Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Gnomes of Tiaera

As promised, here is a new drawing of some gnomes. I decided to color this graphic for a change. All the illustrations I did in Realmwalkers are black & white. Tiaeran gnomes are like humans, but shorter and proportionally slender. They are usually about three and a half feet tall with large deep-set eyes, fair skin tones and in some rare cases, slightly pointed ears. Most live in the country of Vawdrey and they are often mistaken for halflings, who are slightly bigger in size. I have added these three gnomes to an image I found on the Internet (not my own) with some human dancers. This way you can see how small they are to humans.

The three gnomes are adult and yet to many they can pass off as human children, something they resent being mistaken for. Many wear wedding rings and grow facial hair to help avoid such embarrassing misunderstandings. From left to right is Tavisan and Audrey Swifter and Audrey's brother, Carlyn Brewer. They appear in Realmwalkers. Carlyn has "Mischief" perched on his shoulder, their pet dragonling.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Hastings Book Signing Event

Well, I am pleased to say this was quite an experience. My first official book signing was a success. All my work and crafting paid off. I got to Hastings an hour early and brought the staff some fresh baked cookies. I went to each of them and introduced myself. Sadly, the table for my event was placed in front of a bunch of misc. gifts and toys as part of a display. It was distracting, but I didn't complain, just got to work decorating the table with my homemade garland. To my right, my good friend, Linda, came all the way from Parker to assist me. She was in charge of setup and having the buyers sign a raffle ticket and dropping part of it in a little card treasure chest. The raffle was for a decorated black tote bag with book cover artwork on it I had made the night before.

Although my marketing efforts (flyers, invitations, newspaper, radio, blogs, Facebook) didn't seem to do much good, the pedestrian traffic into Hasting's Book Store was plentiful. So as the customers entered, I stuck out my hand and introduced myself... rather aggressively. This was no time or place to be timid. The daydream of customers lining up at my table, waiting to buy my book was dismissed from my mind. I had work to do. Many allowed me to shake their hands and tell them about my book, but many also just rushed past my table like I was infected with the plague. To those people, I accepted their departure with a forced smile and tight stomach. I understood they weren't there to buy my book and tried not to let it affect me. Rejection, however is still rejection, something I had to accept with grace. They did what they had to do while others, at least, stopped long enough to hear what I had to say. I tried everything I could think of to make buying the book appealing, even handed copies to them to look over while they continued their shopping. Many resisted my sales pitch and politely moved on, but fourteen of them did not. =) When they bought the book and brought it to me, I signed each one with my purple feather pen.

A couple of friends came to visit and see how I was doing. I was so happy they came to show their support. When the first hour came and went without a sale, I felt nauseous. But when zero sales became two, I was relieved. When two became six sales, I was happy. But when six became ten, I was thrilled, too thrilled to stop and get something to eat or drink when lunch time came around. Then at around 3PM, an hour longer than advertised, I made my fourteenth sale to a small patient woman who was accompanied by four active kids. My perseverance paid off.

When it was all over, and Linda had packed up everything, I met with store rep to receive my cut from the sales. After I got my payment, Linda and I drove home to relax and have dinner with my husband, Lee. I felt proud and grateful over the success of my first book signing. It was hard, emotional, and stressful work and I was exhausted afterwards. I wasn't cut out to be a tough saleswoman, just an artistic and sensitive writer.  =)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Final Preparations

It's amazing how much effort can go into preparing for a book signing. It's a one woman event, but it has taken a lot of work publicizing this to the locals and on the Internet. Well, it looks like everything is coming together. I have spent the last two days working on my garland. I printed, cut, pasted and and coated a nice Realmwalkers garland to hang around the table for the book signing. I have made 80 more book markers and postcards. The books are here. Createspace got them all here on time. I also purchased some small pirate decorations and going to have a raffle for a free "Realmwalkers" tote bag. I will be decorating three of those with the book design on them later today. It's been a lot of work talking to many nice strangers for several weeks, trying to tell them about my book and event. Ironically, I have sold some books in doing so.

I know a lot of writers don't go through this much work, some are lucky enough to have an agent or publisher to assist with marketing materials or publicity. I guess you can say I am paying my dues and I am learning a lot. This is nothing special or unique. Authors have been going through this for ages.

The book industry has changed and times are hard with many Americans out of work so I am truly grateful whenever I am able to sell a book. My friends and family have been so supportive and faithful. And I can feel God's support in this also in the way things are all coming together. I often ask if this is what he wants for me. It seems his answer is yes, but I guess what will truly convince me will be the turn-out tomorrow morning at 11AM and the number of books I sell.

And I have only been doing this marketing/selling for 3 months and two weeks. And if I don't lose heart or health this may only be the beginning.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Next Booksigning

E.V. Medina will be signing copies of "Realmwalkers."
There will be a raffle and freebies so stop by and visit.