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The Profit Is in the Relationships

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For three years, I sat perched behind my laptop. During that time frame, I posted a weekly blog, published one short story, Circle of Justice, my urban fantasy book, Reaping the Harvest, and the erotic romance novel, Losing Faith. At that point, I was informed it was time to get out of the recliner and meet other people––other authors as well as the readers who said they enjoyed my work. Basically, it was time to stop hiding behind the laptop and mingle.

I didn’t want to mingle, being quite comfortable behind my laptop.

I wasn’t given a choice.

The first book signing I attended was in my county put on by Authors for Authors in Cocoa Beach. I signed up along with twenty-five other authors and prepared to meet whoever would stop by my table. We made sure we had plenty of copies of my books as well as the promotional material, “swag” I learned it was called, to pass out to whoever passed by and stopped to gaze. To say I was nervous would be an understatement as well as a cliché. I was petrified. What if no one stopped by my table? What if the other authors don’t like me? What if they can all tell how scared I am?

However, the event turned out to be one of the most exciting events I have ever done. Everyone was helpful and pleasant, whether they appreciated my genre or not. The other authors were kind enough to help me learn the ropes and to calm my nervousness. Furthermore, they gave me more ideas, better ideas, of what to do in the future.

Once home, we signed up for two more––one in Jacksonville and one in New Orleans. I also learned the main reason for going to these events––the interaction. Selling books is a great plus, but it’s not the reason to attend. The importance of book signings is meeting others and allowing them to get to know you. It’s networking with other authors, learning what works and what doesn’t, sharing ideas as well as stories. Moreover, it’s meeting readers who will recognize you later on Bourbon Street––yes, this happened to me––wanting to help share your work. The main thing an author gets from book signings is not sales, at least not right then. The main thing, the most important reason for participating, are the relationships you walk away with that will carry over to social media and other events.

That’s why we are attending the 1st Annual Multi-Genre Book Signing Event, to rub elbows with readers and other authors, because there lies the true profit of a book signing. People will learn your name, walking away with a memory that will cause them to want to know you better, which then will translate to more sales. However, it starts with relationships and those can’t be obtained from behind your laptop. Truthfully, you can’t afford not to get out and meet your readers.

About the Author:

Robbie lives on the Space Coast and can usually be found on his back porch with a cigar, scotch, and the family that surrounds him. He believes life should be lived outside the box and those are the stories he loves to bring to his readers.

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6 Responses

  1. Dd
    | Reply

    Thank you Robbie.
    I am finishing my first novel and live in Merritt Island.
    Looking forward to this next step.

    Dd

  2. Kay Dew Shostak
    | Reply

    Love you post! And those times of contact and community are a great balance for all those hours spent alone typing. The event you mentioned, is that the one at the conference in October? And I am now looking up the author event you mentioned in Jacksonville. Last year was my first year at the Amelia Island Book Festival in my hometown, and I can recommend it for other authors.

  3. Terry
    | Reply

    Hi Robbie, great post, and I was one of those that met you at the Multi Genre book signing [May] and would never have guessed someone had to push you out of the recliner to go to a book signing! Glad that you did it and thanks for this share because it’s a great reminder to all of us about both the work we love and the multi faceted labor that goes into the entire process.

  4. Bonnie Rae
    | Reply

    Hi Robbie, Great post. Life passes by and I have so many stories to write, but can’t get started. Where to begin is the question. How to write so that the reader wants to know more is my second question. I need to go to a Florida Writers book signing just to learn from writers.
    Good luck.

  5. Peter Guinta
    | Reply

    Your experience definitely opened my eyes. Thanks. I just published my first novel, “Well of Bones,” and lately it’s been hard to get out of the house. The writing process, though painful for a year, now seems like the easy part. I’ve shied away from marketing because I’ve never been able to sell anything. My question is: How do learn about other signing events? I feel totally in the dark about what everybody else seems to know.

  6. RaffaelaMarie Rizzo
    | Reply

    Great Post, Robbie!
    there is nothing more important than relationships. It’s how an author comes and his/her books come alive!
    The Amelia Island Book Festival is one such event held each February. It’s affordable and in a great place with wonderful, receptive people.
    I love hearing about other opportunities. Sorry I missed out on 1st Annual Multi-Genre Book Signing Event. Definitely looking to grab it early when they announce the 2nd Annual.

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