Book signing at Half Price Books, Garland, TX
Me with my dear friend, Regina Stone Matthews (also an author)
Today's book signing (the beginning of a relaunch of my first book) turned out to be a lot of fun. I think I'm a little more experienced and confident as a writer than I was two years ago while attempting to launch the book the first time. (Okay, honestly, I didn't have a clue what I was doing then.) I still don't know how to draw a stranger to my table or what kind of spiel to use even if I could draw them, but I felt so encouraged by all of the support from friends from all over who came out. I had people stop by from my current Bible study, my writer's group, my school, my Life Group, and even our dear nurse who gave David his allergy shots for five years. Many of the people that stopped by brought their own friends and family to meet me. The bookstore also did a great job and welcomed me back anytime, especially once I get the sequel published.
Becoming an author has been a dream come true for me, something I've envisioned and hoped to do since elementary school. I always knew that writing was my outlet. There are parts of the role that thrill and excite me, other parts that challenge me, and others yet that I will admit are way out of my comfort zone.
I love holding the book in my hands or hearing people talk about how it affected them as they read it. I love being part of a writer's group where I am constantly devouring every little thing I learn from the other writers in the room. I walk in like an empty sponge and walk out ready to drip all over the place. I love meeting other authors and editors who share my passion to write.
I enjoyed today's book signing, but it's also a challenge for this natural introvert. I do okay when someone I invited shows up at my table. I am good at making conversation and enjoying their company. It's attracting the stranger that challenges me, coming up with the right thing to say to even try to draw one to my table. I plan on doing a few more book signings before I am ready to launch the second book, but that's not to say it's not a challenge for my personality. I grow a little bit in confidence with each one, though. Plus I've gotten a lot more confident about asking around in different places to let me do one. Indiana friends, I'm headed your way next just for a one day signing, once I get a confirmation on the date and time.
So what part of being an author goes way beyond my comfort zone? Marketing. I hate any and every part of it. I'm a word of mouth kind of girl. I love the people that have read the book and then recommended it or passed it on to someone else. I can't seem to get a single person to write a review on Amazon or West Bow (other than the first one to do so within a week of its release), so that doesn't help me out much. I hate self-advertising and trying to come up with new ways to attract people to my book. I hate being "harassed" (for lack of a better word) by my book consultant about how low my sales are and what I can do to make sure that doesn't keep happening. What bugs me more is that so many of their marketing tips for me include shelling out more money I don't have. (Thus why I'm going a different route completely to publish the second book. I think my goals and visions for my book are a bit more defined at this point, so I have a better sense of direction). I detest putting forth so much time and energy into advertising myself, yet I know how critical it is. I see that even very well-known authors are constantly sending out e-mails and social media messages to advertise their latest book. If they have to do it, certainly I would need to, as well.
All in all, it's a fun, inspiring, challenging, way-out-of-my-comfort-zone experience to finally become the author I've always dreamed of becoming. I learn more about this new role and lifestyle every day. With all that said, I look forward to the rest of what's to come of this relaunching of my book, as well as to the publishing experience of the sequel. Thank you to everyone who came out today to support me in this journey (both in the writing journey and the adoption journey).