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.  =)