Posts Tagged ‘book talk’

Nothing’s Ever Where You Need it to Be

Oh, squiders. Why is it when you need something, and you know you just saw it, you can’t actually ever find it?

I feel like the more important said item is, the more likely it’s been jettisoned into space, never to be seen again.

In this case, I’m looking for the note sheet for when I did the Local Author Showcase for Shards so I can be properly prepared for the one this Sunday for City of Hope and Ruin. You know, not re-invent the wheel. Especially since I’ve already got to stress about going from the 10 minutes I had last time to 5 minutes for this one. Is 5 minutes long enough for anything?

It’s all for naught, though, because my notes from the last one are gone. Vanished. Disappeared into thin air.

I swear I saw them recently. I had to re-read Shards fairly recently to redo its book description (was that last year? yikes) and I think the notes were tucked in there when I picked my copy up. But where did I put them? They are no longer in the book (I’ve checked twice) and also don’t seem to be in the general vicinity of where the book hangs out (on top of the book case, currently under my copy of City of Hope and Ruin).

I’ve checked everywhere I keep story notes. (Which turns out to be entirely too many places and I should probably consolidate. But hey! I found the map that goes along with Broken Mirrors, which I’m not sure I’ve worked on since before I started this blog in 2010, but at least I now know where it is.) I’ve checked inside notebooks, where papers sometimes accidentally get forgotten or tucked, and I’ve checked inside folders that I might have taken to something writing related at some point. I even checked in the filing cabinet, though I’m pretty sure nothing remotely creative has ever gone into it.

And when it became obvious it was gone, I checked digitally. I checked my hard drive, and my back-up hard drive. I checked my Google drive and my email. Nothing. I finally, FINALLY, had the thought that I might have posted it on the blog since I had such a hard time finding resources to write the first one and, well, partial success. (There were pictures in that post at one time. Sigh.)

So I guess I should just give up and write a new one. Drat.

But again, 5 minutes. Do I squeeze in a 2-minute reading and do 3 minutes of intro/explanation? Do I just talk about the book and hope the process is interesting enough to get people’s attention? I am the only fantasy author in this particular bunch (8 authors), I think. I feel like for previous author showcases they’ve done a short blurb of each book and this one doesn’t, but going off of titles it sounds like most are nonfiction or memoir. Hard to tell.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s the official announcement:

Douglas County Libraries Local Author Showcase

From fiction to memoir to children’s, please join us to celebrate these Colorado authors and their books. To register, click here.

Sunday, August 20th at 2pm

Douglas County Libraries –  Philip S. Miller branch
100 S. Wilcox St.
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Peggy Robinson – My Journey through Cronic Pain and Wonders of Christmastime

Kit Campbell – City of Hope and Ruin

MaryAnn Sundby – Monday is Wash Day

Debbie Johnson – A Pocketful of Seeds

Susan G. Mathis – The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy

Jean Jacobsen – The Reluctant Debutante

Thaddeus Dupper – Attack on Nantucket

Carrie O’Toole – Relinquished – When Love Means Letting Go

Well, at least I know where the rest of my promotional stuff is. Minor victories. See you Thursday, squiders!

(Also, I’ve started a lovely ’80s fantasy book called The Minecamp Vampire for our library book sale finds discussion. It is thus far as awesome as it sounds.)

Local Author Showcase Afterthoughts

So, I know we were going to do Foundation today, but I’m delaying that because when I was looking for information last week, I found a fat lot of nothing, and there are probably other authors out there with similar question.

So, on Saturday, I participated in a Local Author Showcase hosted by my local library district. There were four of us, and we were each offered ten minutes to talk, and after the talking, there would be a book sale and signing. It was my first time doing any sort of author talk, and so I took to the internet for advice.

Author Showcase


If I were selling some sort of motivational book, there’s resources for that. If I was just sitting behind a table while people browsed, resources for that too. But there wasn’t anything I could find for when you were one of a set of authors and had only a few minutes to yourself.

So, in the interest of helping my fellow authors, here’s how I spent my ten minutes:

  • Short introduction of myself
  • Short introduction of Shards (genre, publisher, publication date)
  • Short Shards synopsis
  • Intro for reading
  • Reading (Beginning of chapter 5, for curious people)
  • Short note of interesting things about Shards (mostly mythology related)
  • Wrap-up
  • Questions

The majority of the time was spent on the reading (which took about 5 minutes). The other authors had similar set-ups, though they varied a bit. (For example, the nonfiction author talked a bit about where he got his materials, and the historical fiction author talked about why she had chosen that particular time period.)

The audience was fairly engaged, which is to be expected, I would think, of people who are willing to spend their Saturday afternoon listening to authors talk, and they asked a lot of questions, such as things like inspirational books and movies, writing process, submissions and querying, and why the author picked the viewpoint they did.

I practiced both the reading and the non-reading parts before hand, and printed out a sheet of notes to help keep me on track. It was basically a list of bullet points, with some being more explicit than others (for example, my intro essentially said “intro” whereas I wrote my summary out word for word.)

For the sale and booksigning, I brought a couple of nice pens (I sell autographed copies through the website, so I already have special booksigning pens), a bit of cardstock to make sure the pen didn’t bleed through the title page, and a display stand. I also set up a credit card reader on my phone (through my Paypal account) and programmed in the price of the book. About half of the people paid with cash, but the others seemed pleased to have the credit card option.

Plus I had Shards bookmarks, and business cards for both my writing and my editing business.

Overall, it went quite well, and our librarians were so excited about the whole thing, and very enthusiastic about the books. Plus, Shards was sitting front and center in the new book section.

Shards at the library

 So hopefully that’s useful to someone. The library showcase was a good first talking experience–people who were interested and excited, not a huge amount of people, and good exposure to people who write other genres. If your local library offers one, I recommend participating.