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Saving Jemima: Pre-Order a Signed Copy

Monday, July 22, 2019

Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-luck Jay is coming out September 10, 2019. I have an advance copy in hand. Every time I pick it up I feel grateful all over again to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for making such a beautiful book out of my stack of writings, paintings and photographs. I just shake my head. How lucky can you get, to work with the best natural history publisher on the planet to tell the story of an orphaned blue jay? She was some jay, but still. Lucky, and blessed.
Looks small here, but it's a healthy 6" x 9" x 1" Note jay-colored clothing on line.

For months, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about getting signed copies to my friends and you, my beloved blog community. I have had a sense all along that Jemima is going to hit bigger than any of my previous books; my agent tells me it is the most commercially appealing thing I’ve done. You don’t have to have a special interest in birds to appreciate it. You just have to like a good story that happens to feature a bird. 

My first book to feature both paintings and photographs! Woot! It's so EASY to illustrate a book with photos! But I don't do anything the easy way, so I did 20 paintings, too.
I had the great privilege of reading it for HMHCo's audio book (can you hear the squeal?!) and that is gonna kick butt. I loved recording it, even though parts of it were hard to get through. Like doing about 8 hours of radio. All things considered, I knew that I was looking at signing and boxing a LOT of books this time around.

Each chapter head watercolor gets a full-page treatment. Design by Martha Kennedy, Chief of Design, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co. Yes I am grinning ear to ear!

I thought about what it’s been like to fulfill book orders from my home. I've done it for my last three books. How keeping track of orders, inscribing, signing, boxing, addressing and mailing books is pretty much all I do for months after a book hits. How lifting the boxes and loading them into and out of my car messes up my back. I used to drive each load 20 minutes to the nearest post office. Now, I'd have a 40 minute drive. Given what's happened in the last seven months, I realized I wasn’t up for any of that. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that my energy—that wonderful energy that I use to produce illustrated books and (ahem) increasingly rare blogposts-- is indeed finite, and it can be quickly drained away. I've had to critically assess how I spend that energy, because there's a lot less of it now. Swimming in a whirlpool will do that to you. My rationale that fulfilling orders for signed books is “part of my work” looks thin to me now. It’s not. It’s something I’ve been doing, doggedly, faithfully, but it’s a long way from being my true work. The truth is, it doesn't have to be done by me. The writing and illustrating and thinking does. And that's how I should be spending my time.

Meanwhile, my family is not the only one that's had a rough time since December, 2018. Bird Watcher’s Digest has been turned upside down, losing its Editor/Publisher and chief visionary when Bill passed away in March. Then Elsa, Bill’s mother and BWD’s founder, who was still working at 85, died tragically just two months later. It was a staggering double blow. Everyone is still picking themselves up. Yet out of the unimaginable chaos and loss, an answer to my small problem became clear to me.

I decided to direct my sales to Redstart Birding, the magazine’s sales, optics and expertise branch, which Bill and Ben Lizdas created not long before Bill fell ill. I’ll design a custom bookplate I can sign, and that will be included if you order a signed copy. Short of attending one of my talks, Redstart will be the only place you can get a signed copy of Saving Jemima. And proceeds of sales from those who want signed copies will go not to an online sales giant, but to the magazine that published my first article and painting in 1986, and helped me build a wonderful audience for my writing and art. It seems like a win all around. I'm grateful that my sweet friend, Redstart's stalwart Swiss Army knife Angela, is willing to take on all those orders, that packing and shipping. It won't be trivial.

 I think you'll love the story of this feisty young blue jay, and how she worked her way into our hearts. How I wound up saving her at least twice, and she saved me right back. Old story, I know, but rescue stories are rarely one-way (ask Curtis Loew!), and each one is unique. And this rescue was a blue jay, the best and brightest bird I could hope for.

So if you'd like to help support Bird Watcher's Digest and have a beautiful signed bookplate in your copy, you can pre-order Saving Jemima at Redstart Birding. Hit this link:  ORDER JEMIMA

 The book will be released September 10, 2019. It's roaring up! I can't wait for you to have it in your hands, too!



Where do I go to preorder my copy! Looking forward to that!

Julie: I would get a signed copy of this book if I had to crawl through Florida fire ants to do it--and the idea of going through Redstart is far more ingenious and far less onerous. Privately, I was hoping you wouldn't take on the whole signing, hauling, and d shipping burden yourself this time, and I'm glad you haven't. Congratulations on a great idea, and I'm getting into line at Redstart ASAP.

I've ordered mine and I can't wait. For you to do this, for all of your grateful followers after the year you've had makes it all the more special. Sending love and appreciation your way!

DONE! I clicked on the handy link above...and now I wait.
Maybe movie rights in the works?

Done! Can't wait :-D.

@Sister Marty, I know how excited you get! But you gotta slow down and read the post again. There's a link you click, near the bottom, that takes you to :)

Got it ordered! Yahoo!

Just ordered my copy!!! Something special to look forward to! Thank you, Julie!!

Congratulations, Julie!

Love that this book will be released on my birthday! I'm ordering as a gift to myself. Congrats--I can't wait to read it.

Okay, now I have it done right...I appreciate the clarity for are right, I get to excited and then I miss a detail...but I am ready for the book to come soon.
Peace to you this day Julie...and thanks for all the good walks you take in the morning and evening and sharing them with all of us. Blessings!


Can we preorder the book and pick it up at BWD?

That cover painting is just glorious. I'm sure the rest are as well. So excited for you!!

Just ordered my copy at Redstart. I met you, Julie, at the San Diego Birding Festival in February. I was the woman who flew to San Diego from Sacramento just to hear you give the keynote address. Unfortunately, I came the wrong day. But I did get to meet you briefly the next day. Well worth the trip!
Thank you. I’m looking forward to the book—Dale Flynn

Done! Ordered! Finally! Yahoo!!!! :)

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