If self-publishing is a scary venture, with all the anxiety over whether anyone will even want to read your book or, if they do, whether they will like it, a book event is a downright terrifying prospect.
What if no-one comes? What if people come to the venue but ignore you? What if people come to talk to you but are not interested in the book?
Most writers have heard tales from best-selling authors about their earlier days when they had a signing at a bookstore only to spend the allotted time talking to the staff in the shop in lieu of customers, stories both comforting and nerve-wracking. If it happened to them and yet they are still successful now, there is no need to get overly depressed it if happens to you, but unfortunately, the very thought that they suffered through it is a solid reminder that it could also easily happen to you!
So it was with a great deal of trepidation that I decided to organize a book event to promote my second novel Ulterior Motives on Saturday at The Garth Road Inn in Scarsdale. A bar seemed like a good venue because it meant I could drown my sorrows if the event was a total flop, and The Garth Road Inn in particular because not only is it my local bar, but the owner Sharon Crowley embraced my initial suggestion with an enthusiasm and promotional ideas way beyond my expectations.
We put up flyers in the bar, around the local area, and added the event on Patch. We shared the event on Facebook and sent out emails. Plenty of people were told about the event. It was just a question of who would actually turn up.
The event was scheduled to start at four. The real fear kicked in around noon. Fortunately it was too late to back out. At three-thirty I arrived to set up a table near the door with copies of books and promotional items. My husband came with me to provide emotional support – and someone to talk to as a last resort. Sharon’s warm welcome was a balm to my nerves.
As four o’clock drew near, I questioned why I’d ever thought this was a good idea. There were already people in the bar and I felt rather conspicuous sitting there with a pile of novels in front of me, but when the appointed time arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that some had deliberately come to meet me.
As it turned out, by six o’clock I did need a drink but, rather than to drown my sorrows, to celebrate a successful first event.
Many, many thanks to Sharon Crowley for all her support.
This blog was first posted on Scarsdale.patch.com under a different title.