Author readings, Book signing, createspace, Curious Carmelita, Oh No Woolly Bear, Patricia McFadden, Poor Richard's Downtown, Robin McFadden, self-publishing, Starbright Books, The Solstice Badger, writing for children, writing tips
My daughter, Robin, and I had our first combined book signing on Sunday. We read all three of the picture books that we have out: Oh No, Woolly Bear, written by me, illustrated by Michele Coxon, and published by Starbright Books; The Solstice Badger, written and illustrated by Robin and Curious Carmelita, written by me and illustrated by Robin. We published both these books ourselves, using Createspace, which you can read more about in my earlier post.
The venue was on the patio of a bookstore/cafe (Poor Richard’s Downtown, for those of you who are familiar with Colorado Springs). The weather was warm and sunny until about five minutes after the event ended, at which point it poured–the book gods were clearly smiling on us.
Most things went great; some were a learning experience for next time. Here’s a list of both:
What went well:
- The people at Poor Richard’s were wonderful to work with!
- We had plenty of “value added” give-aways (coloring pages, balloon animals, bookmarks) that were very popular.
- There were enough people and enough book sales to make the book store (and us) happy.
- We used various props–a puppet show to go with Oh No, Woolly Bear, a display of the original illustrations for The Solstice Badger, balloon coatimundis for Curious Carmelita–which kept things interesting.
- We manage to draw in a nice cross-section of people from old friends to curious strangers.
What we learned:
- It was a mistake to present the first of the three books we were featuring then take a break as some people thought it was the end of the reading and left.
- Some people found it confusing to have to go into the book store to buy books and then bring them back out for us to sign. I think we might have sold more if we’d had them available where we were reading.
- We should have publicized it a bit more aggressively. Though we did a pretty good job of getting the word out, we didn’t take advantage of all the avenues for publicity that were available.
- Since people were eating on the patio when we arrived, we didn’t have a lot of time to get set-up.
- In general, we were a little more disorganized than I wish we’d been.
Taken all-in-all, however, I think we did a great job for our first effort. Do we want to do it again? You bet! There is nothing better than reading your story aloud to a group of youngsters who laugh and gasp in all the places you hoped they would. Nothing.