Tag Archives: Book Signing

‘Stage Debut’ ~ At the Drill Hall for Lincoln Inspired

8 May 2013 proved to be a fairly monumental day for me.

(I know, I seem to be having a lot of those of late. This seems to be an occupational hazard!)

Here’s a hint:

Yup, here I am!

Yup, here I am! Photo courtesy of Tom Haughton @ Lincoln Inspired, with thanks.

It was monumental because it featured my first ever contracted author appearance. Yup, rather than ‘just’ presenting myself for a book signing somewhere (not that there’s ever a ‘just’ about that!), I had signed a contract stating that I would turn up on the specified date, at the specified time, for the specified length of time, bringing along my person, my books and a talk.

Want to know more? Find out here: http://www.lincolninspired.co.uk/

Want to know more? Find out here: http://www.lincolninspired.co.uk/

The event in question was the Lincolnshire Literary Life session, featuring myself, Claire Kinton, David Zelder, Joff Gainey and Helen Hancocks. Gill Hart had structured the session into three stages.

Setting up for my 'stage debut' ~ I'm starting to feel like a pro about this!

Setting up for my ‘stage debut’ ~ I’m starting to feel like a pro about this!

Introductions

First of all, Gill invited us all to introduce ourselves to our audience. Thus we discovered that Helen illustrated the story of Penguin in Peril as part of her degree show, and that the words came later. Joff brought along his suitcase of memories and explains how that inspired him to write Sleeping on a Cloud. Claire shared the tragic inspiration for Dead Game, and David had everyone hanging onto his every word when he shared a traumatic experience that helped him make the events of Yomping Outside so authentic.

From left to right: Nicky Wells, David Zelder, Gill Hart, Claire Kinton, Helen Hancock and Joff Gainey. Photo courtesy of Tom Haughton and Lincoln Inspired, with thanks.

From left to right: Nicky Wells, David Zelder, Gill Hart, Claire Kinton, Helen Hancocks and Joff Gainey. Photo courtesy of Tom Haughton @ Lincoln Inspired, with thanks.

And me? Of course, I laid my cards on the table with regard to my inspiration.  (I’m not shy like that, LOL. Not anymore!) You know, my strange, inexplicable but undeniable love for rock stars. I earned myself a few laughs, which made my day, and people seemed intrigued by the fact that I blame the writing of Sophie’s Turn entirely on my husband.

Meet the Author

Introductions over, Gill moved us into the ‘free socializing hour’ where attendees were welcome to have lunch or to grab the opportunity to chat with the panel of authors, peruse books, and buy them and have them signed. I’m pleased to report that the attendees didn’t rush madly out the door for their food and drink. Rather, they milled about speaking to us, finding out more about books and buying a few, too.

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I loved this part of the session best, I have to confess. I adore meeting new people, readers, fellow authors and aspiring writers alike, and I never once left my stall to grab a drink. (Thankfully, Gill kept coming round with cups of tea and muffins ~ thank you!).

Question Time

After the meet-the-author time, Gill reconvened us for a guided panel discussion. She asked us authors about our experience of going into print ~ whether independently or through a publisher ~ and the audience was quick with questions about the publishing industry, but also our writing process in general. It was a wonderful and animated discussion and before we knew it, our time was quite literally up!

Parting shot. :-)

Parting shot. 🙂 Photo courtesy of Tom Haughton @ Lincoln Inspired, with thanks.

See You Next Year?

The general consensus was clear: let’s do this again next year! This is Lincoln Inspired’s first edition and in my humble opinion at least, the audience’s and authors’ reactions make the session a huge success. I sincerely expect that this reflects the Festival as a whole. So therefore… here’s to a fabulous 2nd, 3rd, 4th….. and nth edition. Rock on!

Lincoln is definitely Inspired!
Don’t you think?

Off to Rock the Festival of Romance 2012 @romancefest

So! The day is finally here!

I’m off to Bedford (UK) to rock the Festival of Romance.

I’ll be going to Friday night’s gala, and I’ll be there all day Saturday to chat, meet people, and sign books.

I’m also taking part in the Readathon at 2pm AND I’m co-hosting the Rock Star Party at 5:30pm. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

I’ve retrieved not one, but two wheelie suitcases to contain all my stuff… clothes… books… and more. Will it all fit?

Here’s a selection of my glammest outfits.

Can’t wait to get dressed up! No pyjamas and toast crumbs for me this weekend. The outfits will go in the pink carry-on case. Apart from The Dress, which I’ll carry separately with one of the many additional arms I will magically grow overnight.

(Question: who else do you know that I talk about a lot who uses a pink carry-on suitcase at all times…???)

And here are all my authorly accoutrements. They clearly won’t all fit in the blue wheelie. More arms needed.

Rock on!

I’ll post a photographic diary of my version of events right here on this blog next week. After all, many of my loveahappyending.com friends will be there, plus The Romaniacs, plus many more fantastic authors and lots and lots of wonderful readers. It’ll be AWESOME!

Hope to see you there,
if you can make it.

🙂

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! 🙂