How I Survived My Second Book Signing

IMG_20180512_131558590.jpgMe^ (Photo credit: R.A. Johnson)

Don’t let that relaxed, calm, and passive face fool you 😉 I was STRESSED about my book signing last Saturday. I showed up an hour early, with all my stuff and my friend and her son and my mom…because, let’s face it: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Ten minutes in, I was sweating…well, more literally than proverbially. TMI?

How did I survive? What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Buckle up, folks! It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

HAVE A PLAN!

What I Did Right

  • I reserved the venue (my local public library) five months in advance (before the calendar filled up for 2018)
  • Contacted my baker way in advance (Cross’ Confections. YUM!)
  • Stayed in touch with my baker every so many months, until it got closer; by then, I was contacting her every so many weeks
  • Sent out personal invites to friends and family (you can do e-invites, but there’s something about getting actual mail in the real-life mailbox…)
  • Had swag related to each book
  • Had my help lined up months in advance

If possible, get a free, public venue. I could have asked a church, but some people aren’t comfortable in a religious setting, and you have to pay to rent a room. Plus, if the church doesn’t approve of you book…well, that’s a whole ‘nother dilemma.

Baked goods are optional. I wanted to feed my guests. Did it cost me? Yes (not nearly as much as if I had gone with another bakery, but still.)

Keeping the lines of communication open with your venue and your help/baker is essential. People are busy and sometimes forget to write things down. You are not being a nag contacting them on occasion to finalize or go over plans.

A personal touch can mean the difference between a yes and a no. Want people to come to your party? Make them feel like they’re wanted. Because they are!

Giving away swag related to your book is a fun way to keep you and your work in people’s thoughts. Let’s face it: you have to see/hear of a book several times before you break down and read it.

Putting the burden on your own shoulders alone will break your back.

What I Did Wrong

  • I did not set a budget. This is CRITICAL for any party planner: make certain you have a limit on what you want to spend. Things add up FAST! Whether you’re selling books or Mary Kay, you don’t want a deficit. Come out in the black!
  • I had my expectations set on my last book signing. By doing this, I kept comparing. And when you compare, you tend to get negative. You doubt yourself and your ability to write, sell, or throw a party.

Onward!

For refreshments, I had my high school friend Beth Cross of Cross’ Confections make three types of macarons (strawberry, blueberry, and I think the green one was matcha with a mint filling), chocolate chip scones, and shortbread cookies. Mmmm!

IMG_20180512_140939602.jpg(Photo credit: R.A. Johnson)

For book swag, I had postcards for Lady Catherine Says

Lady Catherine Says cover2

Lip balms with the cover art for Lady Catherine Says, along with information on where to find the book; postcards for Circus in a Shot Glass with pens attached…

CIASG post cards

Buttons for In a Pickle with the words “I’VE GOT SOME HISTORY TO FIX” printed on them; and bookmarks for those who bought Lady Catherine Says, encouraging people to leave reviews of my books on Goodreads.

With twenty-four people in attendance, I’m calling the official book launch/signing for Lady Catherine Says a success!

Keep your pen on the page and your nose in a book,
Beth

P.S. Here’s a link to my radio interview last Thursday: Listen Here!

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Progress

NaNostats2

NaNoWriMo is going well. *rubs hands together and cackles* As you can see from the chart above, I am a little ahead of schedule…which is a very good thing, because of week two doldrums. It seems to happen every year: I get ahead, and then by day seven, the words just aren’t coming. I am not planning on letting that happen this year. I am going to try to keep at least one day ahead (preferably two) this week, and on Saturday, I plan to aim for 10,000 words.

O_O

In other news: I have some publishing news to share soon! I’ve told my Facebook friends the gist of the news, but you won’t hear it until December-ish. Sorry!

Other than writing, I am trying to learn patience. I don’t want to have to learn patience. I wish it came naturally. Actually, I wish there was no need for patience in the first place (which just goes to show you how impatient I am.)

That’s it for now.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

The Art of the Start

NaNo Playlist Thing

^Behold the playlist.

I started! I started! I started writing The S.A.P.I.E.N. Complex! Eh, it’s a working title…maybe. Could go by another title, but it would be somewhat of a spoiler, and you know how I hate spoilers. ANYWAY…

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta be happy about the small things. Hey, I can’t finish the novel if I don’t start it. And it is a rough start. But it is also a rough draft. And, as Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is…the s-word” …only, Hemingway didn’t have kids reading his blog. Hemingway didn’t have a blog, even, but I digress.

