Friday, August 27, 2010

From Book Signing Worries to Confidence

Yesterday I Googled "planning for a book signing" after I realized I didn't know what I was doing and the book signing for Where Love Once Lived was schedule for September 25, 2010.

Surprisingly, I found three excellent articles on what to do before, during, and after a book signing. One of the writers, Penny C. Sansevieri, was especially helpful, so I checked Amazon to see if she had any books on the subject of book marketing. I found one called Red Hot Internet Publicity, and was glad to see there was a Kindle edition. I ordered it and started reading. I'll do a review on the book later. Right now I need to sell books.

I read that she developed the idea for the Virtual Author Tour™ and that reminded me I had planned to do a virtual blog tour. Bonnie Hearn Hill had told me how successful that had been for her. I already had a list of blogs that would be good for my book. However, I haven't contacted any of them yet. There was a call for authors to be interviewed and/or books reviewed by a blogger on the American Christian Fiction Writers group. I sent her a book to review and she sent me some questions to answer for the interview. But, I need to do 20 or 30 more before I will see the benefits of the virtual blog tour.

As I read the book signing tips, I remembered this won't be my first book signing. The first was so unremarkable, I probably stuffed it deep into the memory banks.

My first book was a non-fiction called Automated Law Office Systems, published by West Publishing Co. in 1983. I was a member of the Austin Writers' League, now the Writers' League of Texas, and we set up book signing tables in the mall near Sunset Valley where the south Central Market is now. The tables were arranged in a circle with authors sitting inside the circle. My editor, Bill Newsom, was with me and I think he sold more books than I did. Bill, by the way, was the person who made the book readable. He didn't get his name on the cover, but he did share in the royalties.

Next to us was Kathy Cronkite, Walter's daughter, with a book called On the Edge of Darkness. It is still available of Amazon, but I see it is dated 1995 so it must be an updated edition.

On the other side of us was Dr. Ira Iscoe, who had been my Educational Psychology professor at the University of Texas. He was the one responsible for my finishing college, getting a BA and then an MS. Why? Because he said I couldn't. He said most people who drop out of school and then go back, never graduate. I told him about it that day. He was pleased. I don't remember what he was selling, but I was proud to be at the book signing event with him.

So, just thinking about the book signing helped me think about ways to sell Where Love Once Lived. It also reminded me that I can overcome the average college dropout and succeed. That's what makes writing this blog so much fun.

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