Last Sunday, I participated as one of three authors in a book reading and signing at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena. It was a terrific experience, and I’m only sorry if you couldn’t be there. (Hey, I sure announced it enough in the blog and on Facebook!)
It began with my arrival at about 3:30 PM, accompanied by my wife, who supports me with such forbearance in so many ways. Vroman’s had set up a space with rows of chairs for attendees – lots of attendees. At the front of the area was a podium, and to its left (audience right) were three tables, one for each of the authors. On each table were stacked copies of our respective books, ready for signing. In a word, it was classy.
I was greeted by a very nice woman who was both welcoming and helpful, and who laid out the event’s agenda. Each of us would have 15-20 minutes to read and/or speak about our book, and this would be followed by a Q&A which we’d do as a panel. Following this, the actual signing.
One of the other authors had pretty much stacked the audience with his friends and supporters, and he rather forcefully insisted on speaking last. The other author, a young woman who’d written a diet and weight loss book, and I, decided not to argue about it. She had never done a signing and did not want to speak first, so I took the lead-off position.
The reading went well, with lots of folks in the audience finding the excerpts from Zendoscopy funny and, in a few cases that I’m aware of, affecting. Next came the weight-loss author. Clearly, she was a hit. Slender, tall, and undeniably attractive, it really didn’t matter that her book was really just another self-help tome making dubious medical claims leavened with a bit of common sense advice. She clearly had an immediate impact upon the overweight women in the crowd. Then came the author who’d insisted on going last. He did an overly long and ill-defined reading from his book, but none of that mattered since he’d packed the audience with many people already primed to buy his work.
The Q&A went well, with lots of questions ranging from the thoughtful to the predictably anxious from aspiring writers (“How do you get your ideas?”). The Vroman’s staffer told us that it was the best Q&A she’d experienced, and she’d therefore allowed it to go on longer than usual for these events.
Finally came the signing. I’ve found signings to be fascinating, this one being particularly so because it followed a reading. There were those who told me that they’d enjoyed the reading and bought the book, those who said they’d enjoyed the reading and didn’t buy the book (but who might have bought one of the other books), and those who were only there to mingle with the authors and nothing else.
Did I sell many books? No, actually. Only a few. But it was fun and I got my first experience with a reading. I’m now looking at trying to do it again at other local bookstores, and the generally positive feedback has encouraged me to continue working on Zendoscopy‘s sequel. Don’t ask – it’s as yet untitled.
As always, many of the entries in seductivepeach.com are targeted to those who are hoping to succeed at writing. I hope this entry has provided a bit of insight into one aspect of marketing one’s work, and that you’ll keep coming back to follow my own adventure’s course in months to come.
Finally, I want to thank those friends and supporters who did turn out to support me at the event. Believe me, it meant a lot to see you in the audience. And here’s my plug and appreciation for one special attendee, Nancy Young, author of Strum. Nancy, I never expected to see you there, but I’m so grateful that you came!