This past Thursday I had a book signing event at the Appleton Public Library. I had posters everywhere, the youth librarian visited schools, there was food and drink and the room was gorgeous. It was too bad that no one came.
Spring is finally coming to Wisconsin so everyone was outside. No one was in the library on a beautiful, sunny day, and I don’t blame them. If I was in middle school I doubt I’d want to come sit and listen to someone read a book when I could be outside running around.
Needless to say I was upset. Being a new author is difficult in a world filled with other distractions and writers that people already know. This event showed me that no matter how hard I work or plan, sometimes people are going to say no, and that’s hard. It was frustrating sitting in a large, empty room drinking lemonade with my two friends that came to support me. I was glad that they came, but I need people I don’t know to come and be interested in the book. I was hoping to see some teens and talk with them about writing and answer their questions. It was upsetting.
Alicia said something surprising that day too. She said: “Don’t be discouraged. I hope this won’t make you stop writing.” Honestly, that was the farthest thing on my mind. I know that last Thursday was frustrating and sad and awful, but there is no way I am going to stop! This is the first book. The first book comes with issues like this. It is the trial run for books to come and I will learn from these mistakes and do better to get people interested. I know Alicia also wants me to get an agent, but I have tried that. Getting an agent is not simple, as all authors know, and I am fine with self-publishing. I do want representation in the future, but for now I like learning things on my own. It is challenging and hard, but I get to interact with people on my own terms instead of having to go places because it would be good press. Eventually in my life I want to have an agent. I want someone to help me get my books out to the people. For now, though, I am going to keep writing and keep pushing. One setback will not hold me down for long.