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. 🙂



Reading Out Loud

On Tuesday night I participated in my very first author event.

I know – exciting, right? It was very exciting – I was invited by a local library to do a reading with their teen reading group, as well as sell signed copies of my book afterwards, so it was a wonderful opportunity.

And I was incredibly nervous. It’s one thing to read your words back to yourself within the privacy of your study (spare bedroom), and quite another to declaim them in front of an audience. However, this library had already been incredibly supportive of my work, purchasing several copies of my book for their shelves as well as hosting me on a previous evening to talk about being a writer. So I couldn’t say no, nor did I want to – opportunities like this can’t be passed up when you’re self-published.

I arrived early, was welcomed with tea and biscuits and warm conversation as I gathered my nerves and prepared to speak. They had done a lovely display in the YA section:


This was quite thrilling and scary at the same time. Although mostly thrilling. To see my book on the shelves of an actual library was something I’d only previously dreamed of. Once again I thanked my lucky stars for the ability to publish through Createspace, without which this wouldn’t have been possible.

And then it was time. I sat down with the group and spoke a little about myself, then steeled myself to read. As we were in a library, I had decided to read a section where Alma, my heroine, enters the Great Library of Ambeth for the first time. As I read I could feel my cheeks burning, as red as the jacket I’d chosen to wear. But the group was silent. They listened. And after I finished they asked me many questions, the hour slipping by so quickly. I sold a few copies, signed them and left, feeling so pleased to have had this support.

I have always loved libraries, which is why I put one in Ambeth. There is something about a roomful of books waiting to be explored and read that is fascinating to me. I introduced my daughter to them from an early age, and she too loves to read, spending time perusing the shelves and emerging with an armful of books. There have been some blogs recently about supporting our local libraries and it’s something I wholeheartedly endorse – they are a tradition as old as the written word and one well worth preserving. And I am extremely grateful to have had their support in my first publishing endeavour.

Thanks for reading xx