Laura is blue. Fiona is green.
Laura, have you ever had something hit you from different angles all at once, almost forming a "Hey, look at this!" message from the cosmos? This week, for me, that something is book signings.
---My local children's librarian called about scheduling signings next June. June!? (will I ever get used to the time scale of this biz???)
---I moved through another department on my quest for an Aquarium book launch.
---I found out that Chapters (Canada's big box, big influence, book store chain) has picked up Bubble Homes and Fish Farts to include in its store system. Yea! That means it'll be a regularly stocked item, so I won't have to arrange a special order for each of the dozen or so store signings in my local area.
Fabulous! Congratulations! Thanks.
And then you mentioned book signings as something you were working on this week, too.
Zammo! Message from the cosmos.
Okay. Book signings. Um... Now I love doing school visits and speaking about writing, but I must confess I have some hesitation about arranging "signings". I have this vision of me sitting at a table for hours in the middle of a book store or library, and a recurring nightmare about no one showing up!
Exactly. And I don't think it's just a nightmare. It's the reality, much of the time. Even for some big-name authors, let alone for those of us without a big following!
One of the many useful ideas that Shrinking Violet Promotions put into my head was buddying up for booksignings and other promotional tasks.
I'm an introvert and am socially awkward. I hate, hate, hate trying to sell things. But I've definitely noticed this kind of thing is easier in a group or a pair. So the idea of partnering up with someone sounds perfect for me. Because frankly, the idea of a booksigning...me behind a long empty table with a stack of books, customers scurrying by trying not to meet my eyes...shudder! But by having someone to sit and chat with and perhaps have a conversation going in a very non-closed-off, approachable way--I think that would help. And I wouldn't be quite as shy about saying good things about someone else's book as I would my own. And if it's someone whose book complements my own, even better!
That sounds like a great idea. Too bad Minnesota and BC are so far apart or we could get together!
A couple of local children's authors kc dyer and James McCann recently buddied up for a successful tour of the Kootenays (an area in the interior of BC), but I hadn't thought about doing that locally. Duh.
So, Thursday I met for lunch (a loooong lunch--sorry, server at Applebee's! hee hee ) with a member of my local group, Dara Dokas. She's got a book coming out from Dutton in February, an adorable, funny, animal-based picture book called Muriel's Red Sweater. Dara is extremely outgoing--she's even a former drama teacher for primary kids!
That sounds like the perfect match.
The challenge for me was to find out 1) whether Dara's even interested; and 2) if she is, what kinds of things we could do in tandem. So I brainstormed ideas for booksignings, materials we could offer teachers, joint mailings we might do, etc. If we can make pairing up work, we might be able to bring down the cost factor for both of us and the discomfort level for me. We had a terrific lunch, and 1) she is!; and 2) tons of things, though we concentrated on brainstorming bookstore/library/animal-event presentations and also some press contact tasks we could share. We need to do more brainstorming, but we both left lunch with a list of tasks to get started on. Yea! I'm very excited about this.
Woohoo! That's wonderful! I wonder if I can find a "Dara" in my my local writers' group. Hmm...signings might not be so bad after all.
Good luck! Yeah, I feel the same way. Signings in general do not appeal to me, but I think this could make it better, definitely!
So, tell us...have you ever buddied up for book signings? What did you do together? How did it go? Any tips or tricks you'd like to share?