March 16, 2016 § 1 Comment
I attend several book festivals and signing events each year. I love to support other writers by attending the events and purchasing what books I can afford to purchase. Usually, the experience is energizing and pleasant, but recently, I attended an event which left me frustrated, embarrassed for the writers, and determined to learn from it. With less than a dozen authors present, two really stood out: One I mentally tagged Ms. Full-of-Herself KNow-it-All. The other, well, to put it politely, I tagged : Ms. Disingenuous Faker (Women of a certain age really should know better: false lashes, layers and layers of makeup, long–very long– bleached blonde hair, and would-be-bohemian fashion.)
Okay, so because I was raised better, I will stop there. I’m sure you get the picture. And hopefully you will understand which is which when you read the following lessons I wish all writers learned:
1) Don’t brag about yourself to people who are buying books from you.
2) Don’t interrupt buyers when they are talking to you. LET THEM FINISH THE QUESTION OR STATEMENT.
3) Don’t discount the buyer’s writing and publishing experience by not asking about it. Show some interest in the other authors present and the potential buyers! That will sell more books than anything else. If someone hands you a business card, at least PRETEND to read it before you throw it on your table amid papers and such.
4) Don’t EVER assume much less state that you know all there is to know about writing because YOU DONT. None of us ever will.
5) Don’t market your book subject matter as one thing on the back cover and/or verbally, when it is entirely something else and might even prove to be distasteful to the buyer.
6) Dress and groom yourself appropriately.
7)Don’t quote a book price to a potential buyer and then charge them more for the book AFTER you have autographed it.
8) Don’t use a photo on the back of your book that is obviously you some 50 years ago.
9) Don’t write a bio that claims you graduated from a prestigious semi-ivy league university when the first page clearly shows you can’t even use commas and semicolons correctly and your verb tense and POV are all over the place. (People WILL remember you for that disingenuousness)
10) Don’t invade a buyer’s personal space trying to push your books on said buyer. Stay behind your table unless it is necessary for you to step out.
11) Don’t forget to brush your teeth and use mouth wash before a signing event, and always use breath mints.