After the excitement wore off, I quickly shifted into anxiety gear. If I’m with another author, will we both end up wearing the same color suit jacket? What if her book sells but mine doesn’t? I certainly didn’t want to look pitiful. Well, I did sell some books, and no one was wearing the same thing I was.
What did I really need to worry about? Having a good display that includes a stand for your book(s), a stack of business cards (without personal information), bookmarks or rack cards to pass out separately or slip inside your book(s). Others included optional items: A bowl of chocolates, mini-books that included a chapter of their next book, and any theme related object to place around your space.
The last time I was at Powell’s, the book store seated us in alphabetical order. That placed me beside two successful writers, and gave me a chance to talk with people I didn’t know. Sometimes they talked around me, but hey, I looked like I was included in the conversation. Forgive me, I can’t remember the name of the author on my left, but at my right was historical writer, Elizabeth Boyle.
My son and daughter-in-law came in with their new baby, Gilby. I held him a couple of times and noticed what a great conversation starter he was. People stopped by to try to get his attention and Elizabeth Boyle liked his name so much she wanted to use it in an upcoming story.
I also learned from Elizabeth that she’d added a paranormal element to one of her books and some of her fans didn’t like the departure from her usual stories. This information alone should make a writer sit up and take notice. Being consistent in what you’re writing pays off, especially after your second book. However, I bought this particular book about at WinCo and enjoyed it a lot.
At an event like this, it is to your benefit to be friendly and talk with other authors. Not for rubbing elbows to get something for yourself in the world of publishing, but to have acquaintances in the writing world, to help you learn about different publishing houses, what works for others, and to support other writers. I believe it is a great thing to get to know people with your same interests, and to watch each other grow in the business.
From these two events at Powell’s, I came away knowing how to set up my table, or signing area. I came away knowing some of the authors better, such as, Delilah Marvelle (Zebra), Jenna Slade (Signet/Eclipse), Jenna Bayley-Burke (Samhain Publishing) and Kristina McMorris (Pocket Books). At other signings I spent time with Paty Jager (Wild Rose Press) and Kerry A. Jones (Black Lyon Publishing). I’m looking forward to signing with Judie Kleng this summer, one of the few Black Lyon authors I’ve met personally.
At which book store do you dream of having a book signing one day?