Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Broken But Not Dead, book tour highlights, pt 3

Do you know anyone who likes speaking in public and standing in front of a crowd? The morning of the day I'm expected to, I'm generally sick to my stomach. I've tried all the tricks, but honestly, it's still public speaking. What if I sound like my mouth's full of marbles, or worse, like a field mouse caught in an eagle's talon?

Day three of my book tour I attended an informal gathering at Kelowna Public Library to do a reading and signing for Broken but not Dead. I ignored the butterflies in my stomach, stayed positive, and guess what? I had a great time. Lesley and Fern were wonderful. Not to mention Judi and Ryan. Thanks everyone. Wish all my readings could be that easy.

Lesley Dieno, Executor Director, Fern Teleglow, Librarian

Lesley asked me some intelligent questions, and Fern, who had just finished reading my book, couldn't stop raving about it. I felt like a visiting bestselling author. I even read excerpts of my novel without spitting on anyone. Bonus.

Day four, Canada Day,  I returned to Penticton for a book signing at Hooked On Books. It's a lovely independent bookstore in the centre of the city, not far from my publishers. The store's owner, Judy Zubriski set me set up in a cozy area at the front, where I was able to greet customers as they entered. Thank you, Judy, for making it a wonderful day.

Hooked on Books owner, Judy Zubriski
Theytus publisher Sarah Dickie stopped by for a visit.

Theytus Publisher Sarah Dickie
Sarah's a lovely, bright and generous lady. If, before meeting her, I was scared about placing my book in the hands of strangers, upon meeting her that feeling disappeared instantly. Sarah's confidence in my ability has already gone a long way in stengthing my resolve. I feel like I belong to a terrific team of smart women: Sarah, Ann, Kailene, and Leanne, way to go ladies.

Lucky for me, Sarah has marketing marvel Ann Doyon in her corner. Ann, if you ever decide to give up the publishing business, I think you'd be an instant success as a standup comedian. Girl, I haven't laughed that hard in months. Thanks for all the hard work you did to make my book tour a success. And thanks for making me laugh until my sides ached; I needed that.

On a personal note, I met up with my older brother's sister-in-law, who I  hadn't seen 28 years. It was great seeing you, Dianne.

Day Five I was the featured author at Mosaic Books in Kelowna. Because of the Canada Day long weekend festivities, the streets were packed with people. I even ran into a friend from Prince George, situated 700 km north. Small world. Thank you for your gracious hospitality, ladies.

Day Six I headed to Vernon, BC, the last day on my tour, for a book signing at Bookland books. Katie had a comfy spot waiting for me with a table for signing and chairs for readers to sit and visit. I met the nicest people, which isn't surprising. There's something very special about readers. Thanks, Katie and staff, for making it an awesome day.

Taking photographs of your book signings is meant more of a "thank-you" to those who hosted the events than for blog readers. It's a way of saying "I appreciate everything you did to make my stay comfortable and pleasant." Yes, book signings aren't easy for some of us. If you're an introvert, as I am, then approaching strangers and recommending they buy your book is downright painful. It definitely takes me out of my comfort zone. 

The thing I try to remember is while I'm certainly not going to cure cancer and end world hunger, I have written a good book. I start by handing out bookmarks and offering free wrapped candies. I start the conversation by suggesting, "You can never have enough bookmarks." Most everyone agrees. Then I tell them I'm today's visiting author from Cluculz Lake. That generally starts a whole slew of questions, beginning with: "Cluculz Lake? Where the heck is Cluculz Lake?"

If you're about to embark on your first book tour, I hope you've gained some confidence by reading this blog. Selling yourself and your book isn't easy, but it's not rocket science either. Know that people are people. Or better yet, readers love and appreciate good books. Remember you're there because your book is good. Don't be afraid to admit it.

