Monday, January 20, 2014

don't hide, have pride!

The Online Marketing Symposium is here!
Your fabulous hosts:  Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee,Jeremy Hawkins, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

We are supposed to share marketing ideas we've used and tell what worked or didn't work. And it doesn't have to be writing related. Promotion is promotion and it's all TOUGH!

So, first, my bad news.
My Detroit signing was a bust. There. I said it. But, I have to say, I wasn't too disappointed because I didn't do much to promote it. It was a holiday weekend, I was quiet and mousy and shy with the few strangers who came in to buy coffee, and I didn't do any advertising otherwise - I depended on the little coffee shop to promote.

It was a sad event compared to my other events which have been pretty good. I did the same thing I did before, but my connections in Detroit are much fewer than here in my home town. I wanted more traffic, but didn't really do much to bring it.

So, I learned from it! I'm going to have to reach past my friends and family and actually talk to strangers and be confident and put myself out there! I have had several opportunities to tell people I wrote (& published!) a book, but I feel like I'm bragging. I had to work at a concession stand with some other moms I didn't know very well. It was deadly quiet several times and I thought about bringing it up, but I didn't. I really need to get over that. It's so hard to promote yourself!

I also realized I needed help on the right way to go about organizing a proper book signing. So, I researched! My book launch party last July was a great success because I followed a plan. Now, I will follow another plan for future book signings. It's the only way I'm going to break the buddy barrier.

Here are some links I found that had great tips for a successful book signing event:

The Tricked Out Toolbox
Authors and Speakers Network
Writers Weekly
Balboa Press

I look forward to trying them out! I'll be in the Atlanta area March 24-28. And when I set up my signing, I'll let you all know! I hope I can meet some more writer/blog friends! (and see Sherry Ellis again! She came to my Cinci party on the day she was moving to ATL!)

I also look forward to reading more tips through this awesome blog symposium! Thanks for organizing it hosts!

And one more helpful thing! I came across this great opportunity if you are looking for a critique partner!

Megan Grimit is hosting a Twitter Critique Partner Matchmaking Party on Monday January 20. (TODAY!)

What: A chance to pitch your book to a bunch of like minded writers
Where: Twitter, of course!
When: January 20th from 10am-10pm EST
And You’re going to need:
  1. A twitter pitch (140 characters or less to include the #CPMatch hashtag)
  2. A few labels (this is my fave part!):
For the purpose of easy identification, please include (abbreviated for your convenience) a little about your critiquing style. (Note: These are for how you critique others work, not what you need for your own.)
  • Do you get straight to the point- STTP
  • Fan of the compliment sandwich- CS
  • Are you brutally honest- BH
  • How about a good copy editor- GCE
  • Or are you more of an attention to detail type: ATD
  • Maybe a critique partner beginner: CPB
  • Plot hole hunter: PHH
  • Do you give great big picture notes: BP
  • Are you a few of these things? Go ahead and list as many as will fit in your pitch.
Here's an example of a #CPMatch pitch:

Trapped among bleeding walls, psychotic passengers, and manifested fears, can Olivia escape with her life? YA #CPMatch CS ATD

On the 20th, simply search through the feed. If something looks interesting, DM the person and get to know each other a little better. See what you have to offer each other. Then, SWAP A SAMPLE CHAPTER. You’ll never know if you really mesh well unless you see some feedback first hand. Give it a try and spread the word!


Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out. And interesting about the #CPMatch Pitch. I'll work on that this morning.

And good luck with your Atlanta tip!

M.J. Fifield said...

Talking to strangers? Being confident? Putting myself out there?

Are you sure I can't just hide under my desk? I'm really good at that.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm with MJ on this one. Yikes! :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

So sorry to hear about the Detroit signing. I hope the Atlanta signing goes much better!!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

So sorry to hear about the Detroit signing. I hope the Atlanta signing goes much better!!

Dana said...

I'm such an introvert that the thought of promoting anything I've done leaves me hyperventilating. Yikes!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry it was a bust. I can relate to the not wanting to bring up you're an author part. But we have to.
Thanks for participating in the symposium.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Can't rely on the venue to promote. That's not just book stores, either. I'm sorry the Detroit event didn't go well.

Anonymous said...

Great tips Tara. I am sitting at my favorite coffee shop and am going to ask them about setting up a book signing. Wish me luck.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

See I find you a crazy cool lady and offer some unique thoughts and your advice is great. Your journey and sharing of your tours is a great learned experience.

Jeremy H.

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!

Robin said...

I think I might have to push down my aversion to Twitter. So many Writer Things are going on there.

Thanks for the information!

Carrie-Anne said...

Good luck with your next book signing. I hope it goes better than the first. It sounds fun to go to all these different places to promote your book.

Jessie Humphries said...

Just the idea of sitting down behind a signing table at a bookstore signing makes me shudder. Must get over that!

Kim Van Sickler said...

Thanks for your candor! Seems like you do a lot of book signings and have learned by doing, but you listed some great resources too! I'll swing by the Twitter pitch party to see if my dream critique buddy is out there. :-) PHH, BP. You never know.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Those are GREAT links! I'm bookmarking 'em!!!

Crystal Collier said...

Great thoughts, Tara. I've bookmarked the post to come back later for signing tips. If you were headed a little further south for a signing, I'd totally be there! (Like Orlando area, you know?)

Critique partners... That's an amazing party! Hm. Can I afford another partner or two...?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Being more outgoing with promotion is an issue for me as well. Thanks for giving tips through your own experiences Tara. Planning is important too. The twitter match up sounds so great, too bad I've only just noticed it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm a bit shy at booksignings though I've gotten better. It's a tough way to sell books. We all need a plan. With a group signing there are that many more ways to get the news out there.

