This post is long overdue, but you’ll have to forgive me on account of my long holiday (and honeymoon) trip to Europe.

The day before we left for Europe, I got to cross one big item off of my bucket list. I got to walk into a bookstore and see the book that I wrote – my baby, my life’s work (up to this point) – on a shelf in a bookstore. Maybe it’s a little silly, but there’s nothing that can make you feel like you’ve “made it” more than this little action.

My book’s now in two independent bookstores in the Austin area. The first to pick it up (after I politely yet persistently introduced myself to the store owner) was BookWoman, a feminist bookstore I figured would be a good fit for the book, even though it kind of reminds me of the Women & Women First bookstore on the IFC show Portlandia. Side note: If you’re unfamiliar, I highly recommend you check it out. I did my research and tried to do all the right things: I actually bought some stuff from the bookstore, I went to a couple events, and – most importantly – I worked up the courage to talk to the store owner about my book and how their programs support local authors.

The second bookstore to pick it up was BookPeople, which is consistently named one of the best independent bookstores in the country. They have a consignment program for local authors, which means I provide them with a few copies of my book, they shelve them, they feature them, and they get me in for a local author night (mine’s in May). Luckily for me, my publisher Book Brain Publishing paid the associated fees and they want me to do more of these programs.

I have a goal for 2014 to get Portrait of Woman in Ink into three more bookstores, so I can have even more shelves to ogle over. Don’t get me wrong, I love ebooks and I think they are crucial to the future success of the publishing industry. But seeing my smooth, glossy cover full of recycled printed pages face out on an old wooden bookshelf is a feeling I won’t soon forget.