I've heard from other authors that book signings aren't always all that helpful. You buy a new outfit, spend money on posters, bookmarks, candy to entice people to walk up to your display and give you a few minutes of their time, and then usually, you sell only a couple of books--probably not even recouping the cost you put into the event. If this is the case, why do book signings?
Friday, August 2, 2013, I was able to be part of a multi-author book signing as part of BYU-Idaho's Education Week. Although I only had one hour scheduled for me, I feel the benefits of being a part of this event far outweighed any inconvenience or cost:
- Meeting readers. This is always fun for me, at least when I don't feel like they're trying to avoid me. One thing I don't want people to feel when they're at my book signings is that they're being pressured to buy. I am not someone who buys on a whim very often, so I don't really expect others to, either. But I do love to learn more about books, and whether it's sharing mine with others or learning about what the reader likes to pick up, I just feel like talking to random people in bookstores (my favorite kind of people) is interesting. As a side note: At this signing, I had to opportunity to connect with someone who would have been in my ward was 7 years old. (Well, technically, I would have been in her ward, since she's been there much longer.) But it's always fun to run into someone who knows someone you know, or that you used to know. That's one thing about the Church--it makes for a very small world!
- Meeting other authors. This is always a fun thing for me, too. I mean, who doesn't get star-struck when meeting someone who's making their dreams a reality? It's inspiring. Beyond that, for me, it's education. I get to hear what's going on in the industry. I have the opportunity to network. And I get to talk to someone else who understands what makes me tick.
- Being a part of BYU-Idaho! I need to thank Jennifer Hill, Andy, and Alex. Throughout the event, they were professional and attentive, and I thoroughly enjoyed being there. The displays were pleasing, the signs welcoming as well as informative. The staff did everything they could to make each of the authors feel needed and wanted. Although I wish I'd had the opportunity to linger longer, I relish the continued opportunity to have my books displayed on their shelves. And from what I saw of the campus and related events for Education Week, I would highly recommend it to others!
For those of you who weren't able to make it to the BYU-I Bookstore on Friday, please run by and check out my novels, Family Size and Nourish & Strengthen. I was assured that my books will continue to be displayed at least through the end of this week.
Also, because I wasn't able to get a picture of the display for my blog and website, I am running a contest right now. I will give a free ebook copy to the first person who sends me a picture of the display at BYU-I. Since I am several hours away, I won't have the opportunity to run over, but I'd love to see how it turned out. I'm excited to see how my books will fare in a bookstore and am thrilled to have them at a wonderful institution such as Brigham Young University in Idaho!
So please run by and snatch up a copy and a picture and earn a free ebook!