Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#IWSG-Going out in public

Welcome to another round of the 
Insecure Writer's Support Group! Join us!


Today's scream into the void, is the whole, "going out in public with our books" thing. Before I was published, appearing at a book signing or book fair was something I dreamed of. And this was EVEN after years in bookstore management seeing book signings crash and burn.

But then I started doing them.  

First was a signing in the lobby of my day job before we opened. It was more of a party and very fun- thrilling even. I knew all the folks there liked me at least a little.

Since then I've done two huge book fairs and two bookstore signings. And, at my advanced age, I'm beginning to think I might just be an introvert, instead of the introverted extrovert I always thought I was. Coincidence?

These events are awesome- it is so wonderful to meet readers who either have read your books and enjoyed them (I can't explain how wonderful that feels!) or think they look interesting enough to give them a try.

They are also freaking terrifying. You're sitting out there, surrounded by people who don't have to like you because you work with them, showing them your BOOK. And really hoping they say something nice--or at the very least, don't say something mean.

I've got another signing this Saturday- with some pretty dang amazing authors. I am freaking out that I'll get lost in the dust. Part of me, the part that looked forward to things like this for a VERY long time, is bouncing around in glee. The newly discovered introvert side of me is screaming for someone to come hold my hand during all of it.

So- for you folks who have done events, how do you cope?  For folks who haven't done them yet--are you looking forward to doing them?  

Shameless plug for my upcoming event- a great event, at a very cool Indie bookstore- if you live in Southern California, please come by! (No, I won't really make you hold my hand ;)).

http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/mysterious-galaxy-23rd-birthday-bash


On Saturday, May 8, 1993, a new store opened in Clairemont Square, dedicated to the staff’s passion for books of “Martians, Murder, Magic and Mayhem.” Today, more than twenty years later, that passion continues. We invite you to join us on Saturday, May 7, for our annual all-day celebration, featuring some fantastic spotlight authors, a celebration of our still new to us location, and, of course, cake! 
10:00 AM: Mystery Morning
Authors Gregory Harris, Linda O. Johnston, Kwei Quartey, and Lida Sideris
11:00 AM: Middle Grade Magic
Authors Cameron Baity and Benny Zelkowicz
Noon: Young Adult Author Panel
Authors Elizabeth Briggs, Jennifer Brody, Tobie Easton, Eric Laster, and Sara Wolf
1:00 PM: Discussing Dragons
Authors Marie Brennan and Todd Lockwood
2:00 PM: Suspense Spotlight
Authors Kelley Armstrong, Daryl Wood Gerber, Elena Hartwell, and Gavin Scott
3:00 PM: CAKE!
3:30 PM: Fantastic Speculations
Authors Marie Andreas, Gini Koch, Jonathan Maberry, and Sharon Skinner


30 comments:

  1. I find the moments just before a signing more terrifying than the actual signing. Once the people start milling around, they are usually polite. It helps to have bookmarks or cards that you can use as an icebreaker. I need that crutch to get the conversation started.
    Have a great time this weekend. It sounds like a wonderful event.

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    1. Thank you! I'm sort of thinking of it like a roller coaster, this part is the "click-click-click" as the cars are pulled to the top...hopefully Saturday will be a great ride!

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  2. I've done a few book signings/book fairs, and I find it very nerve-wracking to sit at that table. But I haven't hidden under one yet, so that's something at least. I always have bookmarks and some kind of candy to giveaway. Like Elizabeth says, it's a good way to break the ice.

    Have a great time this weekend!

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    1. LOL!! Not hiding under one yet is definitely a plus! You would have liked my space at RT this year....the three books, a basket of candy, bookmarks, post cards, note pads, pens, fans, and buttons....it was amazing anyone could see me! Thanks for coming by!

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  3. It takes a little pressure off when you're there with other authors. Relax and enjoy the moment. It's probably that hang up about self-promotion rather than introversion that's got you feeling sweaty.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Oh heck yeah! A single event would terrify me :). I'll just ride on the coattails of those bigger authors on this one :).

