In a couple of weeks I will be opening the doors (officially) to the small online publishing company that has been in the works, The Crossover Alliance. This is no small feat, but it is definitely one I am very excited to be a part of. And seeing that I’ve gone from self-published author to publisher (and still a self-published author), I thought it fitting that I share some of my self-published author exploits from years past with all of you. These are all very old blog posts that I put up on my old Blogger blog.
The first trip down memory lane takes us to my very first book signing. I was so incredibly nervous, and as happened with most of my book-signings going forward from this point, it usually took me about 2-3 hours to get comfortable in my settings before I really started interacting with the crowds. I’ve gotten much better at this now – thanks to practice – but it’s definitely funny to look back at these moments and realize this is where I got my start.
Here’s that old post in its entirety, with a couple extra pictures that I found of me and my wife (a little blurry), and me and my wife’s cousin, Scott. Keep in mind this took place at a bookstore that no longer exists in Arizona – Borders – in November of 2009.
This last Saturday, I had my very first book signing. Borders Books and Music in Mesa, Arizona was my first spot and I had a blast doing it there. The store staff was more than friendly, the accommodations for my signing were wonderful and I just had a great time overall.
All in all, I ended up selling 15 copies of Black Earth: End of the Innocence, 11 of those going to complete strangers. I had a great time meeting new people and seeing just how supportive some can be of independent self-published authors.
This signing really helped me to get over my nervousness of being in front of people I don’t know. I managed to stand the 5 hours at the front door of the store and hand out fliers with my book info, cover, ISBN#, price and places online it can be bought at. I also took a break here and there and walked the entire store, handing out the fliers to anyone I may have missed. This location of Borders has two entrances, and since I was only able to cover one, it left a lot of people missed when they came in through the other entrance.
I think the 5 hour window was perfect for doing the signing in. I did 11am-4pm and I think that is a nice busy block of time to really get people’s attention about my book and not wear myself out too much. I never took a lunch break, but that was because I wanted to make the most of every minute I had there in the store. Eventually, my brothers and sister showed up and they helped hand out fliers over by the other entrance of the store. Whether I sold a book with each flier or not, the fliers have my website address on them, so people can always check out my stuff online when it is more convenient for them.
All in all, it was a great experience, one I hope to repeat in the coming months at other local bookstores.