|This is how I often felt at author|
events and how my new friend
must have felt.
But there was another author there. To be honest, I've lost her name. I gave her one of my cards, though, and asked her to get in touch with me. She asked a hundred questions because she seemed to really be struggling with getting herself out there. I think she only sold one book and when people asked for a card, she didn't have any. She was just there with a box of books. No way for people to sign up for a mailing list, no display of any kind--just her and books. And that wasn't the crux of the problem, in my opinion. It was the way she came across. Her lack of preparedness made her exude a dearth of confidence. People didn't stop and talk to her nearly as much as they did the rest of us. She was distressed by it, but didn't seem to be able to do anything about it.
As we talked, she told us that she was just an introvert and didn't enjoy talking with people that much. So the rest of us, who had been to several of these kinds of things, talked with her about how she could get past that and things that would help draw people in. Little things, like having a dish of candy at your table, or having something free to offer (I give away bookmarks with my contact info and website address). As soon as they stop, they're basically asking you to engage them. And if they ask a question, that's even better. By the end of the day, she seemed to have some ideas for how she was going to handle future sales events. She and I are even hoping to share a booth at the WV Book Festival in the fall.
|The incomparable Corey Shields at his|
album debut concert. To his left is a
lovely young lady named Kaitlyn
Bowles, a former student of mine and
someone you'll be hearing big things
And then last night, I got to help out an indie artist of a different kind, and enjoy some great music in the process. Corey Shields, a guy who is way too young and way too cool to be my friend, is kind enough to be my friend nonetheless. And last night he had a concert to celebrate the debut of his latest album, Antioch Road. It was just so exciting. The energy and love and fun just oozed out of every corner of The Daily Grind on Market Street, where the concert took place. I, of course, bought one of his CDs. I encourage you to do the same. Just go to coreyshieldsmusic.com and tell them I sent you. You won't get anything special from it. I've just always wanted to say that.
PS--This is the last week my blog will be on this website. Starting next week, it will be housed on my website, joestephenswrites.com. I hope you'll continue reading my weekly posts, and while you're there, you'll look around at the other fun things on my site.