Category Archives: booksigning

Kaukauna Public Library Visit

Wow, what an amazing group of kids! Kaukauna library has an after school program every Tuesday afternoon and I was lucky enough to come and talk to them today. There was a group of about 10 girls from 5-7th grade and they were interested, vocal, and had so many questions. It was such a treat to come and see such enthusiastic young readers and writers at this group.

I came to the KPL not having a set structure of things to do, but an idea of what I wanted to talk about. The kids were filtering in and out for the first few minutes, but in that time I got to talk to them and pass around a copy of The Healing Pool. They were eager to talk and I connected very easily with them. They wanted to know how long it took to write and publish the book and if my book was in any book stores. I explained to them how self-publishing works and they were all very impressed! I had to explain that it was expensive but worthwhile to come and meet all of them and sell the books. They were really glad I came, and they all promised to read The Healing Pool. One girl even gave me a pinky promise to read the next book too!

The highlight of the visit were the questions the girls asked. Many of them wanted to know what to put in a story. The formula for a book. I told them that they had to be honest and write what the book needed and not to worry about anything or anyone else. If they enjoyed it, someone else would too. One girl wanted me to write a book based on an idea she had. It was a cool idea, but I’m not going to take that from her. Hopefully she will start it. The best was when the kids wanted to know the difference between adult fiction and middle school fiction. It was hard to explain that without rightly saying “sex.” Not sure how that would have gone in the public library…I instead talked about how much more graphic adult books were and how there was harder vocabulary and more words in general. I think they bought it.

The kids also wanted to know if my book had any pictures. They all love graphic novels, but unfortunately visual art is not my thing. I told them they could draw the characters for me, and they jumped on it! The librarian said next week she’ll ask the kids to draw art for me and then email me the pictures! I am so lucky to have found a talented group of fan artists to help promote The Healing Pool.

It’s visits like this that get me going and keep me optimistic. I sold 2 books (2 more than I expected) but more importantly I connected with the kids. The librarian said she was impressed since this group doesn’t always speak. I was honest with them and they respected that. They asked me whatever they wanted and I told them the truth from the realities of being rejected as an author to how much money I make per book. They want to know what it’s like and I think it’s important for them to know. They see me as someone starting out and working hard. They all wished me good luck and acknowledged that I am doing a lot and trying to get myself out there. It was encouraging also to see kids who wanted to read. I know books compete with things like Netflix and video games, but there is a charm to a good book in your hands. I think since I connected with them so well they all wanted to support me too. They all asked for my autograph on their books/bookmarks/and even a post-it. I heard once that kids are more interested in an author’s personality than in the book itself. I think today proved that. They wanted to read the story, but I think they also respected my honesty and how approachable I am. That’s what they will be talking about.

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Book Signing Recap

The book signing was a couple Thursdays ago, but I am still jazzed from the event! I got some good feedback and I even sold 7 books. I had been hoping to sell some more, but for my first official book signing I think it was a good turn out.

The signing was held in a small room at my school’s library. The room had shelves of beautiful, old books and some cozy furniture. People milled in the room, mainly the library employees and some friends from SAI. My poetry professor made an appearance and that made me very happy. It was clear she genuinely wanted to be there which was lovely.

I am not a fan of talking at people. The library director had a podium for me, but I declined and chose to sit in one of the comfy chairs. I like talking to people. I’m much more comfortable talking when I am at eye level versus standing and looking down on people. I want to be approachable but professional, and I think I achieved that.

I began with a brief history of my writing life. Starting from my attempted novels at the age of 10 to actually starting The Healing Pool and up to its completion. I outlined the battles and steps of self-publishing since most people there were unfamiliar with the process. I then talked about the book and read two chapters near the beginning to give them a sense of the characters. After the reading I opened the floor to a Q & A. Not many people had questions, but the questions they had were interesting. My professor of course asked me about the difference between writing poetry and writing novels in terms of how I organize and edit my decisions. In short, poetry for me is generally a one-and-done deal. It has to be in the moment, otherwise it will not likely exist in the future. Novels are easier to come back to since there are so many moving parts to work with.

Afterwards I had a table set up in the back with books to sell and sign. My roommate was kind enough to loan me her mini travel suitcase so I didn’t have to carry 40lbs of books across campus! The feedback I got from everyone was positive. People liked how I spoke and how I read. My friends wanted me to keep reading! One thing I want to do for the website and for advertising the next book signing is have a sample audio book. I need to learn how to use technology, but at least I read well!

The library took pictures of the whole event. Check out the link below! My trusty mascot Rhodes was also present and quite helpful. 🙂

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Unexpected Opportunity!

I contacted the youth librarian at the Appleton Public Library (APL) to schedule a book signing/reading with the young-ins.  I met with her on Friday, and I thought our meeting would be rather short. She would look at the book, check for the big No-No’s (drugs, sex, violence, etc.) and then we would pick a date and time. It would be easy and brief.

Our meeting did not go quite as planned. It was much, much better.

She looked through the book while I told her about myself and a little about The Healing Pool. (Apparently she can read, listen, and process all the information at the same time.) After she finished flipping through the book, she turned to me and said:

“You know, of the author visits I’ve done, this book is one of the best I’ve seen. You’ve got great flow, good dialog. Do you have any representation?”

Naturally, I was shocked and thrilled at the same time. I told her the book was self-published and that I tried the traditional querying route but it didn’t work for me. She looked at the book some more, and then asked if I would be interested in any representation. Apparently she has connections with Random House and will be seeing her friend at the end of the month at the ALA conference. At this point I am dumbfounded. I handed her a thick stack of my business cards and she put them in some good place to remember them. I can’t believe what just happened.

Of course, she has not read the book yet so nothing might come out of this. Regardless, I am excited for the chance to maybe get connected with Random House or some other agent! And, as a bonus, our meeting got even better. She led me through the library and told me the writer magazines I should look into. She also told me what to bring to the author event and that she might put me with another author (who is backed by Disney) to do a duo-author event. We discussed how to make a sample audio book to get people interested and maybe a little video to get the kids interested. According to her, they like an author’s personality over the description of the book most of the time. If they like me, they will come.

So, I have work to do! Soon I will be making a sample audio book, maybe reading the first few chapters, and a little promo video to put on the APL facebook page. And my page and website as well, of course! My book has only been out for 9 weeks! Based on everything she was telling me, I feel so behind! I know that’s not the case, but now I know some solid, exciting marketing strategies to get people to notice me. The hardest thing about being a new, self-published author is getting people I don’t know to read the book.

Who knew one little event could make such an impact!


Filed under booksigning, Self-Publishing

Upcoming Book Signing

My book signing is one week away and I am still thinking about the flow of the whole thing. I know they want me to do a reading and a Q&A, but I’m not sure what makes the most sense. I should probably introduce myself first. That would be a good step. However, I’m not sure after I introduce myself if I should launch right into the reading or open it up to the Q&A? I could introduce the book, talk about the characters and the creatures of Mauth and then open the floor to discussion. After some questions I can read a couple chapters and then hope I catch enough people’s attention and sell a couple copies. Ideally. Would that make sense? I could also introduce myself and the book and then start reading. I’m sure that after I read a couple chapters that will spur a couple questions.

Has anyone out there done a book signing? Any advice for this newbie? Any information on a good flow, or at least what not to do, would be immensely helpful! Thanks to everyone!

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