I have just returned from my first official book-signing event. It was quite a thing. If you are thinking throngs of people, with lots of hubbub and noise, think again. It was a sedate and pleasant experience.
Fiction Addiction is an independent bookstore in the upstate. Being rather clever people, on or around Independence Day they hold a book-signing event for Independent (self-publishing) authors to celebrate them and independent bookstores. I suppose Christmas or some other gift related holiday would work as well for driving customers, but I think you get the “Independence” thing.
As On a Sphere’s Edge is my first published novel, this event was a first for me. I had no idea what to expect. Being a grumpy old curmudgeon with almost overwhelming social anxiety, I had concerns about fitting in, saying or doing stupid things or blowing it in some fashion. However, I navigated my nerves, put on my “go forward” martial arts instructor persona, and everything turned out fine and dandy.
The Fiction Addiction shop where the event was held is a wonderful, old world bookstore. Not the big, ten-thousand square-foot national chain sort of venue, but a nice, spacious, homey, community bookstore with everything from comic books to DIY, mysteries, sci-fi, and every other sort of print you can imagine, including used books and a Children’s section with a reading room. Perhaps the stocks are small due to the limited space, but the selection is varied.
Jill Hendrix was my contact person, and was there working the store when I arrived. She was gracious and helpful to say the least.
I was scheduled to be with two other local, independent authors. There was Mary Lash, author of The Desert Murders, a true tale of a man convicted of several murders in Arizona – murders he did not commit, and Rick Veal, author of Jennifer’s Ghost, a South Carolina, down-home ghost tale.
I wondered how I would fit in with other authors, especially these two as they both have more than one novel with their by-name. Much to my surprise, we seemed to hit it off pretty well, the larger parts of our discussions concerned with publishing and marketing. One can take so many trails these days. Is the goal profit, reach, or freedom driven? Do you want to stock and self-sell, or make a virtual world presence?
I gained some new insights, and hopefully made some new network connections. Oh, and if you were wondering, yes there were customers in and out of the shop, and some public connections were made as well.
That is one down, with hopefully many more ahead. It was quite an enjoyable experience.