Monday, March 17, 2014

My Very First Author-Shindig

Me and AJ.
So last weekend was That Book Place's 4th Annual Authors Fair in Madison, Indiana. It's a mere five hours away, which doesn't seem too long when looking at the route on Google Maps. But I wanted to get out there and experience an author event and learn from the pros.

I set up my little table at an empty spot next to author AJ Scudiere. I had recognized her name...from everywhere...and I hoped to learn a thing or two. AJ was amazing. Just amazing. Her advice and experience was well worth the five hour trip down. She's got marketing and promotion down to a science, and her operation is a well-oiled machine.

Mine, on the other hand, is akin to one of MacGyver's improptu inventions that includes a paperclip and some lint. Look at my table. I don't even have a damn table cloth.

It was great to meet authors C. Bryan Brown, Marian Allen, K.A. Duvar, and James Percy.

I also gleaned some wisdom from author and publisher, Tony Acree. He's always been like a long-lost
My author table style is what I call "bare bones."
buddy to me, and he's someone I consider a real friend. He told me about many of the events I should attend to sell my books.

Oh wait, I just have ONE book to sell. Aye, there's the rub.

I'm probably only going to go to one other event in 2014, which is St. Louis' biggest science fiction/fantasy convention, Archon. It's in October, so I should have my second book, Shadow Warrior, published by then. So I'll have TWO books to sell.

Baby steps...

And hey, I'm going to be featured on The Writing Nut's Spotlight Week March 17-21st!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like your first event was a big success though. Learning is part of the process. You'll be ready for Archon his fall.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Every appearance is a success if you learn something. I've found they often lead to new opportunities, too. Congrats, Jay.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

It sounds like it went well overall. Now you can take all the things you learned there and apply them to all your future signings. :)

Robin said...

I bet the next event you have a tablecloth and other promo items that you discovered actually work (by watching those pros in action). No one gets it right the first time. If you've never seen it, how do you do it???? Just keep on keeping on. One day you will be the pro and some newbie author will be asking advice from YOU!!!

In other news, I dedicated something to you on the Thursday post. I hope you like it! And if you have a chance to vote on Battle of the Bands... well, that would be AWESOME!

DEZMOND said...

you're like a rock star on tour :)

Jay Noel said...

Alex: Learning and taking your lumps is all part of it.

L. Diane: Thanks. You're so very right.

Robin: I did give out bookmarks. That's something! And I will check out your post.

Dez: Not quite, but I can dream big!

Julie Flanders said...

I wouldn't have thought of having a tablecloth! Now I learned something from your experience. Thanks for sharing and kudos to you for getting an event under your belt. :)

Tony Acree said...

I wouldn't say your table is bare bones, I would call it minimalist chic. It was great having you and your misses out in our part of the country. You have a fantastic first step in building your media empire. Keep it up! I'm looking forward to seeing you and Janet in St. Louis this October.

Pat Dilloway said...

I've never had the inclination to do any of those things. Reminds me too much of back in high school when I had to sit at tables selling stuff for Junior Achievement.

D.G. Hudson said...

Congrats! Baby steps work very well, IMO. Good luck with writing that second novel.

Mark Noce said...

Rad, looks like fun!!!!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Always good to network with people who are successful. I'm of a mind that a little of their power will rub off on you.

Jay Noel said...

Julie: Yes. Tablecloth. Good.

Tony: I'm liking your spin! See you in October!

Pat: I work in medical sales, so trade shows are still huge in our industry. Felt like that sort of. Without all that fakeness.

D.G. Thanks so much!

Mark: Like, totally dude!

Jay Noel said...

Michael: I'm hoping it will...

mooderino said...

It's very instructive seeing how you cope with this new world you've dived into. Very useful for the rest of us. Thanks.

Moody Writing

Kevin Hunsperger said...

Congrats buddy.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Sweet. Always learn from the best Jay.

Tammy Theriault said...

regardless if you only have one book to sell, that's one more than me! besides, you look stellar in the picture!

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

I'd love to attend a writers' convention but I have domestic obligations at the moment.
You must feel excited about your second book coming up this year, and I wish you well with it.

David List said...

Baby steps indeed! I'm yet to publish my first... :(
That looks like an awesome event and one at which a smart person might pick up a lot of pointers!

farawayeyes said...

Sounds like an interesting event. I'll bet people will remember you more by the bookmark (like every time they use it) than the fact that you didn't have a table cloth. Good for you for just showing up.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jay - what a great idea .. to be there and meet fellow authors - and with two books in October that will make a difference and you'll know the ropes. I thoroughly enjoyed your interview with Nutschell ... a great read .. and good luck with Shadow Warrior and the Mechanica series ... cheers Hilary

Phats said...

Hey you were in Indiana?!?! You should have told me I would have tried to drive down and see ya :) Picks are up on the blog good luck

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You are on your way Jay. Just keep going.

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