I had my first-ever book signing this past Saturday. It was a lot of fun, but do I ever realize how much I have to learn. I was there with four other romance authors, and sat next to Marina Adair and Elisabeth Barrett. They showed me my first mistake. I'd shown up without an elevator pitch for my books, and tripped over my tongue quite a lot describing them to very patient Barnes & Noble patrons. Those two lovely ladies, however, sounded professional and friendly when they chatted about their books. Having a pitch should have been self-evident, and I hadn't even considered it. My only excuse is my brain is fried from my deadlines.
Beyond my pitchlessness (I'm making that a word, people), I also really stink at self-promotion. I start to feel pushy when I try to sell something. I blame my mother. (It's always mom's fault :) ) She wouldn't let me go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies, fearing it was an imposition on our neighbors. I grew up hyper-sensitive to making anyone feel obligated. But I'm in a business now where I am selling a product, so it's something I have to work on. But even with all that, I had better sales than I expected, met some bloggers, and created relationships with some new readers. All in all, a success.
It was great doing a signing with a group of authors. There was a lot less pressure, and great camaraderie. I met some awesome people and got to talk books, and to me, that makes a fun afternoon. I'm attaching some pics of the day. In one of them, it may look like I'm enjoying myself about as much as I would a root canal, but I really was quite happy. My sisters laugh at my RBF all the time. A toothy-grin is also on my must-practice to do list.