Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits With Kari...First Book Signing Ever & New Cover!!!

First off, I just have to say that I LOVE my new cover for book one in my cozy mystery series TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery that comes out in August 2011!!! They included all the elements I really wanted: the ancient Victorian house with chipped paint, the sign Sunny's Sanctuary, the tea set, the old fashioned street lamp, and the immortal cat Morty! It's a painting, and it's just so appealing, I'm in heaven :-)) The people at Berkley Prime Crime really know what they are doing, and my editor Faith Black rocks!

Second, I had my first book signing ever! Talk about exciting and scary at the same time. The day started off insane as always (hence the life of a mom of four!) and I barely made it to Barnes and Noble by 1:00 PM which is when I was supposed to start.
So I go flying inside, dragging my poor 8 year old daughter with me. She was to be my helper...Oyyyy...more about that later :-)
The store is packed!!! A school was having their book fair that day, so it was perfect timing. And they put me right in the children's section, which was fantastic.
Only, I see a microphone up on a stage with a bunch of chairs in front of it. Right beside my table and stack of books!
I said, um, do I have to speak??? I have nothing prepared. Now everyone who knows me knows I have no trouble speaking. But....I really do get nervous about "public" speaking, especially when I'm not prepared.
Turns out the microphone was for the session after me...Phew! But I did answer questions one on one and talk to a lot of kids and adults.

My publicist sent a bunch of signs of different sizes that Barnes and Noble displayed throughout the store. They gave me one to take home (yay).
Yeah yeah, I know. It says 2011.....ha ha.....that was me. I added the date when I got home so I wouldn't forget. No worries, I fixed it :-)
The woman in charge of my signing introduced me to the librarian in charge of the book fair. The woman is the guru of librarians in our area, so it was awesome. She is putting me in the library system so all the other libraries will order my books. And she wants me to speak in her school. She also introduced me to other librarians and teachers who took my bookmarks for their classrooms and also want me to speak in their schools.
All in all....it was a very productive day!
I saw several people I know come out and support me. You all know who you are, and you guys rock. It helped make me a lot less nervous with you guys around.
And of course my very special longtime CP Barbie Jo Mahoney was there! I can't wait to do a signing with her next November when her first book and my third come at the same time.
Oh boy, look out people....Thelma and Louise will be hitting the road on a signing tour and having the time of our lives.

CNYRW chapter mates and fellow authors Nicki Greenwood and Susan St. Thomas were there as well.
As well as Carol Lombardo and Laurie Bumpus, but I didn't get pictures of them, darnit :-)

My darling diva is the child on the right who is supposed to be helping out! Okay, okay, so she DID help out a lot, but she also played with the microphone, ate half the treats, kept getting bored and bailing on me to scout out more books, giggled and laughed and talked even more than I do....what can I say...she's just like me!

Turns out I have fans!!!
These kids were sooo stinking cute. I had really young, and tweens and even a few teens. As well as plenty of grownups.
And the best part was that I brought along postcards of my adult cozy mystery and stuck those in my book so the "moms" could see what else I write and when it comes out :-)
I've already gotten a couple pre-orders on that one, so something must be working!
Or maybe it was just the cookies and candy canes I brought along. Hey, whatever works! All I can say is I had a fabulous time and a big thanks to all who helped make it happen.
So my question for all of you out there is what do you do to help make your book signings a success?


Kari Lee Townsend said...

Okay, people, bring on those promotion tips. What works for you? What do you do at a signing? When do you do a signing? How many do you do?

What do you think works well for promtion in general? Any great tips that have paid off?

Tonya Kappes said...

So cool!! Again~ perfect timing. Misa Ramirez and I have a book coming out April, Tricked Out Toolbox~promotional and marketing tools every writer needs, is a great book where we have tips and tricks from the time you decide to write a book all the way through you publishing career. We target all genres and genders! We are so excited about this book!!
I have another signing this weekend. I love meeting new fans and seeing old ones plus my family. I always bring a special treat to go along with the book I'm promoting. Another Quirky Christmas is the book I'm signing this weekend and my protagonist HATES nutcrackers. I have a rack card with the book cover and blurb, recipe and on the back is my bio, AND I also have a nutcracker ornament for everyone to take too. SOOOO cool and fun! I'm glad it went well.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks Tonya! And definitely remind us all when your book on promotion comes out. Promotion is such a necessity, it's just hard to know what to do.

Lindsay said...

I don't have any tips or suggestions. Congrats on the sucess of your signing.
Oh, and the cover is great

RK Charron said...

Hi Kari :)
Congratulations on your first signing! It looks like a great time was had by all. Thank you for sharing it here, and for the pictures!
Your daughter must be so proud of you!
Merry Christmas,

Mary Martinez said...

When I do a signing I send out an Evite. It's a free invitation. http://new.evite.com/ I send it to all the people I know who live close enough. I post it on my blog, newsletter and Facebook. I also have my web mistress put it on my website.

Looks like your signing was a smashing success though. And I love the new book cover. Congratulations.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks Lindsay, Rob and Mary. I am really excited about Samantha Granger and cannot WAIT for Tempest in the Tea Leaves!

It's hard enough writing two series at the same time, but squeezing in promotion is insane! That's why I'm trying to hone my limited free time and choose efforts that pay off.

Not an easy task.

Liz Lipperman said...

Kari, I am so pumped for you, it's not even funny. The pictures are great. I keep remembering that video I posted a while back of "Signing in the Waldenbooks" where the author had very little traffic. Aargh!! That would be my worst nightmare.

As for promotional tips, I'm having a contest when my book comes out. I just ordered something on line that is perfect. Since my cozy is a "foodie" I bought a Pandigital picture frame/internet kind of thing that has a built-in cookbook. This will be the give-away for the contest.

Donna Cummings said...

Kari, congrats on your book signing. It looks like you had a wonderful time AND made some really good contacts for the next book coming out. :)