Saturday, April 17, 2010

My first book signing in the books!

My poor neglected blog...I haven't posted much here, despite so many exciting things happening! Here's a whirlwind catch-up: published Bubba Goes National in January. Got it into two brick-and-mortar stores in my area, on Amazon, and Not a blockbuster quite yet, but I am selling them. Sold out my first order and had to order more. Almost sold out of those and there are more on the way. Set up my first signing at a used bookstore here in Folsom. That's what I'll talk about today!

Before going to my signing, I read a lot about what I should do, particularly at AbsoluteWrite and Accentuate. I tried to be prepared...I didn't have everything suggested, like a name tag or a big poster, but I did have a sign with my name and the prices of the books, business cards, fliers and of course books. I didn't do nearly enough promotion due to being tied up at work and then getting sick, so fliers didn't go up around town until yesterday. I did do some promotion online. One person came because of that, but just to say hi, not to make a purchase. I sent press releases to 9 media outlets, none of whom did anything with it except (thanks, John!).

I'll run through my day in roughly chronological order with my thoughts:

Since the signing was scheduled to start at 1:00, I had all morning to gather my things, shower, put on makeup (those of you who know me well know that's a big deal), etc. Greg helped me decide what to wear. I left around the time I wanted to, since I had to stop at Office Max for a couple things. I also decided to go to Starbucks and get a traveler pack of coffee to offer passers-by in hopes of luring them in. I got to the store in plenty of time and was set up and ready to go by 12:55, and the shop owner was quite gracious...she said I was better prepared than most authors she hosted. Win!

One of the suggestions I was given was to have some sort of give-away. My bookmarks didn't arrive in time, so I had candy. I only gave out a few pieces, but I was glad to have it since I got a dry throat a couple times and needed to suck on something. I also autographed a bunch of the business cards I brought so I could hand them out, and it gave me something to do. I did give out a few, and I put one with each book I sold.

It turns out, no one wants coffee in the afternoon when it's 70 degrees out. No one. After finishing off my caramel frappuccino I got for free because they were practicing, I had a cup of the coffee I brought. That was all that got used. I brought the rest home and will drink it iced over the next few days! Maybe that's a better idea for morning signings, or cold day signings.

The advice I was given was to not sit behind my table, but to walk around and basically grab people and pitch them. Well, I'm shy. I didn't manage that...I sat behind my table. However, I did force myself to smile brightly and say hello to everyone who passed. If they slowed down and looked interested, I launched into a little pitch about what I was doing there. In most cases, they weren't interested in making a purchase but took a flier or business card. In one case, I sold a book to a perfect stranger. Win! I was totally exhilarated. Also, two people I know who knew I was there today stopped by to buy books and have them signed, so that was nice.

Sooo....I sold a total of three books. The shop owner said that was actually good! LOL! There wasn't a lot of traffic, and it being a used book store, most people going in wanted bargains. So, I did feel good about myself for doing it and I learned some lessons, and I'll be better prepared for next time. I made sales I didn't expect to make, so I'm calling it a success.

Lessons learned:

1. Don't bother trying to give away hot coffee on a warm day.
2. Bring something for myself to drink other than coffee. I'll be buzzed until next week!
3. Bring snacks. Candy doesn't count. I'm starved...and wired!
4. Next time, get up and be more forward and outgoing. Everyone was nice, and one is rarely mortally wounded by a rejection.
5. Test pens before using them. The ones I bought on the way over sucked.

I think that's about it!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Windswept Destiny Publishing Announces Book Signing for Bubba Goes National

Folaom Author Jennifer Walker Signs her debut novel, Bubba Goes National

Folsom, CA April 4, 2010 - Windswept Destiny Publishing, an imprint of Twin Trinity Media, announced today that Folsom resident Jennifer Walker will be signing her debut novel, Bubba Goes National, at Colton Books, 651 East Bidwell Street in Folsom on April 17th, 2010 from 1:00 to 4:00pm. She will also offer two anthologies that contain her stories, Elements of the Soul and The Ultimate Horse Lover.

Bubba Goes National is about 13-year-old Leslie Clark, who lives with her widowed father. She loves horses but he can’t afford them, so she works for a horse trainer to earn lessons. She saves up her money to buy her own horse and finds an Arabian gelding at a livestock auction, which she buys. Lucky, nicknamed Bubba by Leslie’s teasing father, had been cast off by his breeders but is a dream come true for Leslie. Together, they work their way to the Arabian horse National Championships.

Although Bubba Goes National was written for the 10 to 14-year-old market, it has appeal for horse lovers of all ages. Readers will learn a little about horse care and showing while reading a delightful story about working hard to make one’s dreams come true.

Michelle L. Devon, author and owner of Accentuate Services, says, “Bubba Goes National is a sweet story, but it also tackles some of the more difficult issues teens have to deal with these days, such as: death of a parent, competitive rivalry, overcoming tough obstacles, and working hard to earn something. It’s a story any teen girl who has ever dreamed of having her own horse will want to read, and horse-loving grownup girls will too!”

Bubba Goes National is available at a cover price of $12.95. Books can be purchased at the signing, at Colton Books in Folsom and at Christensen’s Saddlery in Loomis. Additionally, autographed copies can be purchased at It is also available through online retailers and major distributors, such as Ingrams, Coutt’s, Baker & Taylor, Blackwell Book Services and Holt Jackson.