First, let’s get the BIG announcement out of the way because quite frankly I’m too tickled pink to put this off.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE…
After some fantastic reviews from The Naked Reviewers last week, they chose my paranormal fantasy romance book, Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, as their Book of the Month for March 2020!!!!!
The book was also named as the Book of the Week from 2/26/2020 to 3/4/2020!
Somebody pinch me! Okay, not THAT hard! Geez, now I’ll bruise.
Now for the original posting for this week ~ Lessons Learned from my first book signing event at Penned Charleston this past weekend.
To sum it up – it was a series of unfortunate events which ended happily ever after.
- Should travel the night before the event. I was stuck in a traffic jam on I-26 EAST towards Charleston with all lanes blocked due to a horrific accident. Nowhere to turn around, just had to sit there and continue sitting for a long time. Ended up 1 1/2 hours late!
- Bring an assistant! Can be anyone, friend, foe, hubby, kids! Just bring someone to help out so the author can make trips to the ladies’ room and get food/beverages. Initially the hubby was supposed to attend with me, but he was easily persuaded to ditch me to take our youngest son to a wrestling tournament in Fayetteville, NC. Figured I’d be okay on my own, but easily see now how having a helper with me would have made the whole experience run more smoothly and enjoyable. Also assistants were working the venue by walking around and visiting all the tables and mingling with the guests/readers to direct traffic to their author’s tables. Assistants also freed up their authors to walk around and meet new authors and just mingle.
- Double-check swag before the event. I found a typo on the bookmarks as I was sitting at the table Saturday. To say I was horrified is an understatement!
- Bring more swag! Some authors had some serious swag at their tables. Some had raffles going for their super swag. I had bookmarks with typos, postcards with book info (which I ran out of), candy (mints and chocolate), and mini hand sanitizers.
- Personalized labels for swag (such as the hand sanitizers) can be easily purchased I learned from one incredibly helpful author assistant. One lady had personalized packaging for candies and chocolates!
- When the venue doesn’t provide linen table cloths for the tables, bring your own nice linen table cloth, not a flimsy plastic tie-dye one.
- Check into vinyl posters and heavy duty easels. Most authors had 8-10 foot posters set up behind and beside their tables. I had a foam board 12×18 book poster propped up a stack of books on a chair beside me.
- Purchase easels for posters and something to connect the banner to the table.
- Purchase book stands so the books aren’t just laying down on the table.
- Sneak in snacks. The venue said no beverages or food to be brought in – they provided water stations and some appetizers were handed out in the beginning during setup (which I missed due to #1). I ended up eating more of my own candy which was supposed to be just for visitors to my table.
Sounds a bit like a disaster, right? Actually, it wasn’t at all! I met a lot of amazing authors, author assistants, bloggers, reviewers, cover artists, and most especially readers! I learned a lot! I made some contacts including a lovely author in my local area (Hi, Haven Cage!) who also organizes local author get-togethers, and I now have a Reiki healer to call locally when my chakras are imbalanced. So, HUGE WIN!
Sadly, I ended up leaving right after the event rather than staying for the 60s-themed party that evening (another Lesson Learned – STAY FOR THE PARTY!).
Hopefully this Lessons Learned segment will benefit other newbie authors as you go to your own book signing events.
Well, I’m off to celebrate my Book of the Month award with some of my leftover chocolate from Penned Charleston!
I hope everyone has a fabulous week!