Welcome Wednesday guests for November:
11/05 Maya Corrigan's Five-Ingredient Mystery, By Cook or By Crook.
11/12 Death by Blue Water, a scuba-diving adventure-mystery by scuba-diving author, Kait Carson.
11/19 Susan Van Kirk--Three Can Keep A Secret.
11/26 Tagged for Death, a garage sale mystery by Sherry Harris.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.

Don't miss this month's release of Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays on October 7th, in which WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances") have short stories.

KM Rockwood's
short stories will appear in two anthologies released in October. They are: "The Lure of the Owl" in Swamp Mansion and Other Dark Stories, to be released as a ebook, and "Aunt Olga and the Werewolf" will be included in the third Creatures, Crimes and Creativity anthology release by Intrigue Publishing. at their conference in October.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

My First Book Launch

Last year, the Chesapeake Chapter of SinC, my local chapter, put a call out to its members for short stories. The topic? This job is murder. When I write short stories rarely have I written by prescription, and in this instance that wasn’t necessary. I had already written the story, “Lucky In Death,” but I hadn’t yet found it a publishing home so I submitted the story. The submissions were judged blindly, mine to favorable outcome. Judges/writers Ellen Crosby, Dan Stashower and Sandra Parshall picked the top fourteen stories for inclusion in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder. Bestselling and award winning writer Elaine Viets wrote the anthology’s forward.
Wildside Press published the anthology earlier last month. It is also now available on Amazon. I love the cover featuring the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The cover’s colors are a bit ominous in fiery red-oranges with darkened beach and waters foreshadowing its murderous stories.  

(Seated at left: Karen Cantwell, Harriette Sackler and David Autry; Below-Shari Randall)
One Page More bookstore in Arlington, VA sponsored the book launch, my first, on Sunday May 20th. Because the tiny bookstore lacked space, a nearby events room of an apartment building housed the launch. I think the room used for a book launch is important. The room’s large open kitchen with a long counter was helpful since the chapter’s members brought food, a buffet of sorts. Although a table was used for the buffet, the counter not only allowed for overflow food, but its barstools provided extra seating, which I’m pleased to say we needed. The room’s first floor location enabled access ease, and its large windows eliminated claustrophobia and darkness that often occurs in hotels where interior rooms are used. The room ended in a cozy fireplace (not needed in May) around which sofas and chairs were arranged.

I mention the room’s features because they helped alleviate my fright. Speaking in public usually makes me weak in the knees. The light airy space of the room took my sweaty shivers away. I had agonized over what to say about my story. The one minute descriptions were meant to entice the audience into buying the book—preferably on the spot at One Page More books. (I bought the chapter’s first four anthologies published prior to my becoming a member.) As soon as I sat down on one of the sofas by the fireplace, I felt at ease as if I were surrounded by friends. What I had written came off well when it was my turn to speak, and then the only thing left was the eating, the signing and the talking—all enjoyable—and found that I was at a party of friends.

                                                       Donna Andrews and Jill Breslau

A few years ago, when my first short story was published, I was flushed and embarrassed at signing books. I like my words to speak on the page for me since I’m a private person. Shining in public isn’t my forte. The signing is getting routine now, and I often ask for signatures as much as I give them.

To those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of a book launch, choose the room wisely and don’t sweat it. Enjoy it, and know you’ve earned all the rights and pleasures of being an author.

19 comments:

Warren Bull said...

You can invite friends and family to a signing and make it into an event. Signing with other authors can be a lot of fun.

E. B. Davis said...

I was amazed when my entire family and a friend volunteered to go with me. Frankly, I didn't think they were interested in my writing. It was a fun event, and my nervousness went away as soon as the room filled up--the exact opposite of what I usually feel. Perhaps wondering if anyone would show up was my biggest fear, although at the time speaking in front of everyone seemed more scary. And yes, it was fun.

Linda Rodriguez said...

So glad you had fun at your first book launch, EB! Book launches and appearances can be fun and miserable. With this last book tour, I had events that were SRO and in-store book signings at big chain where they'd done no publicity and I had to wheedle folks over one at a time as they entered the store. Often group events are the best, since you'll all pull in lots of people together.

E. B. Davis said...

Had I been alone, Linda, I would have been totally witless. My hats off to you for enduring that solitary promotion. I've heard of authors banding together to do bookstore signings. That seems the best way to me and more of an event. With several authors at the event, perhaps the store would have sprung for advertising--cheesy promotions don't sound worth the effort.

