In a few years time I might look back on my first two book signing events and smile to myself. I turned up to Barnton library not knowing how many people were going to come if any. I wasn’t prepared for what to do if nobody showed up, or what to do if the room was full.
I got a weird feeling that when I saw the first poster of my book on the wall, and a few hanging inside and one on the desk of the library… Then I had a less proud moment when I realised that there were more posters than people in the library.
I had two people turn up for the event, who turned up to every event the library put on, mainly because they served free coffee and cakes. There were two people from the knitting club who hadn’t left (and I asked them to stay at least for the pictures), and one person simply in the library who again I asked if they could sit for the photos and the two librarians. After the photos I thought I could make myself a job to keep these guys interested for twenty minutes. That would be enough time to get some photos to make the event look like a success.
An hour later and the librarian had to stop us talking about everything to do with writing and horror. As I left the library, they were talking about getting me to come back to talk to the creative writing group that didn’t come to the event.
I left thinking, if I can make that into a success, and turn into a positive, then all I need to do is make every event bigger and better, get better footage and I’ll be able to get there.
The Nantwich Bookshop was an event that I managed to arrange myself, and it was a great lesson to learn about how to present yourself. After introducing myself as a local author I had to give them a copy of the novel and had a week for them to read it thinking if they were going to reject it. Being told they loved it, they wanted to go through with a book signing event. I found out when I saw an advert in the Nantwich Link that they were charging £7.50 for the experience. This was something I didn’t expect and when I was talking to people about the event I ended up making a mistake in trying to justify the price, they had a bar, a hot buffet, a discount on copies of the books…
… Then they phoned me a week before the event to say only eight people had booked in advance and they might cancel. In my head I was thinking “hold on, eight people were ready to pay £7.50 just to hear me talk about my book! This is crazy!” In the end I managed to convince them to press on and the event went ahead.
From the moment I walked in I wanted to prove to myself that I could bring value as a talker, and an author. Now I’ve never yet received a bad review of my work, I’m not afraid to put myself out there and work on myself.
To date I have done two book events and one radio interview, and I’m following my principles, each event is bigger then the last one, each one drives more sales than the next, I made a promise to everyone at the Nantwich Book event, where I said I’ll keep going and going and making my events bigger and better, until I get Godless in the best sellers, and sell the film rights.