Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Experiences of a Nervous Book Signer

In the Sydney KOORONG bookstore
I have mixed feelings about sharing my recent experience of book signing. Do I think I have "arrived"? Hardly. It's just the beginning of another stage in my life. Before I was published  I used to feel as if I was engaged in a never ending uphill climb. When would it ever happen? Was it because I wrote what no one was interested in? Were my stories up to par? I'm sure you've experienced all those niggling self doubts that bog you down. All this while asking the Lord  was my writing pleasing and honouring to Him.

At this difficult stage I believe all authors pass through, you need a big dose of perseverance and a willingness to learn as much as you can to hone the craft. And then realise that if you have a burning desire to write, the Lord gave you the gift in the first place. Stubbornly believe that things will happen in His time. (Jer 29:11) AND forget about making loads of money out of it, simply write as unto the Lord. A real pleasure comes from that, as it's like offering your precious talent (similar to OT times) back to Him.

NB: The following is not for authors who've already experienced this!
Sitting at a table in a busy bookstore can be quite a challenge. Some people won't meet your eye, just in case you might try a "hard sell". Oh, if only they knew! I just prayed that I'd have the opportunity to speak to anyone lonely. And it happened. Several people just opened up to me, and I was so thankful to the Lord for that. On the practical side, I had a little table banner made by Office Works which showed characters from my book. It only costs $25 dollars and can be eye-catching. Then I had to be ready to briefly explain what the book was about in a couple of sentences which I'd worked out beforehand. I also wrote ideas in a notebook so I wouldn't look bored just sitting there. It also helps to have a friend (or helpful husband) to stand nearby to chat with you occasionally.

These are just a few random ideas to help should you be published one day. Some bookstores won't be interested, while others are happy to have a local author help sell their books. It's good PR for them. I honestly did not relish ringing the managers and asking, but I remembered I am an ambassador of the Lord Jesus and I am offering books that will uplift readers, so that thought gives you confidence, (even if the nerves still flutter!)

Right now I'd really value your prayers as I'm soon to leave for a month's ministry to Thailand.  Malaria is a concern because of all the water around.  We've had all the other shots but we need strength to keep up the pace of meetings. We never know what we'll be doing or where we're going  until we arrive. We love the Thais and pray that many will find faith in the Lord. We're able to hand out thousands of the Gospel of John translated into Thai which have details of a correspondence course at the back of each.

* Rita Stella Galieh has just had her second historical romance,  SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED released by Ark House Press. You can read an excerpt at www.ritastellagalieh.com

16 comments:

  1. I hope to see copies of your new book at the Brisbane word writer's fair. If not, I'll have to wait until I get my Christmas Koorong voucher! All the best for your new book!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience! I've often wondered what it would be like. Your honesty is encouraging.

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  3. I appreciate you sharing this, Rita. It's very wise advice. I had a bad experience doing a signing at the Adelaide Koorong. The manager preferred to have me come in on a Thursday night to 'attract' customers, but nobody but the staff was in the shop at all. Hugely embarrassing all round.
    On another note, I'm loving "Fire in the Rock" which I've just been able to begin recently, and will write a review of it when I finish. I'll surely be hanging out for "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" too.

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  4. Thanks Rita,
    That was good to know, I'll pray for you as you serve God in Thailand

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  5. Thank you for this practical and helpful information! I look forward to needing it. :)

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  6. Paula, sorry you had a bad experience. I was in Koorong on a friday night recently and it was a little busier.

    Rita thanks for sharing, I wish I could get to author signings as for me it would be so cool. I have been to a few for cricketers, one Glenn McGrath was early in his career and no one else was here Steve Waugh had signed at a different store but no one at this one so the girl I was with was wanting his book to get it signed and I ended up buying the book which is still unread to get it signed and we actually got to chat with him for awhile which was so cool. The line up for Steve Waugh was huge so no chat just who it was to and thank you.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Books signings are funny things - bring out the best and worst of our emotions as authors I think!

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  8. I love your positive attitude Rita! It's a real encouragement to see how your motivation to connect with others is more important than making a book sale. God sees that :)
    Blessings
    Dotti :)

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  9. But you did it, girl! Congratulations! I finished the book last week and am looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. Really draws you in...

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  10. That was very valuable information, and I will store it away. I've often wondered how authors feel at book signings, putting themselves at risk of embarrassment. Focussing on God and the customers is a good key. Blessings in Thailand!

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  11. Thank you, dear Aussie authors for your interest and gracious remarks.

    This is the last comment I'll be able to make until around Christmas. That is unless I can find a computer that's not waterlogged!!!!

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  12. Just one more.

    Fellow author, Jo-Anne Berthlesen turned up and bought a book. What an encouragement. If only we could turn up for each other's signings, eh?

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  13. As the song goes- some days are diamonds. I've been in the sales industry, so I know what a slow (or non-existent) day feels like. Good training for book selling perhaps. I guess there's always something you can take away from every experience isn't there?

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  14. Great ideas for when one is sitting in a store, waiting for someone to come and show interest. :) I've experienced that and I think I will be better prepared next time.

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  15. Rita, thanks for your honest post :) Praying you'll have a safe and fruitful trip.

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  16. Remembering you in Thailand, Rita. And it was fun to come and visit you at your book launch. I thought your display looked lovely and very professional. Good on you for doing it!

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