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
Tuesday: This Book For Free
Micole Writes Romance – an interview
Wednesday: Marie Sullivan Force – an 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!