Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Becka's Booksigning Bomb

As you may or may not know, I had a booksigning this past Sunday (4/6) at the Hillsboro Main Library in my hometown of Hillsboro, OR. I'd been talking to Dave Pauli, the man who coordinates special events with the library since September. We'd scheduled the signing 8 months in the future, because the library was brand new and already booked with many other events.

This got me all excited. Sounds like this library is pumpin'!

So the months pass, and as the date got closer, I posted about it on many of my forums and blogs. The library also did their part, by putting my event in their calendar of events not only on their webpage, but in their newsletter, as well as the community events flyer that goes out every month for the city of Hillsboro. They even made a "poster" for me (just an 8X10 flyer) for their bulletin board. I mass-emailed my friends about the event and even lobbied my local author friends to attend.

The morning of the event, I was rushing to get everything ready, sign-up sheets for my newsletter and weight loss group, a raffle and freebies I was going to give away, and my obligatory chocolates to lure people to my table. I even raided my own personal book stash (my books I buy for posterity) because I only had copies of my fantasy books available, not my BEAST books or any of my historicals.

I spent about an hour and a half on Saturday just signing my swag, 200 bookmarks, 10 bookplates, and about 100 business cards, not to mention about 30 post cards. I went over what I was going to talk about and even made "cue cards" for myself so I wouldn't forget and look like a dumbass going, "Uh, uh, uh..." (this event was actually a "talk/slash/booksigning")

I wondered what the heck I was going to wear, and finally chose my blue jeans and a dressy blouse. I'd worn the dressy blouse on Easter with a skirt, but I thought the matching skirt would be a little "too" dressy, so I went for the dressy-cazh. Loaded all my goodies and off I went.

While setting up, Dave Pauli got on the loudspeaker and announced my talk to the patrons 20 minutes before, then 5 minutes before. Yay! My author friend Minnette Meador and her lovely DH came to support me and I informed Mr. Pauli of yet another local author, and he was interested to talk with her.

Unfortunately, after all of this, only one other person came, a lady with her young son, who was almost 7. So okay, two other people, but the boy doesn't count (he was a very good boy even though he was obviously bored out of his gourd). At this point, I'm wondering to myself how advantageous a raffle is, but to heck with it, I had a free book and a $10 Border's gift card to give away.

So I gave my talk, with Mimi, her hubby, the guy who coordinated the event, and the one lady (bless her heart) who came. Four people in all. If Mimi hadn't have come, I wouldn't have sold anything. She bought THE B*E*A*S*T* WITHIN from me, of which I signed. The other lady actually won both gifts in the raffle, which I thought was funny. She obviously had a good time! I signed her book as well, handed her some swag and talked about myself for about 40 minutes while answering questions and such.

Dave himself checked out ON EAGLE'S WINGS from his own library, as he said he loves time travel books. Heh, hope you like that one, Dave! Might be a bit steamy for you, but... :P Well, his wife will be happy he's reading romance, I'm sure.

Yes, my booksigning was a bit of a bomb. If Mimi hadn't shown, I would have been talking to only one person (plus Dave). I suppose it was worth it if only to gain one more fan. Who knows if her friends/family like romance. Perhaps she'll spread the word. I got some great name recognition from the event, as my flyer had been posted to their bulletin board for a few weeks, not to mention my name in their newsletter and the city flyer. If nothing else, people might recognize my name the next time they see it.

I look at this signing as a trial run for any other event I might attend. In the future, I'll try a signing with more than just myself, to try and lure the readership with authors who's name might reach a bit further than mine.

I must say I was disappointed my real-life friends didn't turn out, but they all had plans, I'm sure. But none of my friends read romance, there's the rub. For me, it's hard to be two people, and disconnect my author persona from my reality. Online, I'm "Rebecca Goings", author of best-selling romance, with scads of 5 star reviews under my belt and fans up the wazoo with plans to break into Harlequin Desire.... But in real life, I'm just "Beck", the housewife/mother people sometimes hang out with.

If my head had gotten big from winning the Best-Selling Author of 2007 Award from Champagne Books,

then this booksigning sure did deflate it and gave me a reality check. I'm not quite "there" yet. Someday I might be, but that day is not today - or last Sunday, either.



At 11:22 AM , Blogger Chibbell said...

:( We're like the worst friends ever.

At 11:44 AM , Blogger Becka said...

Nah, you're not, I just had it in my head that more random people would come. I'm not even sure how much more could have been done to promote it aside from putting up flyers around Hillsboro. Even then... *shrugs*

I just don't have many local readers or interest. I'm not exactly a "pillar of the community". :P Which is why I should be with a bunch of authors if/when I attempt another booksigning. At least then, we could keep each other company!


At 2:20 PM , Blogger LisaBisa said...

aww Becks, I'm sorry.


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