Throwing Glitter at the Screen (My First Book Signing)

“Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, every day, for the rest of your life. You want glamorous? Throw glitter at the computer screen.”
― Katrina Monroe

Monday night, I had my first book signing event. It was fantastic. I wore a fancy dress. I saw old friends. I met new people.

There were some things I would’ve done differently, and a few things I’d keep the same.

First, the things I should’ve done:

Created An Email Sign-Up List
I should have made a sign reading: Sign up for the monthly email newsletter and you’ll be entered to win a handmade bookmark. Instead, I had a little piece of paper with a handwritten note and some other pieces of paper for people to write on. I might have gotten more sign-ups.

Practiced My Pitch
Yeah, Thanmir War is about a guy… I seriously stumbled through my pitch and book description. Talk about embarrassing. At least the first people were gracious enough to ask further questions to help guide me along.

Eaten
I was running on Red Bull and adrenaline. The only thing I’d eaten was a package of ramen for brunch. I took a sip of wine and that went straight to my head. Good thing my husband was there to drive me home. (Seriously, I only had one glass.)

Checked My Card Reader
The first card transaction worked. All other subsequent ones failed. Not sure what was wrong, if it was my phone, the connection, the app, or the reader, but after trying and trying, I resorted to cash only transactions.

Have Change
It should’ve been the first thing I checked, but yeah, I didn’t have cash to give change. >_< *groan* I live in a digital world. I'm not used to these little things called dollar bills. Thankfully the establishment hosting us was able to break bigger bills. Taken More Pictures
I love him dearly, but my husband is a horrible photographer. I have only a couple of non-blurry pictures during the actual event.

Taken More Books
Call me a novice, I took 10 with me and sold them all. I should’ve taken at least 15. Sherry was far more prepared. She took 50. I’ll know better next time.

Had Personal Business Cards
I had the parent company business cards, but nothing to represent me.

Things I’m glad I did:

Worn Flats
I’m not sure about Troy and Sherry, but I was on my feet almost the whole time. I sat down to sign books, but mostly (call it a nervous habit) I was standing.

Took My Husband
I had worried my husband would be bored or feel uncomfortable spending the entire time at the table with me. He didn’t stand around nearly as much as I’d thought he would. Mutual friends visited and chatted him up. And not only did he encourage me, he carried my box of books and gave me his coat.

Custom Crafts
I hand-made bookmarks and decorations for the event. It added a bit of extra flair and allowed me to pass out some goodies (besides the wine and appetizers). Plus they looked great.

I owe my sis-in-law BIG TIME for watching the kids. She said the night started with two screaming children and three howling dogs. *sigh*

After all is said and done, I’d have to say the night was pretty darn glamorous (this is me throwing glitter at the screen).

Do you have any glamorous writing moments? Have you done an author signing? Can you offer any suggestions?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

13 thoughts on “Throwing Glitter at the Screen (My First Book Signing)

  1. Loni! I’m so glad the first signing went well. That’s hugely encouraging. I’ve been working toward a signing, but my goodness, with all the crazy of edits and life at the moment… I just need to get out there–and when I do, I need to reread your post. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m sure yours will be even more fabulous than mine. 🙂

  2. CONGRATULATIONS!!! First of all, you signed BOOKS. And SOLD THEM. That is so awesome!!! Second, you learned some seriously valuable lessons – and I don’t really know how you would have known that stuff if you hadn’t NOT done it, and then figured out that you needed to. Thank you for sharing such great advice with us! As for Paypal… you can type the card numbers in by hand – did that work? If the swipe doesn’t work (and seriously, it takes practice. I know that sounds dumb, but it’s true), you can always try it that way 🙂

    • We have a thing through the bank that uses Merchant Services. I tried typing in the number and expiration, but it kept kicking it back saying “Required Information Not Entered.”

      Paypal probably would’ve been better. 🙂

  3. You will be ready for the next one!
    And sold all ten books? Get excited, because more often than that, it’s the opposite.

    • I am most certainly excited. 🙂

      I think having other authors there helped. Some of the people that came visiting for them also picked up a copy from me.

  4. I knew it! I knew you’d sell every one of those books!

    • Thanks for the confidence! I was nervous going into it. Many people had the comment that I’ve heard a number of times. “Wow, that’s a thick book.” I wasn’t sure if it would scare people away or not.

  5. Yay on surviving your first signing! I’ve seen people who have an iPad handy so people can sign-up then and there for a newsletter. It saves you the time of having to input it later by hand. Also, if you use MailChimp or another program to send out posts, you can segment you list based on groups. I just set mine up to give the option of either receiving one or both when it comes to blog posts or the newsletter. If Matt and I are still in Boise when you do your next one, I would love to come.

    • A tablet is an awesome idea. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. Thanks!

      I would love to see you guys, and actually meet you in person some day.

  6. First, that is a fantastic quote! Though some nights, that is exactly what I want to do to my computer screen and call it done, lol! I’m glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yay for fun signings! =)

  7. Sounds like you made it through in spite of some pretty big obstacles. Good for you!

    I’m guest posting today on Natasha Hanova’s blog about my experiences with paper products, such as business cards. You might want to check it out before ordering yours. 😉

  8. Wow, congratulations on such a successful event! I think selling ten is fantastic! I have my first group event coming up next week so it was great for me to be able to read your post and get more of a sense of what I need to do to be ready for it. Congrats again!

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