Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday's Book Signing

It didn’t go as well as the last one, where I sold out, but I did sell 12 total of two of my books they had on hand. Woohoo! It was kind of intimidating to be at a book signing with 50+ other authors, but I survived. The highlight of my day was having two women come in (not together) and walk right up to me and tell me they came for my book. One said she'd been following my blog and was a Facebook fan and the other researched me after reading the article in the town paper about the Author Extravaganza. They alone made the two hour drive worth it. The bookstore manager was fantastic. They have two sections dedicated to local authors. It was so cool to walk in and see my books on the shelf. Plus I got to meet and mingle with other authors from around the state. We had some interesting conversations and it was neat to see seasoned authors at work promoting their books. I got some wonderful tips I hope to implement in the future, and made some great contacts.

A couple of authors told me about some workshops in my area, one of which took place today, where copy editors from major publishers attend and you're assigned one. They do a critique of some of your work and you have the chance to pitch your book. One of the ladies had breakfast with a copyeditor from Bantam Books. Another opportunity they told me about was a deal that the Kansas Independent Booksellers (I think) put on. Local authors get together with librarians and bookstore owners and you get ten or fifteen minutes to pitch your book to them. Since I'm not a public speaker (I cringe at the thought) I think I'll stick to my mailings to independent bookstores.

I was kinda bummed that I didn't get to meet Max McCoy, the author of the Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark) series. He was taking part in the workshop at the time of the signing so he came in and did a signing later in the evening. Since this is a yearly event I hope to go back next year and maybe get to meet him.

Here are some interesting observations I’d like to share from today’s book signing. Seems the vampire/werewolf craze is still going strong, as well as non-fiction books (self-help mostly). There were quite a few children’s authors there too. Their books seemed to sell really well. It’s good to know that not all children are glued to the TV. I also noticed a lot of the authors were self-published. This seems to be a growing trend. I know quite a few, through my author loops, that have gone this route and have been quite successful at it. It’s getting easier now days, especially with the Amazon Kindle, Smashwords and CreateSpace, to get your work out there. And as far as I can tell, from the conversations I’ve had, the stigma of being self-published is going by the wayside.

This is comforting news to me because I’ll have a book coming out soon (or Kinzie will) that is basically self-published. One of the aforementioned authors is helping me. She’s doing the editing and is formatting it for me. With my poor grammar and punctuation, it’s vital I have an editor :-). That doesn’t mean I will be self-publishing all my future books. I like being with a publisher. And to be honest I don’t have the time to promote anymore than I already am. It helps to have a publisher that will share in the task of getting the word out about you and who will send your book out for reviews. Plus I like the camaraderie I have with most of my publishers. I’ve learned a lot from them.

Taking part in today’s book signing reminded me how important it is for a writer to part of a network or group of authors. Since I live in a small town, I don’t have the advantage of being in a critique group or anything. I must rely on the internet. I’m fortunate that I’ve found a couple of very supportive Yahoo author loops where we encourage and promote one another. The Sweetest Romance Authors and the Romance and More Promotions groups are my most active. I’ve made many wonderful friends on these sites and I cherish each of them.

Coming up next week: I’ll be celebrating the release of Fire and Ash, July 1st, from Desert Breeze Publishing. If I can wrangle Sadie away from Quinn long enough to do an interview I’ll be posting it midweek. Below are some of the places I’ll be promoting the book this month so be sure to drop in, I’ll be giving away free copies at a few of the stops.

July 1st: Shawna Williams’ blog:
July 3rd: Pamela Thibodeaux's blog:
July 5th: Tina Pinson’s blog:
July 7th: Sandra Sookoo’s blog:
July 8th: Danielle Thorne’s blog:
July 14th: Regina Andrews’ blog:
July 28th: Susan Whitfield’s blog:

And if you've been keeping up with my WIP, A Familiar Evil, I've post the latest two chapters.