Perfectly Honest

Let me perfectly, brutally, painfully honest right now.
(Because that’s the kind of ‘honest’ I believe in.)

The book signing on Saturday night?
Yeah, that didn’t go so well.
At least not for me.

About 90% of the other authors there all knew each other.  All but one of those people were poets.  Being a writer of poetry myself, I obviously have nothing against poets.  This was just a group of people that were a certain…type… that I felt very much like I did not belong with.  Not in a negative way; just in the way that a die-hard Star Wars fan dressed as Princess Leia does not belong at Star Trek ComiCon.

The attendees were of the same crowd.  Again, not a bad thing; but they were there for their friends’ poetry readings and to buy their friends’ books and chapbooks.  Although “Young Adult Author” was advertised as part of the event, it didn’t draw any people the way I kind of expected it to.

It felt a bit like being back in junior high; the odd one out that everyone is staring at, either scornfully or pitifully or condescendingly.

The bright side that I’m choosing out of the experience is two-fold: I was able to connect with one of the writers there, and I think connecting with other writers is always a good thing; I sold four books, two of them to complete strangers, and every book that gets into another pair of hands is a plus in my book.  Since the event cost me nothing but time in the long run, I’ll consider it worth the time.

20 comments for “Perfectly Honest

  1. September 23, 2014 at 1:40 am

    I am sorry to hear you had this experience as well. I just shared your page on my FB page and emphasized it to teachers and social workers or anyone working with youth. This might be an avenue. I am not sure if you have used that, I am sure you have. FB has gone downhill in terms of hiding pages..but incorporating word of mouth and friends sharing your page..and networking with teachers, social workers, etc. I think would maybe be a great thing for your books. My kids love books like yours. I am still excited to read the one I have on my Kindle 🙂

  2. September 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I love this: Not in a negative way; just in the way that a die-hard Star Wars fan dressed as Princess Leia does not belong at Star Trek ComiCon.

    I’m sorry this was an awkward event for you but it sounds like you made the best of it and that is all that really matters. 🙂

    • September 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Well it was how I felt – like a Princess Leia among Klingons and Vulcans!! LOL 🙂

      Thank you – I tried!

  3. September 22, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I’m sad you had a bad experience and felt left out, but I’m definitely cheering that you sold four books, and two to strangers even. That’s definitely something! Kudos. 🙂

    • September 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Thanks!! Cheering is always appreciated lol. Still kicking myself for not mentioning it here so you could have been there! How was the wine festival??

      • September 22, 2014 at 10:00 am

        That’s alright! Next time, and it’ll be better for you. 🙂

        It was good! I think I’m experiencing a wine hangover today though, so that must mean it was a success.

  4. September 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Sorry to hear that it didn’t go well, but that is a great upside. Reminds me of my first convention where I was put in a different room than the other authors/vendors. Nobody really came by, but I took it as a learning experience. Think you’ll do another soon?

    • September 22, 2014 at 9:49 am

      That sounds really disappointing and a bit depressing!

      We’ll see :-). I’d like to do one in my hometown library – it’s a small family community with quite a few kids and teens. Now that I have two “learning experiences,” I may be better equipped to make the most of it!

      I have a cousin who is a Juvenile Fiction author and he makes his living traveling around to schools talking about his books and writing. Not sure I would ever do the traveling thing, but it’s a pretty cool idea.

      • September 22, 2014 at 9:54 am

        Some complaints were made about the set up. I think they had more vendors than they expected and I heard they were going to divide the big ones between the two rooms. The regulars didn’t like that and refused to be put in the ‘weak room’.

        Going to a school and a library would be cool. I’ve been thinking about doing the library thing because they always enjoy having authors come to talk.

        • September 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

          Oh brother – sounds like some people needed to get over it! Seems like someone in charge could have used their brain and said, “Gee, if we split the bigger authors and smaller authors, we’ll have two equal rooms.” SMH.

          Now that I have a Juvenile Fiction book, I think it would go well at a school. The book is about adoption and brings up a lot of things for kids to think about. Plus with foster care and adoption at a pretty high rate, I would think a large number of school-aged children would be able to relate. The library is a good place to do it, especially if they have a strong children’s department.

          • September 22, 2014 at 10:07 am

            It’s still a young convention. It ran out of my college and started during my last year there. The big ones have been there since the beginning and have major pull. I’m hoping to go back this year if i can figure out how many of each book I need to bring. Also need to create extra goodies.

            A school would certainly work out. Local colleges might have a ‘meet the author’ program for writing courses too. Mine had a ‘Living Author’ course.

          • September 22, 2014 at 10:09 am

            Ah, that makes sense then. I would love to do a convention sometime. Figuring out how many books to bring is the hardest part in my opinion!

            College… that’s an interesting (and extremely intimidating) idea. LOL.

  5. September 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has negative experiences when it comes to writing related things! I published my second novel last month and it hasn’t done great so far. I know that’s kind of a different issue from what you’re talking about, but I know the feeling of disappointment when you’re hoping something will go really well (in my case publishing my book) and it just falls flat.

    But at least you’re able to be philosophical about it and to take away some positives from the experience too. 🙂

    • September 22, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Sorry it’s not going well so far, but don’t get too discouraged! (And I don’t think it’s so different; disappointment is disappointment, right?) Your book may still pick up in sales. One thing I’ve learned through this whole process is that it takes time to get up and running. When I published my first book, I was excited that quite a few people I knew bought it. Then when I sold to people I didn’t know, I was even more excited! My second and third publications didn’t go so great (still are the lowest in sales for me), but my fourth is going pretty well, and also seems to be drawing attention to my other works. I think it just takes time for your name and work to get out there (I’m still FAR from it and giving myself this speech daily!!), and so patience and perseverance are the key :-). So don’t give up!

      I believe in taking something positive from everything – even though that is REALLY difficult sometimes!

      • September 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

        Ah thank you so much for such a lovely reply Leigh! What you’ve said is so encouraging. Like you, I’m in this for the long haul and so it’s really helpful to hear that you’ve struggled too, but things are starting to pick up for you.

        I guess my trouble is that I tend to look at some other indie authors who’ve had a fantastic debut and think ‘why hasn’t that happened to me, what am I doing wrong?’
        But actually I think great success early on is the exception rather than the rule – I’m not necessarily doing anything wrong, I just need to keep going and be patient. (I’m learning to be patient – it’s not my forte!!)

        • September 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

          I wondered too what I was doing wrong when my “debut” went over like a lead balloon. But you’re right – it’s the exception that an Indie author explodes with their debut. Slow and steady wins the race :-). Patience is not my forte either! Like I said, I have to give myself this pep talk every day; sometimes several times a day! HA!

          • September 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

            Ha ha glad I’m not the only impatient person! My husband’s always telling me I’m impatient – something for me to work on I guess!

            I think I’ll be like you and give myself a pep talk too! 😉

          • September 22, 2014 at 10:18 am

            Pep talks are great! And if no one else can give you one, that’s what a mirror is for! 😀

          • September 22, 2014 at 10:24 am

            Ha ha that’s a great tip!! 😀

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