You would think being published for seven years I'd have participated in a signing or two by now, but yesterday was my very first one! It's an annual event called Writers On The River, and you can read about it in the link. The proceeds go to a very worthy cause, so please do consider attending this event next year!
Before I go any further, I want to give a massive shout-out to the women who organize this event each year. They do a phenomenal job, and honestly I don't know how they keep it all straight.
It's held in Peoria, Illinois which is a three-hour drive from where I live. David and I drove there and back yesterday because I like to sleep in my own bed whenever possible. I'm not a hotel person. LOL!
I sold 42 print books, which I'm being told by my fellow Indiana RWA chapter peeps (many of whom participated in this!) is phenomenal. They would know! They do this all the time. I only know it was incredible to meet readers and other authors.
Facebook gets a bad rap and there are all sorts of legit reasons why. But it doesn't have to be bad. It doesn't have to be negative. Like anything, social media is what you make it.
If I didn't have the relationship with my readers and with other authors (because we are also readers!!) that I currently have, from years of being online, staying above the drama and crap on Facebook and instead focusing on building relationships, this signing would not have been the same experience for me.
Readers and other authors knew me from social media because I have spent years working on getting to know them as people on these platforms. And because they knew me and we were already online friends, it was thrilling to finally meet them in person and put a face to the name.
I met some new people, too!! Plenty of "new to me" readers stopped by, and I met "new to me" authors! Everyone who came to my table got swag and a business card. I stood up and engaged with people who came by. I took pictures with them.
This is what it's all about.
Without readers, we could sit here each day for the rest of our lives and write until our fingers fell off, but no one would know the books were out there. I know a lot of readers hate that part. I get it. I really do. I think most writers are introverts by nature.
And while I can turn on the charm in person when I need to, inside I'd rather be home, writing, or hanging out with my Hubby and watching old movies on TV. I'm an introvert who is able to turn into an extrovert when I have to, but when that part is over, all I want to do is retreat back to my corner.
However, in today's world, this part is essential. And I'm so glad I was invited to participate in the signing. I can't participate in a lot of them (yet) due to my work schedule, and there's a cost involved, but this is something I definitely plan to do more of in the future.
I especially loved being part of this one because of the sponsors involved. You can read about them on the link in this post up there. It's for a very worthy cause, plus I got to hang out with my Indiana RWA chapter peeps, and I adore them!!