I’ve been meaning to write about my FIRST EVER SO COOL, EXTREMELY AWESOME book signing, which took place just about a month ago (I’m very tardy). But work and pregnancy happened, and lots of things get sloughed to the side.
Until my late-pregnancy-task-completing drive kicked into gear, and now I’m so prepared and getting shit done that I’ve already made all my plans and goals for 2018! (Very early. For me.)
So, let’s strike a balance and call me Teardly. Or something.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: THE BOOK SIGNING
You know how every author (or authority in general) always recommends “doing the thing that scares you most”? Yeah, that was this book signing. I actually dipped my toes in the water in late September, by participating in a local artist exhibit at a gallery in my hometown. A couple friends interviewed me for a presentation night, where I was able to talk freely about my work (as part of the Woman’s Work exhibit) and also sell some books. I did a little reading, and it was nerve wracking, but felt like a big success. I left the event buoyant and bolstered.
Pretty soon after that I decided I wanted to host my first ever book signing, even though I also desperately wanted to never host a book signing. The conflicting feelings only stemmed from the fact that attending my own book signing was one of those super terrifying, very daunting tasks that seemed reserved for authors with an insane amount of success. Authors who have somehow “made it” in a specific way that I certainly did not feel I shared.
But I said, NO, EMBER, YOU SHOULD HAVE THIS SIGNING ANYWAY. I had THREE new releases scheduled for the fall, which felt like a very auspicious occurrence, so I used this as my rationalization: I need to capitalize on this rare event! I conned my best friend J.A. Rock into visiting at the same time as the book signing (also lured her by planning my baby shower the same weekend) and starring as the co-author for the book signing. This way, I had the security of my best friend at my side, and also she’s way more experienced with this sort of thing so I could use her guidance and expertise.
We set to work planning the book signing, and things came together easily. My friend, who owns the art gallery where we scheduled the signing, hooked us up with radio and newspaper spots. We planned fun games to play, and a big giveaway basket stuffed with wine and books and other goodies.
And when the big day came, I won’t lie: I was anxious as hell. Also I was 35 weeks pregnant and just generally a bit scattered in general. But with all my best friends at my side, helping with final details and preparation of snacks and arranging our authorly platform in the most aesthetically pleasing fashion possible, we launched a real, live book signing featuring the following components of success:
1.) Live music!
2.) Various people attended who I DID NOT BEG TO COME!
3.) Tons of laughter and involvement with our trademarked game, Create Your Own Sex Scene!
4.) Selling almost ALL THE BOOKS we brought!
In addition to games, we hosted a Q&A, each did a reading, ate snacks, and then signed/sold books for anyone who wanted them. It was such a warm, fun evening! And while it was terrifying to take that leap, I’m so glad I forced myself to do it, and had the support of so many loving friends around me to make sure it went off without a hitch.
Now I’ll be prepped for bigger book signings, perhaps even at conferences and conventions one day. It’ll happen! With all these stories I’ve got swimming in my head, it won’t be long until my back list is a mile long and I’m looking back at these early days thinking “Man, if I only knew what was ahead!”.
Really excited for all these unwritten books lurking inside. In fact, if 2017 was any indicator, 2018 may very well be full of even more terrifying and career expanding moments.
Cheers to the road ahead!