--happy touring,

Book Tour pt 1
Book Tour pt 2


  1. I hate public speaking. I was forced to take it in school,and people loved me, but I still hate it. I freakin blush. I don't know if they notice, but I can feel it on my face. Picturing them wearing togas with pink bunnies at their feet does not help. I've often wondered what authors say if they're called to speak publicly to a crowd. Do you talk about youself? Your book? Great post! :)

  2. Thanks, Laila. Usually I ask what they'd like me to speak about. The ladies at the Kelowna Library were interested in how I got started. I love telling the story about Overwaitea.

    Hope your day's going well.

  3. Based on this post, I think a ittle more practice will erase any public speaking fears. Starting off with the book marks and the klu klutz klake, I mean cluculz hometown, is an ice breaker. I'm an introvert and my spouse is the opposite. She talks and shows a copy of her book. She even sold one to a lady at a garage sale. Carries "Sh Sh Sh let the Baby Sleep" everywhere and has personally sold over twenty herself, jusy by starting up conversations EVERYWHERE she goes.

  4. Kudos to your wife, Anthony, I think that's marvelous. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Look at you go, girl! I am so proud of you!
    And..hey..I heard you once on a radio interview. So you've got the nice reading voice pegged!

    Sounds like you're having a wonderful tour! Congratulations and enjoy!

  6. Thanks, Carol. I'm enjoying the process. Saturday is the launch and then it's sleeping in for me! Yay. Loved your blog today. So moving.

  7. I love reading about your book tour and seeing all the photos. Thanks for sharing it with us. You look SO happy. These are the moments we remember always.

  8. Hi Joylene: Your book tour sounds actually like fun and not an ordeal.

    I found Toastmasters practice to help me a great deal with public speaking and book readings, but you have to keep them up.

    By the time I gained my CTM I'd decided that I really didn't like giving speeches, and quit. But last month when I did my first reading in a couple of years I sounded terrible.

    I think I might emmigrate to the Okanagan, the residents sound more literate than my neighbours in cowboy country.

  9. Come to think of it, Laura, I was happy. Shish, I'm only realizing that now. LOL.

    Thanks for stopping by. Loved your bird photos today.

  10. LOL, oh Chris, but there's something very cuddly and cute about cowboys. I mean, aren't you a cowboy at heart?

    I like small intimate gatherings, but anything too large and I'm swallowing last-night's air. Which isn't easy.

    Hope your writings going well.

  11. Great tour tips. And, yes, bookmarks are always useful and a great promotional tool - you can have your info and your book's info on them.

  12. Oh boy, I'd be in heaven if I ever got to that point. I love talking to strangers. I want to make them each my friend. I guess that comes from being kind of lonely here in the Puget Sound. My neighbors here in Sammamish are all so snobby and pretentious, so I don't like to talk to them. Maybe that's why I like to troll the blogs and make new friends.

  13. I always thought I'd hate going on a book tour. I'd be so nervous. But that sounds like it was fun! :)

  14. I'm another introvert who gets physically ill when having to face a group. The sickness part has eased over the years, probably helped by the experience of getting talked into being president or leader of various groups, but the nerves still jangle.

    I'm not very good at meeting strangers, but I've found if given a chance most people reflect the friendliness that is conveyed to them. Having met you earlier this month I can understand why you found so much kindness and good humour everywhere you went.

  15. Hi Karen, I agree. But one should always double-check. I was showing them to someone today and happened to notice that the blog address is incorrect. Dang. Goes to show I need to carry my glasses around my neck!

    Thanks for stopping by, Karen. Hope your day is going well.

  16. Hi Nancy. I would love to be more outgoing. I can talk to people who talk to me, but I need them to either make eye-contact, smile, or talk to me first. Wish everyone was as friendly as you are.

  17. Amanda, it was fun. People are wonderful, generally. And the staff treated me very well. I had a great time. And I sold books! Yay.

  18. Oh, Carol, what a nice thing to say. Ahhh. I'm speechless. LOL. I know, hard to believe, especially since I have proof of the contrary. Your dear husband Bob took a picture of us chatting away--both of us at the same time. LOL


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