books on the shelf, I was even more excited this past August to have the opportunity to see my books right off the press.
On August 9th, I dragged my family up to Buffalo, New York to the Harlequin Distribution Center. There I met a group of wonderful people who were so excited to meet a real-life author. I thought this was interesting, especially when I walked into the gigantic warehouse that housed over 50 million books all lined up neatly in their rows of pallets waiting to be shipped. Here were people who worked among books all day long. You’d think it would be no big deal seeing an author, but I suppose for them to meet an author behind one of the books they handle is like meeting a rock star behind the music you hear on the radio. They made me feel so special and even thanked me for writing. I was thrilled by their warm welcome…but by the end of tour, I was the one amazed by all they do. It turned out to be more than just moving books from the press to the shelves. By the end of the tour, they were the rock stars.
We started in the printing room, where shiny book covers flew off the press at a blinding rate. I watched how the employees inspected each of them and moved them down the line for the next stage in binding. Most printing is not done at this particular center, although they can handle small print runs of like 5,000 books if an order is put in after the initial print run. What this Distribution Center is mostly responsible for is what it does best. Distribute.
I was taken into the warehouse and watched boxes moving all around me and above me on a nifty conveyor belt that swooped down and up like a roller-coaster. Each box heading to a different shipping bin that would take them to the correct bookseller. When I came to the people packing these boxes, I watched them touch a computer screen to request a book(s) from a bookseller’s order. Then way back in the rafters a robot arm of some kind moved up and down the aisles and found the container with the correct book(s). It then sent them down on the belt for the packer to box up and send along on the roller-coaster. And this was no slow process. These people were cranking from one order to the next. With efficiency like that, I can see why.
But these employees don’t stop at efficiency. I was taken to the area where all the newest books sat on their pallets fresh off the press. Here was where the book club members have their boxes packed for their individual orders. (They get them before the stores do.) Each box is different because each buyer’s taste are different. Little specialty gifts are included to match those tastes. A newsletter with health and beauty tips are given. Something to show Harlequin is not just fulfilling an order, but that they also value their club members like family. This gigantic warehouse instantly became very personal.
Next I was led to an area where all my books had been brought down from their shelf and placed on the floor for me to see. Now, I was really smiling…and wondering how I am ever going to sell all these! So please, help a girl out! Get your copy today!
Thank you, Seekerville for having me in your virtual home. Readers, I love comments and questions, so ask away. And please look me up on Facebook and Twitter. You can find all links on my website www.KatyLeeBooks.com.
And at my website, be sure to check out my Lighthouse Photo Contest. I would love to fill my gallery with lighthouses from around the world. Anyone else here love lighthouses like I do? Leave a comment today to be entered in a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card! (Please let us know you'd like to be entered.)
Oh, and by the way, on my travels through the warehouse, I spotted this pallet. Anyone know who these belong to?
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
When a drug-smuggling ring rocks a small coastal town, the DEA sends Agent Owen Matthews to shut it down. A single father with a deaf son, Owen senses that the town's number one suspect—the high school's new principal—doesn't fit the profile. Miriam Hunter hoped to shrug off the stigma of her hearing impairment when she returned to Stepping Stones, Maine. But her recurring nightmares dredge up old memories that could prove her innocence—and uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder. Yet Owen's help may not be enough when someone decides to keep Miriam silenced—permanently.
As an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author, Katy Lee writes higher-purpose stories in high-speed worlds. Through her writing, ministries, and teaching, she dedicates her life to sharing tales of love, from the “greatest love story ever told” to those sweet romantic stories of falling in love. Katy and her husband are born New Englanders and love to travel with their three adventuresome children. You can connect with Katy anytime at her website, www.KatyLeeBooks.com.