I am 3,000+ words into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know.) I am so hoping I don’t have to brush up my Russian accent!

I tra’el the weerld an’za se’wen seas….

Buttload of Writing to Do

The list of things to be written is growing. Oi vey. Do you want to see the list of titles? OF COURSE YOU DO!

Projects in no particular order (all are in various stages of development)

  1. Excalibur Lucan and the Medieval Murders
  2. Doggone It!: An Arthur Slow Mystery
  3. They Were Heroes: Jane Austen
  4. Willoughby’s Regrets
  5. Racing Through Time
  6. London Towne
  7. They Were Heroes: Emily Dickinson
  8. They Were Heroes: Charlotte Bronte
  9. They Were Heroes: Louisa May Alcott
  10. They Were Heroes: Gaston Leroux
  11. Villains: Mrs. Elton
  12. Villains: Fanny Dashwood
  13. Villains: Lady Catherine de Bourgh
  14. Villains: Mrs. Clay
  15. Steambeast
  16. The Latter Years: Pride and Prune Juice
  17. The Latter Years: Sense and Senility
  18. Pride and Prejudice – retelling
  19. Sense and Sensibility – retelling
  20. Jane Eyre – retelling
  21. Persuasion – Retelling
  22. The Phantom of the Opera – retelling
  23. The Scarlet Pimpernel – retelling
  24. Emma – retelling
  25. Salem Revisited
  26. Survival Boy
  27. Retirement
  28. Anti
  29. The Jane Austen Experiment
  30. A Comedy of Eyres
  31. The Woman in White – Screen adaptation
  32. The Footless Giant
  33. Written in Blood Orange
  34. Lady Catherine Tweets
  35. Wooing Miss Austen
  36. The Reign of Terror
  37. All-girl gangs (no title, atm)
  38. Hear Me Out
  39. Pride and Prejudice SECRET PROJECT
  40. Sense and Sensibility SECRET PROJECT
  41. Stage adaptation of The Moonstone
  42. Screen adaptation of The Moonstone
  43. Girl, Boy, Girl
  44. The Method (novel adaptation of my screenplay)
  45. Blink in, Blink out
  46. Dream-Walkers
  47. Summoned
  48. Time and Time Again
  49. The Disorderlies (book 2): Major Panic Time
  50. The Disorderlies (book 3): Bacterial Warfare
  51. Lady Knight
  52. Just Super
  53. Real Dreams
  54. Beth
  55. The Ham
  56. Jesse James
  57. “Face Time Impressions”
  58. Road Rage
  59. A Brush of Death’s Lips
  60. When You Die
  61. How NOT to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: Book 1
  62. HNTSTZA book 2
  63. The Ripper Diaries
  64. The Voice Keeper
  65. The John Watson Diaries: Book
  66. The Anti-Villain
  67. DED: God Machine
  68. The Goblet Immortal
  69. The Shoe Fiit
  70. Child of the Past
  71. A Writer’s Guide to the Public Library
  72. Tender Moments series
  73. Austenites Anonymous
  74. Murder in the Afternoon: A Sweets and Sours Mystery
  75. In Defiance of Gravity
  76. Alien Invasion Novel
  77. Alien Invasion Novel Sequel
  78. The Highwayman
  79. Pirates for Hire

Oh, I left out some that are currently sans title. What am I doing fooling around on WP for? I’d better go write something!

Throwback Thursday: The Forgotten Novel

So…

I just remembered that I have an unfinished fantasy novel sitting in my virtual sock drawer. I pulled it up, and behold!: the word count was over 104,000 (remember: unfinished.) I used to be a lot wordier with my projects when I was in my teens.

I wrote a big hunk of One Was Let to Slip Away in my mid-teens. Man, has my style changed since then.

If you would be so kind, read the following paragraph and tell me what author you think I was reading at the time of writing this:

“And if I made claim to boy on yonder bed, and spoke truth of him and yet his might, what would you do unto me?  Had I stored myself away in a rabbit’s hole and covered myself with the cloaks of the ancient earth, as you have, would I then be called wise?  You look upon me and see Iswei, the Wanderer, the Young-Hearted, the Wood King, the Last Fair of Men; yet I am a trinket to you—a mere mirror of the world’s youth.  And indeed, mine days do not surpass yours, and the light in my eyes is yet waxing; but not even an elf can know in full certainty if the stream he is about to partake of is pure or poisoned.  In likeness, you know not my thoughts and my dealings with the half-creature; so I beg fervently: do not hinder me and do not interrupt my grieving.”

Weird, right?