Hi, SE readers! It’s Mae Day on Story Empire, and I’m delighted you dropped in for a visit. Whether you’ve written a book/books or are in the process of writing one,there will likely be a point when you want to take part in a presentation, book signing, or book club. Let’s take a quick look at all three.
Someone has invited you to speak about your book or a topic related to your book. Presentations require the most preparation, because—let’s face it—it’s all about you speaking to an audience. Your presentation might be short (ten to fifteen minutes) or much longer, depending on your material.
Did you know many local organizations often search for guest speakers? Your topic doesn’t necessarily have to tie into the basis of the organization. As an example, I’ve given presentations on the Mothman to both a historical society and a women’s group. Check around your area and see what kind of connections you can make. This is also a great way to get your name circulated in your community.
These can be large or small. I’ve done signings with as many as 30+ authors and others where I was one of two or three. In the past, I’ve given tips on setting up your table and ideas for swag. Today, I want to address something that might not be obvious—when doing a small signing, it’s entirely possible there won’t be a lot of foot traffic. Prepare for that!
Engage anyone who approaches your table but realize there are going to be dry spells.
My tale of woe . . .
I once shared a table with an author who did not like chatting. We were the only two authors at the event, and she preferred to knit while reading on her cell phone. She had clear boundaries of “don’t talk to me.” Seriously, what author doesn’t like to discuss writing?
I sold a few books that day, but the hours draaaggeed. I ended up scribbling notes on a future project. Next time, I will go better prepared and have something to distract me. Lesson learned.
I’ve been highly fortunate that several local book clubs have selected my work to read. Not that long ago, I was invited to a group that read Eclipse Lake. I’m used to talking about my books—where my ideas came from, how I developed the setting, what research went into them, etc.—but this was the first time I had readers asking what they wanted to know. It was an awesome experience, and so much fun!
If you get a chance to engage in any of these events, I highly recommend taking the opportunity. The book club situation was new for me, and one I’d love to do again. I realize that many of you have done signings and presentations multiple times, but if you’re new to the game and have the opportunity, go for it!
Do you have a book signing experience you’d like to share? If you haven’t done a signing or something similar, what are your thoughts about giving it a try? Do you have suggestions for finding local organizations that might be interested in speakers? How about tips on when you’re paired with an author who’s a bad match? Trust me, it happens.
Chime in and share—ready, set, go!