Sunday, February 20, 2011

My first booksigning! Squeee!

19 February 2011

Lilly Gayle arranged it all. A group of small-press/self-pubbed/ebook-type authors from Heart of Carolina Romance Writers got together at Northgate Books in Northgate Mall, Durham, NC.

Let's see if I can get all the names right. It's so difficult to tell people's real names when they toss around noms de plume. (checking the pic) That's Amy Corwin, Emma Lang/Annabelle Bloom, Laura Browning, Katharine Ashe, me, Heather McCollum, my ex-crit partner Marcia Collette, and our heroine of the day, Lilly Gayle. (Picture lifted from Lilly's Facebook page.)

There were long tables draped in white with the Mall logo on them. There were book props so people could see our covers from across the room. We brought candy and bookmarks to give away. And yes, I wore pantyhose.

Many thanks to Victor, who bustled about seeing to our every need and may have left his counter vacant a couple times when customers wanted to check out. What a doll he was! Not the owner, but a great employee. I think he's executive material, myself.

We did get a fair amount of people coming through. (Many more that I'd thought we would.) Actually, a surprising percentage of the folks who came into the store paused to check out what the heck we were doing. One guy with two sons quickly discovered that we were only promoting "women's books," and shuffled his boys off before they could be contaminated. One guy seemed to think at first that this was a good place to pick up women, but he took it with good grace.

Almost all of us brought chocolate, but Heather made a plate of cookies decorated as dragonflies (her series has a dragonfly motif) that were yummy!! Amazingly, many were still left when we all packed up to go.

Some people came through and bought a book from EVERYONE!!! Wow! I had some nice chats with folks both in front of and behind the tables. There was one woman, Joy, who was ECSTATIC that we were there. She's a wannabe author who hasn't quite finished her first book. She didn't know there were other people out there like her, or that finishing a book AND GETTING IT PUBLISHED was really possible for an ordinary jane. She went to the back of the bookstore and returned brandishing a book by her famous aunt (whom I've seen on TV), whom she considers a mentor. Joy had such enthusiasm! I hope to see her at our meeting next month. She's new to the area, and was delighted that our group exists. So glad to meet you, Joy!

One of the authors who had to travel from a distance brought in a few family members, one of whom pledged to review my book once she'd finished it. Thank heavens for reviewers! I've gotten lots of compliments on my books, but people never seem to write out a review for Amazon, where others might see it and decide they'll take a chance on a newbie.

It was such a thrill to sign books. I'd sorta gotten some pithy stuff together to write, but on my first try messed it up. Argh. Hope they didn't mind. You know, for Burgundy and Lies, I'd write something like "I hope this vintage is to your taste," and for Touch of Danger it was, "I hope this book touches your heart." Totally goofball, but what the hey. If I ever... I mean, WHEN I get to the point where I have hundreds waiting in line for an autograph, I think I'll change over to signing just "Strick." I've seen too many people (notably Nichelle Nichols and Janet Evanovich) sign for hours and have felt so sorry for their obviously painful digits.

As it was: Thanks so much, Christy, Blanche, Teresa, Rebecca, Ann, Ginger, and Amy! I do hope you enjoy.

One of the authors wanted to buy my book (I love you!!!), and for some reason I pointed out that even with the "sale prices" I was charging for my books that day, the e-versions were cheaper. So she whips out her smartphone, calls up Amazon, orders, and begins reading. I love technology!!!

So here's to booksignings. If you see one happening, do stop in and talk to the authors. Grab a bookmark or ten. Eat some candy (there's always candy). You don't have to buy anything. Just chat and say something nice. There's a special spot in heaven for those who do so. (Though there's an even better spot for those who stop, chat, and buy!)



Beth Caudill said...

So glad you had a great time.

Cherokee Bee said...

Great post! I love the line about the father redirecting his boys elsewhere so as not to contaminate them! I wish I could have gone and supported you ladies, but reading about it was a great treat. :)

Lilly Gayle said...

Great post. And I had a great time too.

rbooth43 said...

What a great post from a beautiful person. Enjoyed meeting all the authors. Look forward to reading and reviewing BURGUNDY AND LIES!

Richard said...

Congratulations! This is excellent.

(Also: do you know, I've read your writing since 1977 -- and seen your art equally as long -- and after all these years, this is the very first time I've ever seen a photograph of you?)

Carol A. Strickland said...

(My photos from 2012 will look much better!)

Amy said...

I enjoyed our book signing so much and I have to tell you, I love your book so far!

Thanks to Lilly Gayle for putting it together, and I'm thrilled to have met so many wonderful people. It was a blast!

Sonja Foust said...

Yay! I'm glad it went so well! I had a scheduling conflict and couldn't come, but I'm sure it was a treat to see all of you together. :)

Then said...

It was such fun! And you're so right, Carol, the most fun was chatting and getting to know people. :)

Then said...

Oh, and Victor was so terrific! Thank you, Lily, for putting it together!!