Sign, Author, Sign

Yesterday saw another first in this, my year of authorly firsts. I hosted my first meet-the-author and book signing event. Hooray!

A few weeks ago, I connected with my local librarian, the lovely Karen Waring, and she was extremely enthusiastic about the idea of hosting a local author in one of her libraries, complete with book signing event. We picked a date (20 October) and a place (Welton Library, in Welton-by-Lincoln) and even set a time (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). We were on!

Both of us set to work publicising the event and yesterday morning, I presented myself at 9:50 a.m. to set up shop.

Was I nervous? Of course I was a little nervous. One worry was simply: would anyone turn up? And the second worry was: how would people feel about being invited to buy a book in a library, where they normally come to loan their reading material?

Well, here’s how it went.

Setting Up Shop

Books ~ check. Postcards ~ check. Bookmarks ~ check. Tasty treat ~ check. Visual hooks ~ check (1 book standing up, 1 big poster).

Taking a closer look… yes, I think this is good. Spy the fancy bookmark in the upright copy? This was a publication day present from two very special people and doesn’t it just add panache to the ensemble?

I’m ready… I think!

A big Thank You to my amazing loveahappyending friend, Sheryl Browne. I owe most of the ideas for this display, specifically the visual hooks, getting a copy of my book to stand upright, and the absolute need for a table-cloth (!) to a stellar blogpost she wrote on book signings on the Romaniacs blog. Sheryl, it worked!

The Quiet Before the Storm…

Meet the librarian: give it up for Karen!

Caught sharing a laugh off camera…  Having fun already.

huge Thank You to Karen for her amazing enthusiasm and stellar support. It is outstanding to have a library working so hard at creating a real sense of community and at bringing authors and readers together. I feel honoured and privileged to have made friends and I look forward to many more book signings in libraries up and down the county (and beyond?). You rock!

Thank you also, of course, to Karen’s fellow librarian, Jo, for helping set up, directing people my way, taking photos, printing photos, making cups of tea and generally keeping things ticking over. You ladies are a brilliant team!

…And Action!

Yes! Readers came! My first visitor arrived at just a few minutes after 10 a.m. Witness: my first author signature in a newly-purchased reader’s copy of Sophie’s Turn. Awesome feeling!

That was fun. Let’s have another go…

Of course I’ll sign another!

Meet Some of My Guests

Honestly, I had no idea this would be so much fun! Thank you to everybody who agreed to have their photo taken and let me post it right here on my blog.

And the Verdict?

Obviously, I had a lot of fun. Huge amounts of fun, in fact. I look forward to doing it all again.

Did people come? They certainly did. I barely had a moment’s rest during the three hours. I met some wonderful people and had some fantastically interesting conversations. It was amazing.

Did I sell and sign some books? You already know the answer to that. Yes, I sold some books. Not dozens, and dozens. But more than I dared hope.

Moreover, two of my guests took a copy of Sophie’s Turn out of the library there and then in addition to the copy that had already been borrowed earlier in the week.  There are copies in circulation! And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m told that two or three people requested a loan copy today so there is now a waiting list. My heart sings.

Lessons learned. Was it a perfect event? Probably not. Here’s what I will do differently next time.

1) I will have a proper stand for my huge visual.

2) Wherever possible, I will set myself up in direct line of vision (and walking) of the front entrance. The most important tool I had to draw people into conversation, apart from the librarians’ kind assistance, was eye contact. It’s easier to make eye contact if you’re unmissably in the line of sight; therefore, in future, I will put myself there.

3) I will print out and have available for perusing some of the fabulous reviews that Sophie’s Turn has received. This will get me around the uncomfortable moment of reassuring potential readers that of course Sophie’s Turn is a fantastic read. Instead of bragging, I can just let the reviews do their work. Easy, and obvious (hindsight is always 20-20!).

So this was it. My inaugural book signing event. I am elated, excited and exhausted. I feel very fortunate to have had my first signing event in such a lovely and supportive environment, and with such enthusiastic hosts.

I hope everyone who bought or borrowed my book will enjoy it and spread the word. Thank you. And I look forward to the next event… Karen has some places and dates in mind, and I am in her extremely capable hands.

Rock On! 🙂

44 responses to “Sign, Author, Sign

  1. Fantastic, Nicky! I’m so thrilled for you! What a great way to promote Sophie’s Turn – in a place where readers hang out, no less 😉
    Thanks so much for this post with all your tips, experience and hindsight. Since Ron and I live in two different towns, perhaps we can persuade both libraries to let us in …. 😉

    • Hi Jo ~ thanks for visiting, as always, and so glad you enjoyed the post and got some good ideas from it. Yes, libraries are totally the way forward, especially if you have a fabulous librarian like Karen to guide you along the way. Keep me posted when and where you might be going… XX

  2. That looks amazing, Nicky, am so pleased it was such a positive experience for you – a really good first book signing! And I love the way you are learning and improving for the next one. I’d been keeping fingers and toes crossed for this, so am glad I can relax now…

