Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book signing plan

My book signing is 8 1/2 days away and I'm collecting as much information as I can so that I can get through it, no, ENJOY it.

My surface emotion on the book signing is elation, joy, and I may have jumped up and down (literally) when I got the confirmation email. But then it kicked signing...interacting with people...the unknown...eep!

I get very anxious in these kinds of situations. So anxious that I often just avoid them completely. Whether it is something big and life-changing like an interview for a coveted job, or I just dropped my car off at a new mechanic for an oil change, I panic. I didn't even realize that the phrase "panic attack" was actually what I was feeling, is felt by other people, and there are things I can do to fix/help it.

Of course, going to the doctor also makes me anxious, so I haven't done that and now it's too late for the signing, so here is my game-plan for how to thoroughly enjoy my author signing!

1) Ample time to get the jitters out. - My current plan is to get there 1 hour before my scheduled time so that I have plenty of time to prepare my table, walk around the building, and get all of the jitters/anxiety out before people start coming in.

2) Having some friendly faces - Just like the advice to have a friend in the audience when performing, I have a few friends who are going to stop by to say hi during this. It will help ground me and remind me that I am very social once I stop being shy.

3) Practice questions in my head - While I don't know what questions people will ask, I can make a list of one's I can anticipate and have answers. That way I won't feel quite so "deer caught in the headlights"

Things I am going to include on my table are : My rack cards (with my picture, my bio, then book info about The Lady of Steinbrekka), my bookmarks (which are awesome, thanks to the wonderful design of Elizabeth Sharp over at Sharp Images), my business cards (from VistaPrint), and a bowl of candy.

(Oh, a tip to those who may be reading this prior to doing their own signing. Ask if it's okay to bring in candy, and make sure it is individually wrapped. I asked the event coordinator if candy was okay and she said she was extremely grateful that I asked about bringing food into a library instead of just assuming it would be fine.)

Do you have any tips? What would you like to see at an author signing?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reading club!

In more good news, I just received word that The Lady of Steinbrekka is going to be the featured book for the LCPS-FHS Fiction Reading Club for the month of May! The Fiction Club is a group of teachers who meet weekly to read, discuss, and socialize.

The Lady of Steinbrekka is also one of the featured books for the 2014-2015 Battle of the Books! This is a reading competition held by the high schools in Loudoun County, VA. Students on the teams are responsible for reading, learning, and retaining the information from 10 different books in a variety of genres. I have had the privilege of working in one of the Battles in the past and, let me tell you, the facts these kids remember are pretty amazing. I am thrilled and really proud of The Lady of Steinbrekka being selected for this competition, especially because the panel who selects the books are made up of Reading Specialists and Librarians from the school system!

I was even able to give them a bit of information about self-publishing. The Lady of Steinbrekka was originally slated for the 2013-2014 school year (next year), however none of the people who do the book ordering had ever ordered from a self-published author before. They moved The Lady of Steinbrekka to the next year under the assumption that they would have to order the books from me, and I would then have to print them (through Kinkos, Staples, etc) and then deliver them to the schools.

They were pretty blown away when they realized that a self-published author doesn't have to print their own materials, and that they could simply order the books through Amazon or CreateSpace without any issues. Once we get into next year, I am going to write the event organizers and see if they would be interested in me presenting about self-publication and how it is a viable option for writers in this day and age.