Spreading Our Wings. Hazel Robinson talks about her first signing experience at the Leeds Author Event 2016.
Today, Hazel Robinson, author of 'Something Missing' shares with us her experiences of her first ever author signing event, and gives newbies some awesome advice.
On the 5th March this year, I took a huge step in my author career and attended my first book signing. The Leeds Author Event.
Once I signed up for the event, I sat up my pre-order form, organizing my books and swag and booking my accommodation. I joined all the groups and became as socially active as I could, I had never met any of the other authors or even heard of some of them.
I thought myself to be a very small time ‘newbie’ author and for this reason my fears began to set in – The biggest question I asked myself was, “What would I do if no one came to my table?” I became so worried I even considered dropping out several times.
Then I checked my pre-order form and began receiving messages from readers I have never spoke to before asking me to put books aside for them. This gave me a huge boost of confidence and I began posting pictures of my books in the groups and chatting to all the readers and authors that would be going.
The only other fear I had was the fact I am a social hermit!!! No seriously, I hate public events, speaking to strangers and big crowded functions! So why was I doing it? Well there were several reasons:
1 – Katie M John! We have worked together for the last two years at Little Bird Publishing House and have never met, not even a phone call. The moment she signed up for Leeds I knew I had to stick to it.
Me and Katie M john (Author and founder of Little Bird Publishing House)
2 – If I’m going to make any kind of name for myself in the author world, I need to be involved; I need to meet the readers and get to know them. I owe it to them.
My Table at Leeds. Looking 'Proper'!
3 – I needed to overcome my social awkwardness. I met Melody Winters the moment I arrived in Leeds, an amazing author, who I had only spoken with on Facebook. Later, I met up with Authors, Katie M John, Melody Winters, Emma Adams and Carrie Elks. These Ladies made Leeds very special for me. Despite all writing different genres and doing it all in our own way, it was amazing how nice it was to share conversation with people who understood what this whole writing life is about.
Dinner with Melody Winters, Katie M John, Emma Adams and Carrie Elks (behind the camera) A laughter fuelled, retro Italian dinner.
HERE'S SOME OF MY TOP TIPS FOR SURVIVING A SIGNING
Make time for others –
I really wish I had the courage to talk to more of the amazing authors there, but my confidence set me back. I did however have a chat with the lovely Sarah Elizabeth, the talented author who designed my banner for me.
Don’t Feel Awkward –
The first half of the day I felt very awkward, do I stand or sit? Where do I stand? I was asked to sign all the different goodie readers had brought with them. I felt very out of my comfort Zone
Be more confident in yourself –
When the second half of the day came my confidence grew. Everyone came to pick their books up of me, I had bloggers and readers coming to chat with me and had my picture take with them. Every single person that came to my table took a business card; which to me meant my audience would grow.
The major lesson I learned is that the more my confidence grew the more my determination grew. I came home with a new look on my author career – I want to get my books finished, I have the determination to finish them now. I loved seeing all the pictures of MY books people brought home from Leeds, I love all the new readers and friends I have now since going, I get butterflies every time I open my messages and people tell me home much they love my book…. I love it all.
I also love the memories I took away with me.
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