I attended my very first author event yesterday at a lovely little bookshop called Bookmamas.
It was rainy. And cramped. And had very little foot traffic during the first hour of the event.
I don't write that to complain. It just was how it was.
I was super excited for this event. Since publishing my book in June, I have been participating in marketing campaigns and contacting various bookstores in the Indianapolis area. Bookmamas was the earliest one on the schedule and I was looking forward to testing out my spiel on people other than my friends and family.
I was also nervous.
What if I didn't do a good job talking about my book and it's story? Or worse, what if I did do a good job talking about my book but nobody was interested in its story?
I came to realize something during my very first author event: my experience as an author is what I make it.
I only sold one book. A lot of people might think that wasn't a very successful event, but here's what I think:
(1) That's one more book sold that will potentially have a huge impact on someone else's life. This book was meant to be inspirational and written for young adults/teenagers. The message being shared in this book is more important to me than selling millions of copies.
(2) I met some really great people. Author events and fairs are not just about meeting potential new fans and selling books. They're about networking and meeting other authors as well. I met some truly inspiring authors during this event and I look forward to staying in contact with them and sharing my experiences with them.
(3) The conversations I had with people walking through the bookstore were the whole point of this event. There were several people I spoke with who were interested in the story of The Search. They told me their stories. We connected in our experiences. They may not have purchased a book yesterday, but they will remember my name, just as I will remember theirs.
(4) It was good practice. Since there was so little foot traffic because of the rain, I had the unique experience of truly pitching my book to the few who ventured out into the abysmal weather. I learned more about what works and doesn't work. Also, I got to see how other authors set up their booths and take note. Each new experience is worth it.
(5) I am ready for this. I am ready to use my passion and talent for writing for something more than just a hobby. I'm ready to continue learning about other authors and support them. I'm ready to meet people and share our experiences. After all, storytelling is ALL about helping people connect.
One author event down. So many more in the future to go.