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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My latest book-signing debacle

I had been sick since Wednesday, but by Saturday morning I felt well enough to drive an hour and spend an hour with two other sci-fi/fantasy authors. We were due at Mostly Books at 2:00 and although we didn't know each other I looked forward to meeting them.

I was optimistic this day since I'd just discovered Ho-oponopono, an ancient 'prayer' that had been touted as bringing miracles. I had been chanting since the day before and was sure it was the reason my cold seemed to be on its way out. When the air conditioner on my car stopped working on the way to the bookstore I thought nothing of it, merely a slight blip in my otherwise up-beat mood. I chanted all the way down in the car and when  I reached the bookstore went in to find out where to set up. When I went back out to retrieve my books I glanced at the signage. The three of us were listed at the bottom of the board in tiny nearly illegible scribbles. No problem, I thought, the owners will tout us highly as local authors when the hordes arrive.

Instead of being scattered around the store as I'd imagined, we were to be in the back room, a windowless place made out of cinderblock that held AA meetings and meet-up groups. I was the first one there, settling into the spot with my name between the names of my soon to be arriving companions. We were in a row at three skinny tables and chairs had been set up in front of us as though we were to give a lecture. This worried me for a bit since I hadn't prepared anything. After I artfully arranged my books I realized that the energy in the room was very bad. Of course I had no sage and even if I had and had lit it, I was sure I'd be arrested for smoking dope. I settled instead on saying OM over and over and then chanting the Ho-oponopono mantra.

Once my companions arrived we engaged in lively banter waiting for the hordes to descend on us. We seemed to get along well as the minutes ticked by. Finally, twenty minutes before the hour was up, two men arrived and looked us over without saying a word. The author on my right sold one of them a book while we watched. It didn't surprise me much considering that my books mostly appeal to women, or men in touch with their feminine side, although I did try to sell them on 'Just Another Desert Sunset'. (Carlos Castenadaesque). I told myself I was not upset by this, was not upset to have driven all this way and not even have anyone come back to take a look.

But on the way home when my cold re-appeared with a vengeance I gave into my bad mood. I doubt I will do this again, mostly because the owners don't give a rip. If they had had a big sign with LOCAL AUTHOR SIGNING TODAY! it might have gone differently. I have no idea whether they even bothered to point people in our direction. The expressions on the men's faces indicated that they were surprised to find us.

As far as Ho-oponopono, I'm not giving up on it. If you haven't read Zero Limits, give it a try. Dr. Hew Len is quite amazing as are the concepts laid out in the book.


  1. The way they set you up was very disappointing. I wonder if it would be helpful to bring poster board, tape, markers, etc, to events, then you could add last-minute signage if the store's is inadequate, maybe even out on the street if they wouldn't let you put anything up in the store.
    But you MUST be well-positioned! I used to do chair massage at events, and the spot with the most traffic is the place to be! Even for a massage, you can't make people go out of their way. My boss would always move out into the aisle as far as they would let him, even if people were tripping over his chair, hahaha. He liked that. They had to go out of the way to AVOID him.

    Do you have posters? Like for bands, they print them with a blank space to fill in show details. You could put some up outside the store to draw people in.

    1. thanks for this Rachel--it is amazing to me how little they do! I will make up posters and pasted them on the signage if I have to.

  2. It must have been a bit dispiriting, Nikki, and I've learnt something from your experience. Mind you, my indy book - released at last - is an ebook


    So no signings for me at the moment

    1. maybe that's the wise way to go, Mike...thanks for the link--I'm checking it out.