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It’s Saturday at the Miss America Pageant.  I’ve seen two nights of preliminaries and made contact with Kellye Cash, Miss America 1987 and Heather French, Miss America 2000 to schedule interviews for my book, When Smart Isn’t Enough:  Lessons From Our Miss America. 

On Saturday, I find out by walking around that there is a small trade show.  I pay my $3 and go in to a large room that is filled with sparkly things and flowy things and showy things.

Katie Harman, Miss America 2002, is autographing her new CD, just released.  I wait again, and watch until the space in front of her is clear.  Like her sisters, she smiles at me, her attention focused and agrees to talk, giving me her email address.

On Sunday afternoon, all of the former Miss Americas that are in Las Vegas for the pageant gather for an autograph session of the program book.  I wait in line for almost 1 1/2 hours for the chance to meet them, and hopefully pitch my book.  Here, I thought, is my big chance for making contact with a large group.

I chat it up with a woman, her two teenage daughters, and a Miss Arkansas contender standing in line behind me.  People are interested in my book – at least here – and want to know when it will be published.  I get their emails to add to my pre-publication notification list.

When I finally get to the long signing table where eleven of them sit, I see that it will be a challenge to have just a few moments to talk with them.  It’s set up like an assembly line, and a couple of signing cops are standing behind the table to keep the line moving. 

I did my pitch really fast, but still wasn’t able to get to all of them. I walked away with five more emails in addition to the three I had.  Mission accomplished! I had done what I set out to do.  If only half of them respond to me now, I’m well on my way.