Sunday, June 19, 2016

So ... how did the book signing go?

I survived! My first book signing event is under my belt, and I'm so proud. The event took place in the La Vergne Public Library in La Vergne, Tennessee, which is just outside of Nashville. A beautiful building with wonderfully friendly people.

At six o'clock I began my presentation, talking about how I got into writing fantasy, when that genre wasn't my first choice. When I first started writing, I intended to be a historical fiction author instead.

The presentation led into the reading. For two months I practiced and practiced reading my selection aloud, and I'm so glad I did. I rocked it.

After the reading we did a brief Q&A and was offered some wonderfully insightful questions -- which I could actually answer in an intelligible manner (mostly).

All the while, there was a cameraman from a local station filming me. But did that shake me? Pff, never.

I learned several things:

1. I can present myself with confidence and poise, even despite a "disaster" that shook me badly right before I had to begin. (my biggest worry was that I would crack and my brain would go blank at the worst possible moment, but that didn't happen. Not even close.)

2. Do not expect loads of people on a first signing. (I prepared myself for this anyway, having heard this many times before, and it's 100% true.) I read for 8 people and signed for 3.

3. Do not expect your venue to do enough (or appropriate) marketing on your behalf. (A writer-friend warned me about this, and I saw it in action. You must do marketing yourself, if possible. Take your own posters/billboards and have them set up at the venue in obvious places an hour or so before the event begins. Make sure the posters point visitors in the right direction, especially if the venue is large. One of my guests got lost looking for me and missed half the presentation.)

4. It's going to take a LOT of signing events, swallowing a LOT of pride, and exposing myself to potentially humiliating situations to push my books effectively. (But it's all for the art, right?)

Overall, the trip was wonderful. In addition to the new experience, I got to see a new city, just as Nashville was kicking off the CMT Awards, so visiting downtown on Tuesday morning was like going to a festival. Just too bad all those people were there for country singers to sign stuff instead of my books, right? LOL. If only I could have snuck a booth in there ... ah, well.

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