Book Signings


HEATHER HIESTAND/ANH LEOD

Currently: Working on the third book in my (Anh Leod) Cherokee series, “Story-of-the-ever-changing-name” – also celebrating the print release of my (Heather Hiestand) first contemporary romance, Cards Never Lie, at Amazon! Search for “Cards Never Lie” at Amazon and I pop up! Yeah!

Mood: Torn…when you have very little energy, is it even harder to work on commercial projects vs. book of your heart projects? When do you draw the line between getting nothing much done or getting a little more done but nothing that’s going to pay actual money?

Heather’s Signing Experience – a cautionary tale?

I don’t have much experience with book signings. Being small press and mostly e-press at that, book signings are an exercise in frustration. My first book signing (which was for my second print anthology a couple years ago) was a huge production. I literally drove four plus hours through a bad storm to get to the store, and they had lost the two copies of my book that they had purchased. Yes, this was a major chain. I had to sit there and smile for hours like my heart wasn’t breaking. The worst was my friends and family who came to support me but I had nothing to sell them. They weren’t going to go home and buy the book off the Internet later either. The storm was so bad that most of the area had no power and there was no gas in the stations until I got close to home. So, I didn’t want to try that again any time soon.

Since then I’ve done booksignings with my own copies of my books, hampered by an inability to take credit cards, and one booksigning for others where I didn’t even know I’d be signing until I saw my books. I also had an interesting experience where I sat next to a new male author who already had actual groupies. That was unnerving and and brings up an entirely different topic on why male writers get so much more respect than female authors. All in all, I believe the best I’ve ever done in signings is about five sales. I usually sell two copies.

When you are small or e-press, you know you have to hand sell most copies of your books (unless it’s erotic romance) and you have to decide if your psyche, pocketbook and time management is up to the task of public signings. I’m really impressed with those who make it work, but I’m an introvert at heart and usually too poor to spend money on signings. No Virginia, book signings aren’t free. Transportation, promo materials, chocolate etc. don’t fall off trees, much less conferences and hotel rooms.

Enough honesty for one day, I’m off to fantasize about hot mythological men!


Comments

Book Signings — 5 Comments

  1. Hi, Heather!

    Your four-hour odyssey to a booksigning sounds awful! I’m also published by a small press and early on took heed of the advice to always carry copies of my own books. Although even copies of books by well-known authors don’t always show up when and where they are supposed to. 🙂

    Hope you get the time to write a bit on the book of your heart!

  2. I find this is a hard time of the year to come up with extra energy. Mostly I want to curl up with someone else’s book 🙂 But I think I’d vote for writing whatever will come. Good luck.

  3. Hugs, Heather! I’ve had signings like that too, and they’re really hard to endure. I’ve also had some good ones. The last one at national in 2007, I sold all the books I brought (if it’s not an RWA-approved publisher, you have to bring your own and pay for them, too, while getting nothing back since all the funds go to literacy. When my last copy was sold, I turned to the very nice author next to me and said, “Wow, I sold all my books!” She is a friend, who smiled happily at me, but the woman talking to her sneered as she said, “well, whoop-de-doo.”

    She didn’t know, I’m sure, I knew her and her organization. And I won’t say who she is, but I won’t forget, either, and she won’t be getting any of my promo dollars in my lifetime. I did make a point of reminding myself out loud that I had more buyers than I had books.
    But it’s a shame some people can’t resist meanness.

  4. Heather, there is nothing lost when fantasizing about hot mythological men.

    I do like your contemplation on being torn: Where is our energy best placed? The story that fulfills our soul or the one that pays and fills our bellies so we can nurture our soul.

    That’s a question for the sages.
    Good luck with your choices.

  5. You have my deepest sympathies, Heather. I had a similar experience (the story is coming on the 25th) and it does truly blow.

    My theory on the male authors thing:

    People assume male authors have risked all, given up their jobs, and turned to writing full time. Thus they are bold and independent and worthy of worship.

    We women, on the other hand, are assumed to be writing in our copious spare time. Writing is a little hobby we fit in between bonbons and soccer, relying on our husbands’ “real” jobs for support.

    The reality is that women work, too, and some completely support themselves and children while doing it (Shirley Hailstock comes to mind). And some male authors rely on long suffering wives to support them both financially and emotionally, so they can fit in their writing between long walks along country roads and extended sessions in the local coffee shop.

    It’s all stupid, and will be until I rule the world. [Oops, my megalomania is showing…Signing off now so my plans for world domination don’t leak out.]

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