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  4. That sounds like a great event, and I've met a few of those YA authors! I'm looking forward to my first signing so much!

    Here's my May IWSG post: It's (not a) Shame about Rey

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    1. I hope you have a great time at your first signing!

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  5. I've read what the others wrote cuz I got nothing. I say be yourself and remember the people asking for you to sign their books aren't there by accident. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Very true! It's still hard to sometimes get past the, "wait...you like my books and you want the NEXT one? Are you sure?" Sort of like I think maybe they got the wrong author ;).

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  6. I think book signings are intimidating. I haven't done one yet mainly due to some health issues. I do have a friend who enlisted the help of some theater friends and they played the part of different characters in his book. Super fun.
    Good luck.
    Nancy

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  7. As a fellow introvert, I can imagine how frustrating and intimidating that would be.
    @DoreeWeller from
    Doree Weller’s Blog

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    1. Thanks! It's an adventure, that's for sure!

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  8. I have my first event this fall--an author table at a conference. I'm both excited and nervous. What if nobody comes to my table? What if they DO and I have to make small talk? Either way . . . Ack!

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    1. Candy, swag....lots of swag. I've gone to a big reader event book fair twice, and I've found folks will come by just to get your swag. You can smile and say hi, but many just want to get the stuff to look over later ;).

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  9. Wow, that does sound terrifying and exciting all at the same time! I'm quite an introvert so would find those types of events quite challenging.

    Cheers - Ellen

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    1. It is- so happy to be invited, so freaked out to be invited ;).

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  10. I recently did a panel and a workshop at a writer's conference, and did my first book signing, though it's just an anthology I'm in. Luckily, I was able to request being next to a friend of mine who was also signing (and has multiple books out), so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Still, it was hard. I don't think one can ever be comfortable with it until they're the types of authors who have guaranteed lines out the door every time they do a signing. Good luck at your next event!

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    1. Thank you! I still haven't done a panel or workshop, but I can imagine those were interesting too!

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  11. Though intimidating, book signings are good for our writer egos. I enjoyed my two book signings, though I was extremely nervous for the first one, I breezed through the second one. Good luck to you!

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    1. They can be- or they can hurt :(. I have a number of books I bought just because I had been managing a bookstore when we had signings and almost no one came. But, this is a big event, so less chance of that :).

      Thanks!

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  12. I still get butterflies with each "outing"-just had one last week at a library. Not easy getting over one's self. But readers love to meet us, so we do it. Have fun at your next event. Wish I lived closer to go.

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    1. Thank you! It's good to know that even though you get butterflies, you're still doing them! :)

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  13. Congrats on your love/hate relationship with book signings and events. I never got used to it with my first book so was thankful I didn't have to do it with my eBook. :) However, it's always more fun with friends. It was always easier for me to speak at writing conferences, etc than sit at a table and meet strangers. The key, I think, is to just make it fun because when you're having fun, everyone is. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Jess
    http://jessicafergusonwriter.com

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    1. Very good point- if I'm having fun, others will too :) (hopefully ;)).

      Thank you!

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  14. This is good to hear. From what I'd heard, book signings were going the way of the dodo.

    If I lived at all close to southern California, I'd stop by, but Michigan is just a wee bit too far away.

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    1. I think they are making a comeback, but they are driven more by dedicated bookstore folks, and less by NY publishers doing book tours ;).

      LOL! I agree--that would be a heck of a drive!

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  15. My face usually hurts from all the manic smiling I do during book signings. Actually, I've only done two. I have a nervous nature and tend to stand and talk to people. I can't handle sitting. But I've never done something as big as your events! Best of luck! (If you ever come to Boise, ID, let me know and I will definitely attend.)

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    1. Oh heck yeah! My face hurt after that 3 hour RT event last month! This one was good- a nice panel beforehand. I promise to tell you if I ever get out there- YOU have to promise to tell me if you get out here to San Diego!

      Marie- at day job- can't log in ;)

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