Tomorrow's the BIG DAY!!

Phyl Campbell By Phyl Campbell, 17th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/403g9aio/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

October 18 and 19, I will be signing books at a local grocery store in my hometown. I am excited and nervous about this opportunity.

Background

In 2011, I published my first book. Last year, I published my second. And earlier this year, I released a third. My books are like my children. I know they might not be perfect, but I love them, and don't want anyone talking bad about them. This has made it difficult for me to let them out into the world. So they've hung out in cyberspace and gone into the hands of a few people that I hoped would be kind.

All the while, I dreamed of seeing my book on the shelves of stores -- alongside other books. Last week, I got a step closer to the fulfillment of that dream.

2012 Author's Conference in Springdale, AR

A few weeks ago, the second annual local author's conference was held at our local library. Fifty authors were in attendance. I came as an author for the second year in a row. At the event, I sold double the number of books I sold at least year's event. So, two.

But as a fellow author was telling me, authors don't attend local events to sell books. They do it to connect with other authors (MMD has this idea for a Wikinut FB group page that is interesting.) Upon connecting with fellow author Tamara Hart Heiner, I learned that she did pretty well selling her book at a local grocer. She vaguely described the process, but said it was easy and that she sold very well. She also mentioned that being at the grocer's gave a different audience of potential buyers the opportunity to learn about you as an author.

As an indie author, I expected the store to have a lot more reservations about me (Tamara is traditionally published.). Full of doubt, but also full of hope, I went online and filled out a query. I didn't know if I would ever hear anything from it.

The next day, I was called by the grocer's representative. She set a meeting for that afternoon. I went to the home office with copies of each of my books. She made photocopies of the fronts and backs of each one. We talked about retail pricing and the grocer's cut. We signed a one page contract that was written in plain English. Then, she astounded me by giving me four pages of store locations across a multi-state area. She pointed out which ones had the best sales on which days, and which ones probably weren't worth my time for one reason or another. Astounded, I asked why she'd give me such insider information. She said, "It's pretty simple. You don't make any money, we don't make any money." She described a book signing event as a special service for customers, and talked about seven other authors that jump-started sales via this route.

First Day Jitters

So tomorrow (Friday), I will set up my table in the front of the store. I will have a checker scan my books to make sure everything is working right. I won't have to handle any money or change -- I can sit behind the table and sign books; feeling like a "real" author. Which, I suppose at this point, I am!

I am nervous and excited. I have invited my FB fan page members, my Jazzercise classmates, my son's friends' parents, and my friends. A few have even agreed to come. I hope to do well, sell books, and meet some great local people that I might not otherwise talk to. I hope I'm not ignored. I hope I get to kick myself for not doing this when my first or second books came out. I hope I don't throw up on my shoes. Or my books.

I'd love to hear from any of you who have had first day jitters, faced fears, or even done book signings and have advice for me. I'd love for you to leave a comment, or if you're new to Wikinut, follow this link to create your own articles and get paid.

Tags

Author, Book Signing, Fear, First Time, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Good morning, Phyl; how exciting for you. "Proud for you" - I may not be southern but can certainly understand the concept. Three books is a clear indication of your ability to write, your commitment to a project, and will mean you have several different offerings for people to see. Wear an outfit that you know gives you confidence, smile, and enjoy the experience. I certainly hope you will then keep us informed of progress. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you, ma'am, says I (with appropriate southern hat tip). Have a great day.

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author avatar MMD
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Best of luck Phyl.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, MMD. Best with your FB page. (I may be joining, but let me get through this weekend first so I can give it attention when I do join!) Best!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Phyl, you can do this! Think positive and smile as Marilyn said above. Sending you good vibes and positive thoughts from here in New York state.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Connie! I'm getting New York warm fuzzies here in Arkansas. That may explain the pea soup fog we had this morning... Hmmm... ;)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
17th Oct 2013 (#)

"Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead." You can do this, Phyl. You will do just fine.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Jerry! That's my plan!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Oct 2013 (#)

Love to here more...! All the best Phyl... way to go.:0)!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
19th Oct 2013 (#)

Delicia, Marilyn, Jerry, Connie, MMD, and everyone: it went great! I sold 18 books. Three books were sold to people who knew I was having the event and came to see me and buy my book. Nine were sold to someone who'd bought a book of mine in the past or who knew me, but didn't realize I'd be at that store that day selling books. The rest were sold to people who had no idea who I was when they walked into the store. I had also made a "bookmark" with all my social media links (including Wikinut), so many people that said they couldn't afford my book were directed to the free Kindle app and my books on Kindle. Maybe I'll add some Wikinuts as a result as well, who knows?
I was there 12 hours-13 hours, including set-up and pack up, and I got to talk with so many wonderful people. A few friends came throughout the day to make sure I could run to the facilities and have plenty to drink and eat. Out of necessity, I'd have had to pack up a lot sooner had they not been there for me, and I'm very grateful to them. Three husbands bought my books for their wives. I got to talk to a mother of a young author, Avery, who is also living with Asberger's AND talking to politicians and groups about his life (yes, an article will follow on this). I got a lot of ideas for future Wiki articles, an idea for a new book, and advice on creating a LP edition for folks in our community who read voraciously and have the poor eyesight to show for it. I got to talk to two aspiring writers about making time and "I've always wanted to" and I loved being able to speak with them. I got to talk to people who don't read, but someone in their family does -- one of them connected with me through social media. I know he'll likely not read my books, but he WILL tell others about them.
I went home with 8 books unsold, but that's OK. I am officially kicking myself (but not too hard) for not doing this three years ago. It's OK, because I am doing it NOW. I need to re-stock my inventory and pick the next dates. I am ready. I am happy.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Oct 2013 (#)

You made it happen Phyl...!..there is nothing so exciting as working towards your dream, and then...seeing it really happen! Well done and congrats...:0)

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th Oct 2013 (#)

agreed whole heartedly

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author avatar Jerry Walch
19th Oct 2013 (#)

Way to go, Phyl!!!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
19th Oct 2013 (#)

Good afternoon, Phyl; was wondering all evening how it went. Sounds like you did well, as I knew you would. Echoing Jerry, Way to Go, Phyl!!! ~Marilyn

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th Oct 2013 (#)

congratulations dear Phyl...wel done and just keep on doing...blessings...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
20th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, all!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Oct 2013 (#)

I had missed this happy news earlier - sorry about that Phyl. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Happy for the success and satisfaction you had - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Oct 2013 (#)

No worries, Siva! Thanks!!

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