Jill Breslau said...

It was my first book launch as an author, too, and how tickled I was that friends came! Our publicity must have worked well, because there was standing room only, by the time the authors spoke. Really fun.

Gloria Alden said...

I'm looking forward to that day when I have a book to launch. I'm glad yours went so well. I was sure it would in spite of all the worrying you did. It was nice your family went along, too.

From what I hear, book signings are another thing. Some authors I know have had very few people show up for them. When I heard Liz Zelvin was coming to a book store in the Cleveland area, I thought it would be nice if she had a Guppy welcome her. I only had a vague idea where it was, but took off hoping I'd find it. Her signing was to start at 7:00 and already dark. I got lost, but finlly got there at 7:30 and found she had already left when no one had showed up by 7:15. She'd had a long day and had driven in from Columbus that day. I was disappointed at not seeing her after I'd made the long trip there, but I bought one of her books she'd signed before leaving anyway. I like her books so it wasn't a totally wasted trip even though I really got lost when I left there. Turned right when leaving instead of left.

E. B. Davis said...

I'm amazed by your story, Gloria. I'll not say more.

E. B. Davis said...

Jill, I guess it was standing room only--I hadn't thought of it like that since so many people stand at parties to mingle. I'm glad you had fun too. When I started to write I did so for the fun of it. But meeting people, having to talk in public and signing books intimidated me. Although this is my first book launch, I had signed books before--so that has gotten routine. Thanks for coming over to comment, Jill.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, book signings are indeed another beast. I wouldn't leave before the time I'd agreed to, though, because it's like an open house--people think "I can make that after I do such and such." Also, part of the reason I do book signings is to meet the bookstore staff and get them to like me and my book, so they'll recommend it and hand-sell it.

At those two signings at chain stores I mentioned earlier, I did sell a few books--and after I'd been sitting there for an hour or more each time. The staff told me later that several people came by after I'd left (on time) and bought books I'd signed. I suspect because the staff I'd spent time joking with hand-sold them.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Elaine: It was my first publication and launch, too. I was going to type "the best part was" but there were so many best parts: meeting the other authors in the anthology, having family and friends there, and meeting the wonderful people from One More Page. When someone who works with mysteries tells you that they liked your story, it is a kick! Many thanks, Chessies, for organizing such a lovely event. Hope we share anthology space again soon, Elaine! Shari

Kaye George said...

I'm glad it was such a good time! I had an "event" that I prepared a 45-minute talk for. I presented it to one person. She wanted to hear the whole thing! But she bought a book. Other events have been much better, and some even worse! So happy this one worked out well, E.B.!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Kaye! Even if you presented only for one person, you got practice and did what you said you would do, which means you have integrity. Would a customer buy from you, or from someone who walked away fifteen minutes later? I think you did the right thing.

E. B. Davis said...

It was so good to meet you at Malice and then again at the launch, Shari. Yes, I'm hoping we share in another anthology too! As a matter of fact, I have my idea, did some research and am working (mentally) on scenes. I'm glad submissions aren't due until fall because I'm having trouble getting anytime alone to write. Summer--love it for fun, but for writing--it stinks!

Warren Bull said...

I too have sat in a bookstore for hours with only a few people stopping by. I don't want to criticize the author who left early but I stayed the entire time because 1) I promised the owner I would 2) I did sell a few books at intervals of time and 3) It comes with territory. Now I can tell stories about it and I have stories about sitting next to writers who sign stacks of books while I twiddle my thumbs.

E. B. Davis said...

But Warren, you're one of the twiddling greats. Now we know how you obtained your skill--we also know while you are twiddling--you are thinking up great plots while watching those other authors. I almost feel sorry for them!

Grace Topping said...

I was there for your presentation, and I thought you did a terrific job. If you hadn't admitted to being nervous, the audience wouldn't have known it since you came off looking poised, and your description intrigued us. I bought the book, and I thought your story was terrific. Keep on writing.
Grace

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Grace--I was actually going to mention you in my post. Meeting other Guppies is such a pleasure and you were one of the pleasures that day. Thanks for your comments--maybe I'm a better actress than I think I am. ;>)

Warren Bull said...

Don't shoot that bear!

E. B. Davis said...

Bear? What bear? :>)

Thanks for dropping by everyone!