Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book signing success!

Let’s start with a heartfelt, very loud, “Whew!” That is how I felt after my first solo book signing this past Saturday. I was also strangely exhausted and my jaws hurt from continuous smiling and talking. But it was all good. Really! No complaints are intended as it was loads of fun and very successful. But let me just say I am glad I am not expected to do this every weekend!

So far in my 10 months of being a published author I have been a part of four signings. The first two were while in Washington at the RWA convention and I was in a room with lots of other authors and lines of ecstatic ladies dying to get their hands on free books, in some cases no matter who the author was! My third was a group signing in Sacramento with several romance novelists – including our own Loucinda McGary – and a few other fiction and non-fiction writers. In each of these cases I was among friends, surrounded by other authors to socialize with, and in a setting where people knew what was happening. There is indeed a sense of safety in numbers!

For my fourth signing I was alone. Just me, a table piled with books, some candy to entice people over, my book trailer playing on the laptop, and colorful signs announcing who I was. Was I nervous? Do wild bears do their business in the woods? Heck yeah!

I had done my best to alert the world via fliers, my website, Facebook, and a ton of emails to half of my hometown’s population. The fabulous manager of Borders had alerted the press, who did put it in the paper and even had a reporter come interview me for a piece in the big Fresno newspaper – so cool! So although nervous that I might still end up sitting there with a pasted on smile and thumbs atwiddling, I was content that I had done all that was possible. And I was determined to have fun.

Well, I am happy to report that it went very, VERY well! Oh sure, most of the busy store’s customers walked right by my table that was situated inches from the front door as if I was invisible. And one gal did ask me to help her find where a certain book was located in the store. (Robert, the manager, smoothly stepped in to help, bless his heart.) I passed out far more fliers and business cards than actual books were sold, and not everyone on my contact list showed up. (Probably a good thing!)

Nevertheless, I sold a total of 23 books between the three titles and signed at least twice that much for people who brought their already owned ones in. In the total 4 hours that I was there I never went more than 10 minutes without someone stopping by. I call that a success!

Am I ready to schedule a dozen more? Ah, no. But at least I am not as terrified by the idea if the managers of other bookstores in the Valley start begging me to visit their store. Of course, since it is unlikely I will have a plethora of managers pounding me with emails, my anxiety levels can remain dormant.

So now I can don my comfy lounging clothes and go back to conducting the blog tour for My Dearest Mr. Darcy from the cushions of my recliner, sans makeup. This week I am appearing in 7 places, including here at Casablanca. Seven! Who needs sleep, right? Here is the list with links if anyone wants to follow me around. Stalkers welcome. Oh, and lots of my books are being given away!

Monday: My Reading Room - an interview
This Book For Free
Micole Writes Romancean interview
Wednesday: Marie Sullivan Forcean interview with my buddy!
Thursday: Hic-Fic chick
Friday: Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Next week it continues on. Yeah! Hope to see you all there!


  1. I'm all for jammies and online blog tours! Unfortunately, I don't usually get to do them that way what with work. I love your display, Sharon! Really nicely done. And the book stands, beautiful. I need to get myself organized. LOL Great job on your book signing!!!

  2. Hi Sharon!

    So glad to hear your signing went well. Your pic looks fantastic! You've got such a wonderful smile. Hope to see you soon. :)

  3. Congrats on a great signing, Sharon! You and your books look lovely!

    Your booksigning experiences have been SOOOO much better than mine, though. SB had to emergency ship books to Borders prior to my Jan 2 signing, (I only sold 3) and when I called B & N yesterday to check on the one scheduled for Saturday, the guy I talked to didn't know a thing about it, the manager (who is the one I'd talked with) is out sick until Thursday, and to top it all off, they only have "a couple" of copies of Fugitive in the store! ARRRGGGHHH!!!! I'm not sure I ever want to do this again!

  4. Hi Terry! I was very pleased to find the stands. Michael's craft store had all kinds, me finding them after calling several book stores since I figured that was the most logical place to carry them!

    Sarah! I friend! My hubby does a great job of making everything look gorgeous with a camera. LOL! You will see me soon - in 4 days. :)

    Cheryl, Man, what a bummer about your problems! Wow. I was very fortunate. Robert was fantastic and had it so well organized and arranged that even if I had arrived with nothing extra it would have been perfect. Maybe he is the exception and I will have to remember that if I ever plan a book signing elsewhere. I better not get my expectations up too high! Good luck on Sat. I pray they will get all the kinks worked out.

  5. Congrats on a great siging, Sharon! And I think this tour will be great!

  6. Sounds like a success, Sharon! I've found the signings where the store staff is vested in the success have made it so. I have one CRM who literally stands at my table and invites people to speak to the "next Nora Roberts." Um... okay...


  7. Glad the signing went so well. So far, mine have been great. And I too have experienced the afterward-feeling of "exhilarated yet strangely exhausted."

    Also, a part of me always feels a little bizarre--like how did I get here, and why do these people want MY autograph?

    I know the answer of course, but still. There's something unsettling when my interior world and my exterior world suddenly meet.

  8. Congratulations on the book signing. And you were nervous - no way. The setup looks great. Just think how smoothly it will go next time. :)

  9. Thanks Danielle. I am having a blast on the tour so far and the response has mostly been great.

    LOL Judi! That is a great line from your CRM. My hubby is my cheering squad. He didn't compare me with Nora, but his vibrant personality and the fact that he can get a tree to talk back to him did draw folks to the table.

  10. Mary Margret, I know exactly what you mean! It still feels surreal to me. Kinda nice, true, but I really am not the kind of person who likes being in the spotlight. I am very much a wallflower type, so this stuff is odd. Yet, at the same time, it is an ego booster!

    Thanks Linda. I hope all is well with you.

    Thanks Mason. Yes, it will be easier next time. I have a sense of what to except, although I am sure each experience varies. Still not planning to line up a dozen in the next month though. LOL!

  11. You did fabulous, Sharon. Big congratulations!

  12. Sounds wonderful! Congratulations!

  13. Sharon~

    I'm so glad your book signing went well, Sharon. They can be grueling but I love them. Good luck with the blog tour. I just have a few more of my own to write.