This past Saturday, I was privileged to join a panel of authors at the Sammy Brown Library in Carthage, Texas for a book signing. See those two ladies to my left? They’re Patty Wiseman and Lynn Hobbs, whom I met while on a speaking engagement at their writers’ group in Longview. They graciously asked me to join them and Eddie Hancock (front), and I jumped at the opportunity!
The lady on the right is Debbie Godwin, the librarian who hosted us. She did a wonderful job of promoting our signing with posters, flyers, ads, and newspaper articles. That’s the kind of advertising which makes a personal appearance successful!
It’s wonderful how God blesses us with opportunities. Last year, I got the invitation on LinkedIn to speak to one of the Longview groups, which led to three more speaking engagements, which led to an invitation to present a class in a writers’ conference in Lake Charles, LA later this year. And because I got to know Patty and Lynn, they invited me to join their promotional group and take advantage of some of the activities they have set up and to see if I could scrounge up a few opportunities of my own. God has blessed me! Isn’t he amazing?!
Let me tell ya, folks, jumping at opportunities, taking advantage of offers, is fun. Granted, this isn’t the “big time.” We’re all with small publishers, so the money to hire a publicist or marketing expert just isn’t there. But there’s nothing wrong with starting small. If nothing else, it prepares you for when you do hit it big.
Meeting potential fans in person, chatting with them, hearing their stories and sharing a few of your own–there’s nothing like it. I know a lot of my readers probably believe this post of public promotions should be in my “The Most Terrifying Thing” series, but really, it’s not that bad. People are just people. For the most part, they’re kind and they’re rooting for you. When they meet you in person, they want you to succeed. And many of them are willing to help you do so.
To give you an example, one of Patty’s fans showed up at the signing Saturday. She had already read Patty’s book and, bless her heart, bought the books the rest of us wrote, too. But the truly terrific thing is that she invited us to hold a signing in her town, and she mentioned having each of our books as the featured novel in her book club. (Patty’s friend is Amanda, and that’s her husband in the background. They were terrific and fun to chat with).
Each opportunity Patty and Lynn have had has led to other opportunities. When they first invited me to join them earlier in this month, they had each Saturday booked through August. Now they’re booked through December. And bless them for wanting to include me! I may not get to attend every function, like the TV interview at 8:00 am in Tyler (two hours from here–oy vey!), but I’m going to go as often as I can. It’s too much fun to miss!