Saturday, May 15, 2010

Livin' the "BIG"GBY Life!

Sometimes, the hardest step to take is the first one.
Here's the scoop. I want so very much for my current release, Hearts Crossing, to reach, and touch, as many 'hearts' as possible (pardon the pun!). After all, isn't that the point of writing? Of sweating and agonizing over each detail of the novels we create?
When White Rose Publishing, my fantastic authorial home, enabled print copies of novellas, I jumped at the chance to be able to offer both electronic and print versions of this contest winning story. However, beyond that, I wanted to promote. We want to reach readers.
So, after hearing about the success people had at coffee house signings, I thought: Hey, I could do that! I love coffee, I love getting folks together, I love sharing my work...
But then came shyness. Then came doubts and insecurity. I mean, really. Me? Who wants surrender part of a gorgeous spring Saturday in Michigan (after enough rain to float a boat!) to visit with an author and simply buy a book?
Then came an epiphany - something that should have occurred to me much earlier. Promoting, signings - they're not about me. They're about my work - a book I believe in with all my heart. That's what I'm asking people to take note of and support, not me.

That mental adjustment gave me just enough courage to put together a promotional piece, some business cards, and go to my local Biggby Coffee Shop and ask if they might be interested in letting me camp out at a table for a few hours and have a book signing.
I was overwhelmed by their response. Not only did they welcome the chance to have a local author conduct a signing at their shop, they promoted it on Facebook and Twitter (just like I did on my own sites...), they broadcast a promotional PowerPoint presentation I put together on their big-screen TV's, and were incredibly gracious as folks came in!
I gave away a Biggby Gift Card (Congrats Christy Ciaramitaro!!) and a Gift Certificate to White Rose Publishing (Congrats Suzanne Calvano!!) and so many great friends, family and fans came out!! Here are some pictures from the event - and for any subsequent publications, you can bet I'll be setting up signings at Biggby Coffee in the future.
Remember - it's all about the BOOK! I was nervous at the start, and as I set it up, but executing and enjoy the day was really fun, and was well worth the shaky steps forward into self-promotion.
Thanks for letting me share my excitement about a very successful and tremendously fun event! I feel so blessed!


  1. Wow! What a great signing. I wish there was a Biggby Coffee in my area. Thanks for sharing your success story and the lovely pictures!

  2. Love the pics. I can see the joy in your face as well as the others who stopped by. What a wonderful success story. Thanks for sharing. We don't have a Biggby Coffee. Boohoo!

  3. Marianne--wow! I'm impressed. I hadn't thought of a coffee shop--but that's a great idea. Congratulations on the sale of that many books, and for launching yourself into the world wide writers web of self-promotion! Great start. Celia

  4. Thanks, Lilly! I'll tell you what I told others...start LOCAL. Local businesses seem to care so much about the people who support their stores. I was really impressed. :-)

  5. Hi,Carol - and thanks for the support and kind words! I had a great time - and was pretty much floored by the support.

  6. Hey, Celia! :-) Thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure if it was the Wild Rose Press group or maybe one of the others I belong to, but someone mentioned coffee house signings as a successful book signing locale, and that got my wheels turning. In the economy we've got going on right now, they're eager to bring people in the door - and Biggby didn't let me down. Self-promo is soooooooo hard!!!!

  7. Marianne,
    it was so nice to meet your husband and your daughter. You have a lovely family, and great support behind you. Sorry my visit was short due to going to the wedding. But, I'm so happy I came. We had three hours in between the wedding and reception. I came home and started reading your book right away!
    All my best,

  8. Congrats, Mariann, I'm glad you had such a successful first book signing. I'm wondering if coffee shops would work over here in the UK. All my family and friends live in Wales, and I don't know many people in the nearest English town, so perhaps a busy coffee shop might be a good idea.

    I love your pictures and everyone looks so happy and relaxed

  9. What a great blog!! Congratulations on a wonderful book signing. What fantastic photos. So much Fun!! You've encouraged me to do the same in my area. Thanks for a terrific idea. Linda :)

  10. Wow! Great job with the signing and the blog! Congratulations on overcoming! It's a wonderful book - hope you had a very successful signing.

  11. Donna, what a sweet compliment! Coming from you it means so much! Thanks for stopping by!!

    Linda, give it a go! Truly! Find a local place you like that gives off a supportive vibe and buck up that courage. You'll be glad you did!!

    Hey, Lyn! Thanks for visiting!!It was a very relaxing atmosphere, a perfect place to sit for a bit, chat, and have a well-coordinated event. :-)

    Denice - you're awesome! Loved seeing you there! Great pic, too!!! ;-)

  12. What great pictures! I feel the shyness, too! Looks like you had a lot of fun, though! CONGRATS!

  13. Congratulations on a wonderful signing! You rocked girl!
    What great memories and wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Rose to Rose!

  14. This is a real inspiration! I'm compiling these ideas as I look forward to my book being released!

  15. Overcoming a writer's natural tendency towards introversion is hard. Looks like you had great fun in the end!
    Best Wishes
    Megan Johns

  16. What happy photos! You obviously overcame the shyness when you turned promo over to the book... Your local coffee shop sounds like a fun place for a signing.

    Good luck!
    Mary Montague Sikes

  17. There's nothing like getting your feet wet on your home turf. I'm glad you had a great time and a wonderful turnout.

  18. Oh, Megan & Monti - shyness and introversion are such a stumbling block! I'm just not "good" with self-promo - but this was relaxed and fun, so it all worked out! Thanks for stopping by!!!

  19. Laura, I hope this post helps you realize good things can come after you fight back the fear monster! Good luck with the release!!

    Mary, Pauline & Margie - I love your comments! Thanks so much for paying a visit!!!