I have had book readings and/or signings in a lot of unlikely places. Obviously, book stores are big, but also at women’s clothing stores, at a Broadway show, a major department store and one time in The Port Authority.
Sometimes only a couple of people show up and sometimes a couple of hundred have listened to me read. I have sat in a discussion circle and I’ve made announcements over a loudspeaker to try to garner some interest. Sometimes my hand hurts from signing and other times my mouth hurts from forcing a smile to convince myself that the no-shows are okay.
I’ve set these signings up for myself and my publishing company has set some up for me. I was not always solo. In the past I got paired with authors who I didn’t feel any connection with, but I also got a long friendship out of one such pairing. So I’d say the odds were ever in my favor.
I’ve learned something from each event and each one has made me better at the next.
I love meeting people who may already be fans and introducing myself to people who’ve never heard of me even if sometimes they pick up my book and politely decide no, not for them.
Though the hope of these events is always more book sales, sale or no sale I get to meet people. That, for someone who spends a majority of her writing life in the company of herself, is a big deal.
Epublishing my novel, Momfriends and now Turn of The Century Stories has been more solitary than any of my previous works. Unfortunately, when all was said and done and the book was out there that was it. I couldn’t very well go into a bookstore and have a signing when I didn’t have a physical book. I also don’t have the army of publicists that it would take to get some of those other venues to host me again.
But I really wanted to connect with fans and truth be told, I really wanted to CELEBRATE what I had done. I’m not very picky when it comes to celebrating things and look for any opportunity to do so. Your birthday? Your promotion? Your reaffirmation of your love for your dog? Let’s get some limoncello (or peanut butter) and celebrate!
The completion of a book is a true reason to celebrate. But, I didn’t have the location to celebrate these books and I couldn’t imagine I was alone. A lot of us are out here, trying to find our way and engage our fans. I missed you. I missed the chance to meet you.
So one winter evening, I pulled up a stool in my usual spot in the corner of the bar where I discuss all things writerly and hatched a plan with Lynn Messina who was considering epublishing her own book and having many of the same concerns.
The result: the Authors Unbound reading series.
Our mission: to provide authors who epublish events to share their work and connect with their fans.
Our first of hopefully many events is Thursday June 7 at the Wix Lounge in NYC 10 West 18th St 2nd Floor
I hope to see you there. I missed you.