Chrys Fey said...

It is hard to promote ourselves in public , especially if you're naturally shy. The only person I have openly told that I'm a writer to in public is the mailman at the small post office I always go to, but then I haven't been there in a while so I haven't even told him about my debut eBook being available!

Best of luck with your next signing! :)

mshatch said...

I totally understand what you mean about bragging. I am so NOT a hey, look what I did type of person. But heck, if I want people to read my book I'm going to have to be! AGH!

Sarah Allen said...

Ah yes. Signings can be tricky. But this is great advice, and I'll have to go check out those links!

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, with Joy)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

THanks--I'll be checking out those links.

Practice three times every morning before your second cup of coffee:
"I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer."

In all seriousness, the more often I answer the "what do you do?" question, the easier it gets. I'm still working on the best answer when they ask what sort of stuff I write, though. One small step out of my shell at a time!

Christine Rains said...

Thank you for the links. I'd be terrified to do a book signing, but if the time ever comes, I'm going to have to step up. Hope you're having a good Monday! :)

Cindy said...

I've never had the courage to do a book signing, but I love all the tips. Who knows...maybe one day.

Nicole said...

Really enjoying reading everyone's tips. Thanks for sharing your advice.

Kimberly said...

OMGosh, I'm like you, I don't really bring it up outside family and friends and really, my husband is pretty much the one that told our family and friends that I write (when I told him not to tell anyone) but now I'm glad he did. :)

Thanks for the links, I'll have to check them out. :)

Yolanda Renée said...

It's hard doing those signings alone, but always have a flyer to hand out, make eye contact, and smile. But alone, wow! I applaud you, I've only done a few alone and hated it. Join with someone else, then it seems like a party - I'm sure you'll do fine at the next one, and only one bad experience is always a learning experience to make the next one better. Remember, have fun!
Thanks for participating! Love the critique party sign up!

SittieCates said...

The #CPMatch Pitch looks like a cool idea. Thanks for sharing that info! Bookmarked those links, too. Thank you!

The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

Kyra Lennon said...

Thanks so much for those links! I'll be bookmarking this post so I can read them later!

Rhonda Albom said...

Sorry about your Detroit signing and thanks for the tips - to be filed away for when I need them :0

Tara Tyler said...

thanks, everyone! but don't feel too bad for me - it was a great trip and my relatives were super helpful and supportive! i have the best niece & nephews! and mother in law!!

Anonymous said...

Confidence helps with almost everything you do. Positive attitude breeds positive results.

Sherry Ellis said...

Sorry your Detroit signing wasn't a great one - but I admire that you went to someplace out of your comfort zone to try to get the word out about your book! Thanks for the shout out - I'm so glad I was able to see you in Cinci! Let me know where you'll be in Atlanta, and I stop by and visit!

Deniz Bevan said...

Hope the next signing goes really well!
I think if it was me I'd try to rope in an author friend to share the table with me, just so I'd feel less alone!

Sharon Bayliss said...

Yeah, signings are terrifying. I hate the idea of just sitting there like an idiot. My signing went okay, but just because I begged friends and family to attend. I don't know if I'll do another one. At least not until I have more fans. :) A group signing can be cool, if you can find it, that way you can share fans.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your Detroit trip, but what a valuable lesson you learned! Chin up and get past your comfort zone. I'm trying to push past my usual connections as well. Difficult and uncomfortable at times, but you grow as a person and guess what, that's the only way you'll grow your fan base. Good Luck! Buck Inspire

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I've had a few signings like that. And some that were really good, it's hard to predict results-- even the bookstores will say it-- so it might not have been what you did or didn't do-- could've been the weather, anything!

LD Masterson said...

It's so hard to overcome all that childhood training that it's rude to "blow your on horn" but that's exactly what we have to do.

Suzi said...

So you're saying that one part of being successful is having to talk to people?

I so did not sign up for that when I started this writing thing. *sigh*


Carol Kilgore said...

May Detroit be your worst signing ever! There! It's the bottom of your barrel. So go forth with your plan and sign away!

Anonymous said...

I had one really bad appearance two years ago. Boy, did I learn from it. I'm only willing to do group signings and panels that are sure things.

To answer your question, I post reviews once or twice a month.

SK Anthony said...

I dread the idea of having to do any signings…my family don't even know I write lol. Thanks for the links though, hopefully I'll need them someday ;)

Ellie Garratt said...

The idea or doing a book signing or talk terrifies me. I need to push myself out of comfort zone and follow your lead.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great job on your post, Tara!

Hope you're staying warm.


Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the links. I could use them. :) I'm sorry your book signing in Detroit was a bust. We all have those shy days . . . I keep running into people who have just discovered I've written a book, and it makes me realize that I haven't talked enough . . . but I feel like I'm bragging or overselling when I do.
So, best of wishes in talking to new people, and writing, and all that you do!!!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I've had 2 local book signing and if it wasn't for my family and friends, there'd be no one there for me! Love my support system. I don't know if I'd venture outside my realm, who the heck knows me?! I give you credit for traveling and getting out there. I despise self-promoting too! But we have to, right?!

Unknown said...

It is SO HARD to go beyond the people you know and find interested strangers. I haven't been able to do it. It's great you keep learning and trying new things. I love the abbreviations for the CP pitchfest! What an awesome idea! :)

Nicki Elson said...

Hey! I'm only now catching up on Symposium posts -- so thanks for the summary I saw on my way down here. :)

Love the way that instead of getting discouraged by the event, you're taking the knowledge you can gain from it.

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