    • Thanks Marina! It was fabulous and I think everyone got a little buzz out of it too. Who knows… one day I’ll put together a guide of BDP, hahaha. Reckon I got the North Star yet? Gold Standard? I’m certainly hot on implementation tips, argh!!! Those were the days… Thanks for visiting and have a great Sunday. X

  3. **WELL DONE YOU!!**
    Honestly, I am so impressed!
    That takes such courage to do that,
    It is a really great idea and one from a Marketing promo perspective I completely recommend. And yes, having a press release to hand with review testimonials is a really good idea. If Sapphire Star do it for you, even better ; ) xx

    • Hi Yasmin, thank you for visiting and for your great suggestions. That would be the logical next step, of course: getting a collection of review quotes in a SSP kind of press release, looks that much more professional yet again. I will investigate, my friend, I will investigate. 🙂 xx

  4. p.s. Absolutely love the pix too : ) You look so happy and so do your new fans x

  5. Verdict (IMHO): A totally professional book-signing, Nicky! Well done, you! And well done, too, Karen and Jo, for their hard work and enthusiasm. It’s about what the reader want, isn’t it? But, maybe I missed something 😉 Should we send the pic to WS, do you think? Love it! 🙂 xx

    • Ooh, now, there’s an idea… 🙂

      Thank you so much for your feedback, Sheryl, it means a lot coming from the pro (and thanks again for sharing your ideas in the first place…)! Nobody warned me it would be so much fun though. Now I’m addicted! XX

  6. Fantastic Nicky – well done!


  7. Wow – what an amazing and successful event! Congratulations Nicky – and the photos are fabulous!!

    Love, Janice xx

    • Thanks so much, Janice! I think you’ve done loads of these events, so your feedback means a lot. I’ve got a taste for it now… bring it on, ha! Thanks for visiting and happy Sunday! x

  8. Great photos, Nicky! It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I’m trying to get into the area libraries here, too, for signings and readings. Good luck to you!

    • Thank you very much for visiting, Melanie! Visiting libraries absolutely rocks, best of luck with your events too and let us know where and when and how it goes. Amazing! xx

  9. Nicky,
    I am so pleased that things went well for you! That’s awesome. Congratulations!

  10. Fantastic, Nicky, and well done. The first is always the worst, so they tell me.

  11. Glad you had such an enjoyable and productive day Nicky. You’ll be a real ‘old hand’ by the time you do the next one! xx

  12. Don’t know about the old…. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts, Jo, it’s lovely of you to visit and comment. x

  13. How exciting! I’m so glad to hear that you had such a positive experience, Nicky! So, when is the next signing? 😉

    • Hi Tracie, thank you SO much for visiting!! It was fabulous ~ wish you could have been there. As for the next one… it all depends on when Karen can secure the next slot, and where. I think there may be a few in the works over the coming months and into 2013. Bring ’em on! Happy Sunday and so happy to hear from you. XX

    Congrats and a lot more. It takes a certain person to want to put themselves right out there in the public eye, placing themselves on what one describe as a pedestal. A person who doesn’t mind to be looked or even gawked at, or “overhearing” any comment being made by someone about them.
    “You’re a better person than I “Gunga Din” for I tend to drift to being a nonentity, a private person who wants to loves being in the background instead of out on a stage in front of an audience.

    • Robin, it’s an occupational hazard. You may find that, once you’ve got that paperback in your hands, you want to show your work to everyone. It’s not for the fainthearted, I grant you, but the love for your work and your pride in it will probably win over and ride you on one giant crest right into your first signing. XX Thanks for your lovely thoughts! 🙂

  15. So glad it went well for you, Nicky! How exciting! Great photos – you look like you’re having such a good time!

  16. Ah, so glad it went well! Looks like you had a fab time as well and made some new friends. Well done you!

    • Thanks, Linn! It truly was great. And what an experience to give people my actual book. Wow! You know all about this, of course, so thank you for your kind comments. XXX

  17. Oo, more posts like this, please! I love getting a peek at your world. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Nicky!

    • Hey, Carrie! What a wonderful and enthusiastic comment ~ thank you, that’s great to hear. Just occasionally, I wonder if these posts are actually of interest to anyone but myself… they are rather me-focused but if you enjoy them, then that’s fab. Whooop! Thanks for visiting. XX

  18. Congratulations and thanks for letting us see you in action.

  19. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing this Nicky. It’s a great idea to do a signing event at your local library – and one I might borrow! I loved the photos,and I’m really pleased it went well for you. Well done! 🙂 xxx

    • Hi Jo, thanks so much for visiting. I think libraries are an awesome venue ~ one of *the* best places to meet readers, so feel free to borrow away and let us know how you get on… would love to see your photos one day, too. Rock on! x 🙂

  20. Brilliant Nicky, well done! 🙂


  21. So glad it went really well for you Nicky

  22. Ah, just caught up with this post, Nicky. I’m so pleased for you and thrilled that your signing was such a success. Bet the readers/librarians all loved you. You’re such a lovely, bubbly person 🙂 I can well imagine they’ll all love Sophie’s Turn too! The photos look great as well. Massive congratulations x x x

  23. This looks brilliant Nicky, well done and I’m glad to hear it went well. x

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