No. 2 On The Fear List

DAY 24 PROMPT: Describe your first book signing – real or imagined.

No. 2 On The Fear List

Depending which list you’ve read lately, you can find fear of public speaking on all of them, arguably number 1 or 2. I’d always heard public speaking had a pretty good hold on #2, right behind death, and the first book signing could qualify.

There are those “innate” fears, the ones that are instinctive from birth that including falling (or heights) and loud noises. Then there are the fears we gain as we progress through life and associated experiences. One list of 3,000 people surveyed ranked public speaking as #1 and then according to rank percentage:

  1. Public speaking 2. Heights 3. Insects and bugs 4. Financial problems 5. Deep water 6. Sickness 7. Death (Huh?)

Behind the fear of public speaking, of course, are additional fears:

  • Fear of Being Noticeably Nervous
  • Defensive Thinking & Behavior
  • Loss of Confidence

Hastings Book SigningI prepared for my first book signing by researching the internet, reading as much as I could, and following all the advice that made sense to me including sending out all the notices to the local papers, notifying the social media, preparing hand-outs, creating business cards, postcards, and bookmarks. Additionally, I found a source for salt-water taffy. Checked with the Hastings book manager regarding what would be available and what additional supplies I’d need including tablecloth (clearly forgotten) and props or posters. Also, I supplied her with flyers to post on her windows announcing my book signing date.

Putting on a brave smile and emulating a Wal-Mart greeter, I was first they saw through the door and they were handed postcards and then an effort to engage–but showing no interest–backed off. It was when the local newspaper people showed up that I first started to unhinge and the resulting picture in the paper was embarrassing.

Selling one of the first books I published, “Cocos Island Treasure”, the potential buyer thumbed through and spot read. I mentioned Grandpa’s painting of the Bessie did not show the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gatewhereupon he pointed to the first sentence and asked if I changed his words. When I replied no, he read, “The schooner Bessie headed in through the Golden Gate at San Francisco……” Stammering out an incoherent reply, it was only later I remembered that the entrance to the bay had been called the Golden Gate long before the bridge was built.

As much as I’d toiled over the manuscript, the time spent gathering appropriate paintings, and feeling ready for meeting the public, found no come-back or simple explanation to his query. (Note the 2nd and 3rd item in the last list above.) You could probably add “Loss of Face” to that list, or is that understood?

The fourth time our little group performed Diana Ross and the Supreme’s (I was a “Supreme”), I began just having fun with it and the crowd, but I left being “Diana” to our beautiful and talented leader, Geneva, and never did learn to solo with my gospel group either.

I suspect it’s a gift; one I do not possess, and that I’ll leave to others.

Resource Box

Self-Pub? How Many of These 12 Ideas Do You Use?

Peace

Finishing up the proof for “Sole Survivor-I Win” is both sad and relieving at the same time. At this point, I believe most of Patrick John “Stanley McShane” Rose’s quality manuscripts, paintings, and poems have been integrated into his posthumously published works.

Once released, which is hoped by the middle of June, comes the hard part–the part still being pressed almost daily on all the publications–marketing and promotion.

While it seems that most of the hints and ideas I’ve read have been incorporated, it’s still an uphill battle, as I’ve alluded to before on this blog.

1. Does it really help to have a blog or is it just adding to the write pile? With life constantly getting in the way, it seems difficult to impossible to be as active as recommended.

  1. The twitter thing–millions are using it to their advantage. It is commonly supposed to be a productive back alley into contacts and communications with interested, supportive persons and I have to admit, I’m getting a new follower most every day and sometimes more depending on the recent flurry of activity. It seems more a self-promotion vehicle than a valid list of fans and I suspect most of us just don’t have the time to follow through.

Continue reading “Self-Pub? How Many of These 12 Ideas Do You Use?”

AUTHOR COMMUNITIES-Do They Really Promote YOUR Book?

          Ezine Articles

         Once again, venturing out into the community to put a spin on the marketing of my grandfather’s books, I’ve discovered a local author support group they call the Idaho Author Community.

It amazes me how apparently mystical guidance has led me from publishing several of his manuscripts to marketing and promotion in the public sector when the initial purpose of the first publication was merely to distribute the work to his heirs. That proverbial snowball has led to even more open portals which were there all along and available by simple participation. I think at one point the gentle nudge on my back was felt–propelling me through the first door, into the second, and now the third–an author community–which may be the most enlightening of all.

Comprised of all ages, both sexes (not unsurprisingly, women pen prose just as well as men), and across all genres, this support group is a happy, homogenous surprise to a life long realist–this [..→] shy of being a pessimist. Does participation in an author community spark competition conflict? Or does the participation force an increase in those most needed exposures where a normally reticent introvert would never tread? Keep Reading!

WHAT WORKS OR DOESN’T WORK WITH BOOK SIGNINGS

Book signings for those who aren’t naturally extroverted can be a difficult proposition. Why is it necessary that most human experience always works by learning the hard way? Thankfully, book signings aren’t a life or death situation, though there are times you can definitely feel shot down!

My first book signing was scheduled for a Friday night, which in a full service bookstore offering everything from video rentals to coffee happy hours, can be populated with people celebrating the impending weekend and thoughts of kicking back, relaxing, and sleeping in on Saturday morning. The sleeping in crowd are usually the younger generation with small kids and the idea is to get those kids over-dosed on late night videos so THEY’LL sleep late in the morning–just a little baby-sitting freedom for exhausted and less than well-to-do parents. They are looking for kid videos–not vintage manuscripts–nor anything related to requiring reading effort. Oh yeah, there’s more!