So, last weekend (18 July), I attended my first signing as an author. As a reader, I’d attended signings in shops with a single author before, never anything with multiple authors, so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. This is why I chose this signing as my first. It’s local to where I live, so I could run away if I made a complete tit of myself.
I woke up on Saturday morning panicking that I didn’t have enough swag or books, but it was too late to do anything about it. It’s been a busy and tough year, and I’d done the best I could with time and availability of funds. My assistant for the day, Tori from Lily Loves Indie arrived to pick me up. We loaded my stuff up and set off.
We arrived at St Andrews, the home of Birmingham City Football Club, a place I had only ever been inside once – many moons ago for BRMB’s party in the park. We unloaded my gear and went inside.
I’d been seated in the Legends Lounge (That always makes me laugh,for a legend I am NOT) where I met the brains behind the entire thing, Cassie. She was trembling and a little hyper from nerves. I tried to reassure her it was going to be great, but I may have made it a bit worse. She went off to work with the few volunteers that had arrived early to help set up while I went off to find my table – I was the first author in the room.
It didn’t take that long to set up my table, so I was done fairly quickly. It gave me the chance to have a walk round, chat to a few other authors, so I had met before such as Keren Hughes and L. A. Cotton, J. A. Heron, and the wonderful S. M. Phillips – whom I refer to as ‘the wife’. Many I hadn’t met before, but had chatted to online throughout the year and was really excited to meet such as Carrie Elks, Sophie Jackson, and J. G. Clay (DUDE!) – this is just a small selection of the authors who were there.
Soon enough, the doors were open and people flooded in. Now, let me say that for months I have been saying that I didn’t expect many people to stop by my table because I’m not exactly the most well known of authors. A few people came over as they had pre ordered my books or had won a prize from me. I chatted, smiled, and a lot of the time in the first half hour or so, spelled my own bloody name wrong (yep, only me).
I hadn’t thought I was actually that nervous, but I must have been, but everyone I spoke to was lovely and I was soon able to relax. I had a few gaps of time where I didn’t have many people approaching my table, and looking back, I wish I’d used this time to go and catch up with people, but my lovely assistant kept buggering off to do just that (Love you Tori!) So, I didn’t get much chance to get round, which I regret and will make sure doesn’t happen next time.
A lot of people complemented my swag (thank you JC Clarke) and I was shocked at how many people were hesitant at picking it up. I’ll definitely need more next time.
The volunteers were quite frankly brilliant. I have never been asked so much if I was ok, or if I needed anything. Cassie, Kelly and Nicola did pick a great bunch of ladies. And the bingo game was great. It gave the readers the opportunity to approach authors they may never have considered before, get chatting, check out their books, and basically get to know people. Many may not have bought my books, but hopefully, my name will stick in their minds for future reference.
One thing I have come away with is something I want to thank Sally (I think, sorry if I’m wrong) and her daughter for. Up until the event, I hadn’t seriously considered releasing my books in audio book format, but after talking to these lovely ladies, it is definitely something I’ll be looking into in more detail over the next few weeks.
All in all, the event itself was nervewracking and fun. I had no idea what to expect, and it far surpassed anything I could have even thought of. The after party… that was just as great. Dancing, drinking, and having a laugh. What more did we need?
Already, I know what I personally will do different at future signings, and I want to thank Cassie and her fantastic team for putting the event on. When’s the next one?