Monday, December 8, 2008
Facing My Fear Turned Out To Be A Good Thing.
I faced my fears and survived my back-to-back book signings this weekend. Both days turned out to be good learning experiences. Though they were quite different, there was a common denominator: the staff at both locations were outstanding. And because I booked signings so close together, I was able to analyze both to see how future signings could be improved.
Did I have reasons to fear either signing? No, apparently not, but hindsight is generally 20-20. Apprehension is never a bad thing, if held in prospective. I could not foresee that I would sell any books, no matter how much I believe in my product. And judging by some of the horror stories I've heard, I was luckier than most. I sold 6 books at the first signing and 9 at the second. While the patrons at the first signing found my presence easy to ignore, the shoppers at the second were genuinely curious and had no problem stopping to take a closer look at my book.
Because the first signing was in a bookstore, I took it for granted that sales would be high. Not the case. The shoppers at the groceries were much friendlier. Except for one Fundamentalist Christian who, in so many words, told me I was doing the work of the devil. My mother would have been proud though; I kept my other-wise big mouth close and instead, smiled sweetly.
Strangely, I saw very few people I know. Again, that may be a good thing. I was forced to be resourceful and present a confident front.
What would I do differently next time? Wrapped candies aren't as appealing as suspected. I think I'd switched to postcards or coloured pencils or even free Christmas cards, depending on the season. I'd make a free copy of my book available, and I'd brandish coupons for the particular store. In other words, I'd appeal to the customers by giving away something useful.
But a total of 15 book sales for a 6 hour work-weekend is nothing to sneeze at. In the end I remembered that my product is a good addition to anyone's reading entertainment. Did I mention I received an email from a reader 6 hours after my first day. He wrote to say I'd done good and he was already at chapter 13.