An Author Event

img_4169I had an author event this past weekend. That sounds rather grand, doesn’t it? Three of Hertfordshire’s busiest libraries are running independent author events over the next six months, and the first one was this past Saturday, at St Albans Library.

When I arrived I was given a table on which to set up my books – there were five other authors as well, and it was interesting to meet them and discuss the different ways we had all approached self-publishing. Three of them had worked with printers to produce their work – the quality of illustration and the type of book they wanted to produce meant that this was the best option for them. The other three, myself included, had gone the Amazon/Createspace route, with varying degrees of success.

We discussed a lot, in fact – they were a great group of people and I was happy to meet all of them. We bought books from each other, talked about different kinds of social media, of how to find our desired audience, exchanged contact details and ideas. It was worth attending for that alone.

img_4172The event was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of sales. I think it’s great that libraries, certainly in my area, are starting to get behind independent authors, and I really appreciate their support. I’ll be doing one of the other events, and I’m looking forward to meeting more people there. However, it seemed there might have been some crossed wires with the promotion, as most of us spent our time talking to people who wanted to publish their own books, rather than purchase ours. I even had a lady sit down, pull out pen and paper, and ask me to take her through the process of publishing! Still, I did make a few sales, and I remembered how it was before I published, and the people who so generously shared their knowledge with me.

I don’t much enjoy public speaking, nor do I like being the centre of attention. However, I really enjoyed being part of this event. It made me realise that I don’t mind putting myself out there when it’s to talk about something I enjoy, and writing is definitely something I enjoy. In some ways, blogging has helped too – letting me put my words out there for an audience, and figuring out that maybe, I might have something to say. I’m planning on doing more events now, going out into the real world to find my reading audience, as well as trying to connect with them online.

So, I think the day might have been a success, after all. πŸ™‚



43 thoughts on “An Author Event

  1. The online world brings us into contact with many more people than we could possibly meet otherwiseβ€”that I’m in Australia and writing on your blog proves that! But nothing beats face-to-face. It still works best and I suspect it always will. Congratulations for having the courage to put yourself out there! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Louise πŸ™‚ I agree – I’ve met more people online than I ever would have otherwise, including you, and I’m so very glad about that. This event was great, though, because it was a reminder that there are readers out there who want the interaction and to hold books in their hands, rather than on e-readers. I met one young woman who was literally hugging my book, and that was a lovely thing πŸ™‚

  2. I’d love to do some events like that – perhaps we’ll meet out at one of them, one day!
    I often give lectures and demonstrations for my day job, and my two traditionally published books are on the subject (horse training), so I’ve learned to self promote those – I sold out last week (must order more books in future), but I haven’t done anything like that with my fiction. I occasionally sell a novel at one of my demos (I always take them with me), but it would be great to do a dedicated fiction event.

    • It certainly gave me the bug to do more of this type of event. One of the authors I spoke to writes fantasy as well, and he says there are events almost every week. Some are small, others larger, but there are opportunities there to make sales and meet readers. He was going to send me a link, so I might email him and jog his memory. Then I can pass it on to you if you like – hopefully we can meet up at one, one day! πŸ™‚

  3. I love that your library is supporting authors like that. Though if I’m going to a library as a reader, I’m not typically expecting to spend money outside overdue fines so it is fantastic that you gained both sales and contacts.

    • It’s really great. I’ve been very lucky with libraries in this area, and am looking forward to the next event in March. This event was billed as a book sale (and was sold to us that way too), but I think their wording was a bit misleading when they promoted it haha πŸ™‚ I’m sure the next one will be better. But yes, as you say, I was pleased to make even a few sales, and I really enjoyed making some new contacts.

  4. Sounds like fun, if nothing else. At least you’re getting on with it, not still dithering about pushing the button, like meπŸ™„ The problem is, we all want to support each other, but there’s just not enough time for the daily job(s), the blog, social media, writing, plus reading all the books we want to read as well as each other’s. My TBR pile is threatening to collapse and bury me!!!

  5. I’m doing my first book fair as a published author in December, Helen. I’m looking forward to it very much. I helped out at a book fair in April this year and, like you, I was asked lots of questions about how to publish a book and even how to get it to be a best seller! At least when I’m next at the book fair, I’ll be able to help with the question on how to publish a book, but the bestselling tips will have to wait a few months 😁

    I think blogging is an excellent way to promote our books. However, only when it is done correctly. Too many people simply only ever chase the numbers rather than take the time to interact with other bloggers.

    Congratulations on you author event.

    • Well done, Hugh – I’m sure you’ll have a great experience. And I agree with you about blogging – I’m on here to interact with other bloggers, not just watch my stats. The friendships I’ve made have been a wonderful and unexpected part of being online πŸ™‚

  6. Awesome that libraries are supporting indie authors and giving you opportunities like this. I’m not sure about being surrounded by people asking questions about how to publish instead of showing interest in your books but… Perhaps a nice mix? πŸ˜‰ Well, good for you. Your display is gorgeous and professional and I don’t know how I would have handled being center of attention. *shudders* What an interesting concept that blogging has helped in this way. I wonder…

    • Yes, I think everyone did on their feedback forms, myself included. Plus when the woman organising it asked me how sales went, I told her that we’d spent most of our time advising other authors. Plus one guy packed up early – he really wasn’t impressed! I enjoyed it though – I did sell some books (and have had a review already) plus made some nice contacts, so it was worth it for me. I hope the next one is better promoted, though.

  7. Pingback: An Author Event – Marie Bishop Author

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