The Year of Living Authorly Post Post 16: Book Stores and Events

The Other Thing I’ve been doing these last few weeks are holding three very different book events. Let’s talk a little bit about them, and how they were set up.

Icon Launch Party: This year at my hometown con Icon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I did my usual thing of organizing and participating in Paradise Icon, but late Saturday night, I held a book party. Because so many people have known me for so many years, it was really easy to convince the convention to let me have a party and an event. How did it go?

Smashingly! All the people I know and some I didn’t wanted to buy books. I ordered a theme cake (Cake of the Dead!) from a friend who had a friend whose mom makes arty cakes. And I had a lot of fun and sold a lot of books and had more fun. This is a great example of an easy event in a very friendly environment. I did have to get organized, get change for purchases, get receipts and advertise, but overall this was a low fuss high reward event, both personally and fiscally.

Deep Dish Reading: This reading was put together by Mary Anne Mohanraj in Chicago. It was an event planned by the Speculative Literature Foundation and SFWA, and it was held at Volumes Book Store. (By way of plugging the even for the future, watch for the next reading in December!) Look at all these impressive readers!

Now, how did I come to be involved with Deep Dish? Largely because of Chris Bauer, a fellow VP alum and a Paradise Icon attendee. I wrote to him about where might be good to read in Chicago, and he talked to Mary Ann, and this happened. I am very grateful to both Chris and Mary Anne. It was a fun experience, and I really enjoyed participating in the literary scene in Chicago.

Iowa City Book Festival: My friends at Mindbridge agreed to let me hang with them at the Iowa City Book Festival, where I sold a few books, talked about SF and F in Iowa, and met a lot of people. It was very much a classic book fair, with a chance to talk about what I did and reconnect with some friends. Again, past connections helped out.

This post shows three models for how authors can get out there and meet people, and underscores a very important point. This is so important I’m going to block quote it. You ready?

The friends you have are the ones who will help you with your book networking. All of the web appearances I’ve had recently have been through friends or friends of friends. All of these events, and all the future events I have will be opportunities because of friends, people I’ve known for a long time and I’ve met in my beginning years as an author. If you play well with others, and you do nice things for other people, and you help others when you can, things like this happen.


So go out there and make some friends. See where that takes you. And keep writing. Which reminds me…

The Year of Living Authorly Post 15: Changing Web Presence

Hey everyone. So, you might have noticed my book came out on September 12th, and then I was…quiet. You will note my front page is no longer my blog, but is about my book and appearances. You will notice I now have a newsletter. This is kind of what I’ve been up to, making the shift from a writer whose primary commodity is her potential, to being a writer who has a book out.

Hey. I’m still the same fun person. I am. I just needed to make sure when you got here, you could find my book, and if you wanted to know more about me, you could hit the blog button.

Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about what I did to change the web presence, so you may have some idea of what you might like to do. I am lucky enough to have a friend who has always helped me with my website. (*waves at Mark McKibben*) Mark had set me up long ago with a WordPress site and has done most of the heavy lifting. I tweaked my theme in minor ways, moved some social media to the front page, and wrote a whole new front page, and voila! Overall, I enjoy blogging, and I like having one. For me it was a matter of shifting. I know it’s suggested writers have a web presence, but these days some authors find Facebook, Twitter, or one of the social media services more than adequate. I just like having my own spot online.

The newsletter, now that’s entirely new. I may be getting ahead of myself a little bit, but I wanted to have a way to remind people that they could come and see me when I was nearby that would be conveniently in their mailbox should they choose to have it. I don’t intend to be Spammy McSpammerston, but if people care enough to sign up, they can have a convenient way to keep up. Now, I used, like so many businesses and individuals before me, Mail Chimp, which is fairly easy to set up. I’ll let you know how the experiment goes.

Right now, however, if you would like a crack at a free ebook of The Vessel of Ra, I want to encourage you to sign up, because I’m going to hold a drawing after November 17th.

So, website update. Check. Mail Chimp newsletter. Check. How I’ve been spending my social media time.