Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Book Signing Fiasco -- Kimberly Rae

My first book signing was this past Saturday, and it almost didn't happen.

I went up the mountain where I'd scheduled with a shop lady to set up outside her little store. Unfortunately, she being new did not know the rules that basically said I couldn't do that. Another very nice shopkeeper told me about the rule, and yet another not-so-friendly shopkeeper emphasized the various rules I was apparently breaking right at that moment.

My husband helped me pack up and we got ready to drive home. So much for my very first book signing.

Fortunately, the library nearby happened to be having an outdoor book sale that day. Providence! I asked some nice lady who asked some other guy if I could set up my little table near their setup and they agreed. Things were looking better, until I drove around to the parking spot they'd saved for me and there was this tiny elderly lady sitting in a folding chair in the parking space. I waved at her to show her that I was the one she was saving it for and she scrambled out of the way, not smiling.

I got out and started setting up when the same lady asked me, "Who are you?" in a tone that implies, "What in the world are you doing, young lady?!"

Oh dear. Come to find out, she was the person in charge, no one told her about me, and seems she thought I was trying to run her over--or something unhappy like that. Well, that wasn't a good way to start the day. I remembered that verse in Proverbs about how a gift in the hand pacifies the king, so I brought a copy of my book over to where she was whispering about me to a friend, and I apologized for not asking her first (not like I knew I should, but oh well) and I wanted her to have a copy of my book. Well, she said it wasn't necessary, but I said I wanted to, and finally she relented to accepting it for the library.

I set things up, then spent a few hours chatting with people about my book and life overseas and such, and selling 12 copies. Definitely less than I'd hoped for, but considering the weather, the broken rules and the unhappy lady, I was very thankful I'd sold any at all!

In the end, I made some friends, sold some books, and the elderly lady turned out to be a very nice person who wished me luck and even gave me some free books for my kids. (And I learned a lesson or two about finding just the right person to ask--which I will hopefully do ahead of time next time.)

Second book signing, here I come. I'm excited about the possibilities, and I will try very, very hard not to offend whoever knows the rules or is in charge, or anybody else if I can help it!


Jamie Jo said...

That's a rather rough beginning. Sorry to hear about it. People are funny, though, especially the way you describe them. Oh my!

Are book signings beneficial and absolutely necessary? The very thought is not a pleasant one to many of us writer-wannabes.

Linda said...

Bless you for your gentle tenacity and sensitivity to the many facets of your first book signing. May the next one go better!


OliveTree said...

Even though it was a rough start, accomplishing your first book signing is an accomplishment!


Kimberly Rae said...

Dear Jamie Jo,
Thanks for the sympathy! ha ha I've actually had a lot of book signings since then this summer, and they have been very pleasant experiences--especially as people come to talk because they're interested in your story, so you end up meeting a lot of "kindred spirits."
They say book signings are important to get name and face recognition out there, but I find I much prefer speaking in churches with God's people about missions and what God is doing, talking about my book on the side. I'm not much of a business person I guess!
In the end, the book is God's, so if you don't want to do book signings, no worries! He can take care of that (either giving you the want-to, or taking away the need-to!).
Grace and peace to you, and overflowing joy!!!!
kimberly rae


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