Archive for 'book signings'



Surviving the Signing
by Annette McCleave on October 12th, 2010

In my vast experience (yeah right), booksignings are an activity best done in pairs or groups. I never wanted to be that lonely author sitting at a table in the middle of the bookstore, endlessly re-arranging stacks of books and bookmarks, praying for even one person to approach.

Signing with at least one other author can make it less intimidating for you, and for those readers who might want to check things out without feeling trapped by someone trying to sell them something. Two authors means no commitment—at least not right away.

My other suggestions:

1. Bring chocolate. Or some other tasty bribe to coax people to the table.

2. Smile. Even if you’re horribly nervous. The customers are nervous, too, believe it or not.

3. Stand in front of the table every once in a while and hand out bookmarks or first chapter samples to passersby. They can check out your offering when they’re safely behind the stacks. I’ve had people return to chat afterward, so I know this works.

4. Be friendly and engaged. Ask those who stop by what they enjoy reading and then find a tie to your book, if there is one. Have a one-line blurb of your book ready when someone asks: “What’s it about?” Because someone will ask that question, guaranteed.

5. Bring a big poster of your cover. If it’s allowed, hang the poster near or on your table to help people decide if your book is interesting to them.

Did anyone see the interview JK Rowling did with Oprah? She mentioned she had a signing in New York where people were lined up around the block and she had to stop after signing 2000 books. Wow. Talk about hand cramps.

We all have to start somewhere, right? :wink:

And for my next trick…
by Jessa Slade on June 28th, 2010

Currently working on: Staying on top of the raspberry and snow pea harvest
Mood: Wondering how many dishes include both raspberries AND snow peas…

So we’re halfway through the year.  (Well, halfway plus a little bit, but I’m always behind.)  This is usually when I pull out my New Year’s Resolutions, laugh hysterically, and reassess.  What are my NEW New Half Year’s Resolutions?

When I look at what I have to get done before the end of the year, the hysteria becomes more pronounced and other living beings in my household find heavy objects to find under.  But the trick is always first things first.  So in honor of this week’s blog topic of “My next project,” I bring you my first task: Announcing the winner of last week’s Ava Gray SKIN GAME giveaway.  Random.org picked:

Spav, who is distracted by Twitter. Aren’t we all?  Congrats, Spav, and thanks to all who commented.

Now, onto the next task…

I’ll be attending RomCon, a new convention for romance readers and writers, in a couple weeks (which, like the end of the year, is coming faster than I anticipate, I know).  I’m very much looking forward to stalking some of my favorite authors, hanging with friends, chatting with readers, and signing books.  If you live in Denver or have friends, family or Facebook acquaintances who live in Denver or anywhere in the Rockies for that matter, come join us!  The giant book fair is open to the public. Details:

RomCon
Crowne Plaza Denver Airport
15500 East 40th Avenue, Denver, CO
Saturday, July 10, Noon Book Fair
Meet Jo Beverley, Christine Feehan, Julia Quinn, Lori Foster, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh, Carly Phillips, Susan Mallery, Melissa Mayhue, Catherine Anderson, Jodi Thomas and dozens of other fabulous authors [Note from Jessa: You'll see I am not a listed author at this point in my life, but at least I am fabulous] our multi-author booksigning sponsored by Borders. Bring up to 3 books from your own library for your favorite author to sign!

But before I go, I have to finish writing a short story from the world of the Marked Souls.  It’s the possession story of Corvus Valerius.  I’m going to give away limited edition prints of the story at RomCon before I post it to my website.  If you want a copy (when I finally finish it) email your snail mail addy to jessa at jessaslade dot com with the subject line: Corvus.

Writing his story has been harder than I thought it would be.  Okay, all writing is harder for me than I think it will be.  But Corvus’s tale is especially hard because… Well, as soon as I started writing him, he became my hero. 

