On March 1st I participated in my first book signing event. Book Exchange, a local book store in Marietta, hosted an Indie author and publishing event. I hesitated for a moment to sign up, but something pushed me to do it, so I called the bookstore, talked to the owner, hopped in my mini-van and paid for my table. I promoted the two books I have available right now, Fat Farm, and Mallow Mayhem.
I decided to do two give-a-ways, one for each book. I cross stitched two simple bookmarks, bought some candy, a Starbucks gift card and baskets. I put it all together. They looked so good. I had bookmarks with my logo made, I created a sign-up sheet for my mailing list. I was in a perpetual state of freak-out for three weeks. My poor husband.
The night of the event arrived and I was as prepared as I was going to be. I had a nice table. I set up my wares. My assistant, my beautiful daughter, was by my side and people began to arrive.
It was a good crowd, despite the thunderstorms that came through. My friends and family came to support me. I talked with people, and other authors. I got up and spoke about my books. I listened as the other authors spoke about theirs. It was a wonderful night. I didn't sell that many books, which was disappointing, but that was not the purpose of this event. The purpose was to get me out there. It was to sell my brand. To network. And it worked. I got a few more names for my list. Now I have 14! Woo Hoo! Every little bit helps, because these names can bring more names and more fans. I hope.
Here are some things I learned:
1. It can be hit or miss with the crowd. You might hit your demographic. You might not. Since Fat Farm is a dystopian tale, I wasn't sure the senior citizens in the crowd would buy it. And I think that made up most of the group.
2. You're selling you. I'm not a salesman. I never was and I never will be. That is why I had a hard time working with the limousine service. If they didn't want the service after the I gave them information, then I wasn't going push it. Writing is a solitary business. I'm an introvert, although I think there is an extrovert in there somewhere. It's hard to be out in front of people, hawking your wares and selling yourself as an author. Be personable and charming. It can be fun. The most die-hard introvert can light up when talking about their passion. I did.
3. Step back and punt I think Mallow Mayhem is a wonderful story. It's a fun read, but it's not selling like it should. I only sold one copy. That was disappointing. From what I learned from the crowd, was they thought it was a children's book. It's not. And it never will be. It seems that no matter how much I say to the contrary, that's what readers think, so I'm rethinking the Philippa Marlowmellow series. Am I going to stop writing it. No. I may do it as a free series on my website. I'm still pondering that one.
4. Keep writing. This is the most important. When I left that evening, all I wanted to do was come home and write. It jazzed me up to keep going. To keep telling stories. When you're not selling, or on the best seller list, it can be hard to keep it up. I would love to be on that list and one day I will be. I just have to keep going. Keep creating the stories.
So, after all this the question is: Would I do another event? The answer is Hell Yeah! The Girl In The Golden Cage is being sent to beta readers soon. And then to be edited. Then off to another event! Off to hawk my wares It will be fun!