So its Monday morning and the weekend is finally over. I had my first big event yesterday at Word on the Street, Toronto. My husband and I prepared for this for a while. Okay he prepared for this on my behalf. He is my saviour!
I wasn't sure what to expect because this was actually my first time at Word on the Street, so just in case I bumped into an agent or publisher I had made ten query packages. As I believe I have mentioned in an earlier post (or should have) that query is going to give me and ulcer. There are so many contrasting beliefs on what at query should look like. At 1:30 am on Sunday I finally decided to go to bed and stop changing my query. It turned out I didn't need it anyway.
I sold approximately 25 books and handed out hundreds of book marks. I had some encouraging discussions with people who were not into my genre but they were so darn supportive all the same. I was starting to get a little worried when people would stop and pick up the book , read the back and then put it back down. Of course my first thought was that there's a problem with my blurb. So I started asking people, "Do you read romance?" It turned out many of them didn't but they were drawn to our display and the book's cover so they stopped. Through many of those conversations amazing things happened. When people realized I was the author they would smile broadly and offer congratulations. Many people offered advice on marketing etc. Many of them took post cards, sell sheets, and book marks to distribute to people they know who do read my genre. This happened multiple times all day. I had some postcards printed to advertise my launch at Chapters on John street in Toronto on October 6th. At least a dozen or more people had said they will try to get people to come out to support me. I was blown away. These were complete strangers that wanted to help.
Following the book event we went down to college street for a "Magical evening with local authors," Since I had never done anything like that before I had no idea what to expect. We were greeted at the door by two very welcoming gentlemen. Since we were almost the last to arrive, sitting a distance away and the speaker system wasn't optimal it was difficult at times to follow what was going on.
Four authors were scheduled to read excerpts from their books. I had assumed readings were reserved for those who wrote gorgeous pieces of literary fiction that would read like poetry. It was appearing that way at least until a lady stands up at the microphone and begins to read an excerpt from her romance novel. What? Romance authors are asked to speak at these things. That's amazing. When this lady spoke I quickly realized why. She had passion. She read the pages from her ms with heart. She took on the persona of each character as she spoke. I really didn't care what she was saying, it was the fact that she was passionately in love with her work that made me smile. I realized in that moment that we, the romance authors of the world, are a special breed and I need to start practicing my public speaking because I too want to share my passion the same way this lady did.
We shared our table with a lady that was on her own. A complete stranger. Two hours later it felt like she was a friend. That might have been the best part of the entire day! We talked about my fear of public speaking and she gave me some really great advice. She was just so genuine and supportive. She had a belief in me and my book although she hadn't read a word of it. People like that don't come along often, so when they do the encounter is memorable and in this case worth mentioning. It turns out this woman has some media connections. When she finally told me where she worked the thought truly hadn't even crossed my mind that she may be able to help me get some exposure. In fact when I asked her where she worked and she told me I think she expected a light to go on in my head. (which maybe if I wasn't dog tired it would have) Later I went to the bathroom and when I returned my husband informed me that she was going to do what she could to get my book in the hands of the right people. Immediately I felt awkward. I cant explain why and I know my response was something really strange because I didn't know what to say. I should have just said thank you. Which I did do after but I think my first response was something like" its okay if you can't I know its hard to do things like that." WTF is wrong with me. I think I liked this lady so much that I didn't want the basis of our new found friendship to be based on a "What can you do for me?" bottom line. I don't have a business head. I am all about emotions and relationships. Maybe that's why I'm a romance junkie. And truth be told I think part of me knows what's coming next and it scares me. Success is something we dream about but when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt its around the corner it becomes very daunting. I can be my own worst enemy. Maybe I need to find a doctor with a couch. ;)
I could have written a half chapter in the time it took me to post this. I have a lot of wonderful fans that are anxiously awaiting book two so I better get back to work!