There’s a saying among writers: Every villain is the hero of his own story.  That’s been true of Corvus through the first two books of the Marked Souls and it’s even more true when we see how he gave in to temptation — and his demon.  What do you think, does evil always believe itself in the right, or sometimes does evil just say, hell yeah I’m evil?

I’m also running a contest/asking a favor/assigning you an enviable task at my personal blog.  I need to find a royalty free picture of Corvus for the cover of the short story.  If somebody finds a shot I can use, she’ll get a signed copy of SEDUCED BY SHADOWS or FORGED OF SHADOWS.  You can read the details here

See you (hopefully) in Denver!

Release the hounds… I mean, books!
by Jessa Slade on November 30th, 2009

Currently working on: Racing deadlines
(Have you looked at a calendar lately?!)
Mood: Arriba, arriba!

Congratulations to fellow Silk And Shadows author Sharon Ashwood on the release of SCORCHED tomorrow!  Happy almost-Release Day, Sharon!

The writing life might be mostly (okay, by percentages, pretty much only) hours at a computer – just writer and words and weird, echoy voices in your head — but there are a few highlights, and the release of a new book is definitely one of them.  It’s been two whole months since my first book came out, and I’m still having tons of fun with it.

For example, I just attended my first book club meeting with the Cheeky Pages Romance Book Club at Powells Books in Beaverton.  Kind of scary, since they were readers who’d actually read SEDUCED BY SHADOWS.  To ward off any potential scariness in the form of literary criticism, I bribed them with brought two cakes from His Bakery, arguably (and yes, I’m happy to argue this point with you if it means a taste-testing tour) one of the best bakeries in Portland.

cakes

(Pictured from left: Raspberry Revel in White and Chocolate Indulgence — Comfortably serves 18 romance-reading ladies with enough left over for XY and breakfast. I can also vouch for their chocolate chip cookies and breads.  Yum.)

jessa-chicagoEarlier this month, I also went to Chicago for a stock book signing tour.  Stock signing is a guerrilla book tour where the author hits as many bookstores as she can, signing the books in stock (hence “stock signing”) and putting a cute “Signed by author” sticker on the front.  Every copy of SEDUCED BY SHADOWS I could find in every Borders and Barnes & Noble and Anderson’s in the Chicagoland area now has my awkward scrawl plus a bookmark plus a custom @1 temporary tattoo (inside joke from the story). 

(Pictured: Jessa Slade, somewhat chilly author who needs another haircut, on the new bridge to the Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing (don’t get me started on the “string of lightbulbs” installation) with Millenium Park in the background.)

If you happen to live in Chicago and manage to find a book that I didn’t tag, I’m sorry.  I did a terrible job Googlemapping the tour — hey, it was my first! — and might have missed a store or two.  Especially if it was located next to a creepy alley or other potential demon fighting location, since I took a bunch of notes while I was there and might have gotten distracted.  Just email me jessa@jessaslade.com and I’ll mail you the bookmark and tattoo plus a signed bookplate.

The best part of finally having a book out is forcing my entire family to read it.

mega-books-sml

(Pictured above: Entire family reading SEDUCED BY SHADOWS — with certain pages excised for a certain person under 4′ tall.  Note the crazy pyramid of books on the tabletop behind us.)

Favorite stories from my first release — so far:

  • A co-worker of my dad’s sent him home with her copy for me to sign.  She attempted to give him the book in her office and he explained how he really, really wasn’t going to walk across the truckyard with Archer’s bare chest shining in the sun.  So the book came to me in plain, brown paper wrapping.  Archer as contraband!
  • Walking into a random Chicago bookstore to sign stock, finding a random salesperson to let her know I wasn’t defacing their property — honestly – and her saying, “Jessa Slade?  I know you!”  Really?!
  • My grandmother went to dinner at the retirement center the other night to find her fellow nonagenarians gleefully discussing “Page 100.”  Yes, my work here is done.

Have you ever attended a book signing or other author event?  What was your favorite part?  If — purely hypothetically — an author was going to bribe you with bring a cake, what flavor would you prefer and how many slices would ensure a six-star Amazon review?