Setting Up Your Own Book Signing: Part 1

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Let’s face it. As self-published authors, setting up our own book signings sucks! Of course we can hire a family member, college student, retired person, or an upworks.com professional to do the job. But it’s a money thang,¬†right? We don’t want to spend it! Instead, we thrust aside the next book we are itching to work on, and commit tedious hours per week to securing speaking gigs on our most recently published book.

We force ourselves to sound bright and cheerful on the phone as we pitch our book signing events, via phone and email, to dozens of book stores, organizations, associations, fancy restaurants and bars, religious sites, retirement villages, conferences, and arts & crafts fairs. (How’s that for the longest run-on sentence in history? Not!)

Of course we’ve kept an Excel sheet or notebook on who we spoke to (the manager or event coordinator’s contact information), name and address of venue (book store, etc.), and dates we contacted them (including their feedback).

Way to go! We’ve landed four gigs over the next three months, which we’ve dutifully written down and yellow-highlighted in our monthly calendars. Our phone calendars are a nice back-up, but printing our¬† view our upcoming gigs on a nice big calendar pad!

Now we have to get the word out. Even the most extroverted of us find it scary as hell to market our own wares. Stay tuned for Part 2….

 

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Sleuthfest 2019 Killed It!

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Both published and unpublished writers need to sharpen their skills. This writing craft manna falls from heaven. Oops! Wrong manna! Annual writer’s conferences like Sleuthfest last March in Boca Raton, Florida breathe fresh knowledge and inspiration into those of us toiling in solitude at our computers.

There is nothing as affirming for a budding or published author as networking with other authors of varying skill levels at meals, workshops, auctions, or late night bar! The ability to rub shoulders with well known and soon to be well known authors is priceless.

Over a 3 1/2 day span, each writer had an opportunity to choose 8 of 27 writers craft sessions ranging in topic from: cozy mystery, urban crime, conflict development, plotting, character development, setting, editing mistakes, private detectives, forensics, self-publishing v. traditional publishing, marketing and publicity. Agent/Editor panels were an added plus.

Yet another benefit of Sleuthfest was having an opportunity to develop, refine, and deliver an “elevator speech” to pitch to on-site agents and editors. Many authors have been “discovered” through attending writers conferences such as Sleuthfest. Who knows? You might be next!!