Book Signing Advice

A friend posted this on facebook, “How to Conduct a Successful Book Signing Event” by Sally Watkins via @JohnKremer.  I haven’t gotten to this point yet, but some of you may find it useful.

Another friend and prolific magazine writer, Cheryl Wray posted The Joys and Hazards of Book Signings on Writing for Dollars. She is the author of Writing for Magazines (McGraw-Hill), a popular guide for freelancers, and has published over 1000 articles in magazines.In this article she says to

1) Be sure the bookstore is prepared for you, has a table set up. Have posters set up in the store.

2) Do your own press releases in the local newspapers, have posters around town. 

3) Make eye contact with customers and appear friendly. A freebie (bookmark or candy) with contact info is also a good idea.

4) Ask bookstore manager if you can sign your remaining books.

5) Keep in touch with the bookstore.


Year 2010 in Review

Review of My Year–2010

I’m a little late on looking back at 2010. At first I thought it was not a very eventful year, but upon further study it seems to be quite the opposite, especially for me as a poet–it was my first full year swimming in the world of publishing! I attended many workshops, conferences and concerts. I met a lot of new writers, publishers, editors and musicians! In retrospect, it was a great year!

Top News in 2010 wasn’t always greatthe BP Oil Spill, the war and rumors of war, of course, Julian Assange’s publication of U.S. diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks, controversy over “Obamacare,” Ground Zero Mosque, Global Warming–a big topic blamed for most of these disasters: earthquakes in Haiti, Chili and China, Guatemala Sinkhole, Machu Picchu Landslide, East Coast Blizzard, floods in Pakistan and Nashville, fires and floods in Russia, Pakistan and Peru.

Top Ten New Gadgets of 2010 were the iPad, Berkely Bionics eLEGS, Microsoft Knect, Windows Phone 7 on Samsung Focus, Sprint EVO 4G, iPhone 4, MacBook Air (11-13″ notebook), Samsung Galaxy 3 android-based notebook, Canon’s S95, and Kindle 3. Here are the Time/CNN lists for The Top 10 or Everything.  

Top Personal Happenings. My youngest son moved out (but still close by) and got engaged. The first female was born into our family since me (yes that is a long time), although my oldest sister and I have granddaughters that came into the family as adopted stepchildren. Our new baby girl is my middle sister’s first grandchild, and what a cutie!

Famous Musicians I met: I had my picture made with Morgan Freeman, Sela Ward, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Spooner Oldam, L.C. Ulmer, and singer/songwriters Walt Aldridge, Steve Dean, Don Poythress, Jimbeau Hinson, Marc-Alan, and I shook hands with Tracey Lawrence during a concert. I also became friends with legendary Chris Ethridge, Scott McQuaig, and Jacky Jack White. My song, Many More Birthdays, was performed at Relay for Life in Forest, MS at their opening ceremony.

Sweet Potatoes Come on in Party. I actually wrote a newspaper review for The Meridian Star 360 section on the musicians that performed at this party. I met a lot of great Mississippi singer/songwriters–Scott Albert Johnson, Bob Gates, Johnny Crocker, Cameron Compton, Cody Wynne Cox, Taylor Hildebrand, Jame Weems, Scott Randall Rhodes, and Hunter Gibson. I even met Jill Conner, the original Sweet Potato Queen. Unfortunately, I asked her to sign my three books I bought for $45, but she said she’d do it later. Later never came. Sigh…

My Top Poetry News. I joined the Mississippi Poetry Society as soon as I found out the particulars. I accepted the post of Secretary for the Mississippi Writers Guild. I attended four workshop/conferences in 2010: Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, AL, Mississippi Writers Guild Conference, Chattahoochee Valley Writers’ Conference in GA, Mississippi Poetry Society Fall Workshop. I had planned to meet Mississippi’s Poet Laureate, Winifred Farrar (who was my best friend’s cousin) but she passed away before I got the chance. I did meet the talented Natasha Trethewey at a book signing/reading in Jackson. She was very impressive and kind.

My 2010 Publications. Last year I had 35 poems accepted by 19 publications with 25 poems published and 10 forthcoming. I won 1st place in Grandmother Earth’s Environmental Poetry Contest, 3rd place in Mississippi Poetry Society’s Poets Anonymous Contest, and I won the Enchanted Conversation’s Daughters of Air Contest. Not fantastic, but not too bad for my first full year of submitting. Add one published in Dec. 2009, one accepted on Jan. 1, 2011 for a grand total of 37 acceptances in print and online journals and magazines plus 3 anthologies. I hope this year will be even more productive! I’ve been a slacker over the holidays, but getting an acceptance on the first day of the year was a real encouragement! Back to work—or is it play? Maybe both.

Don Poythress and Wynne Huddleston

Jimbeau Hinson and Wynne Huddleston

Marc-Alan Barnette and Wynne

Jimbeau Hinson and Brenda Fielder

This gold record was given to Jimbeau Hinson by the Oak Ridge Brothers for 2,000,000 airplays of  “Settin’ Fancy Free,” which was written by Jimbeau.

Sparkle and Twang

Marty Stuart’s traveling memorabilia collection,”Sparkle and Twang,” containing about 20,000 items was on display at the MSU Riley Center July 10-Sept. 18, 2010. It is the largest country music couture collection of performance costumes, accessories, personal letters and instruments collected by country music artist Marty Stuart including Elvis Presley’s sweater, an outfit of Patsy Cline’s along with the last pair of boots that she wore, suits which belonged to Hank Williams Sr., George Jones, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, David Allan Coe, Mel Tillis, The Maddox Brothers and clothes from Rose Maddox. The exhibit features handwritten lyrics such as “Cold, Cold Heart” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams Sr. and “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Man in Black” by Johnny Cash. This is also an interactive exhibit which tells the story of Stuart’s personal experiences with some of the most famous stars of American roots music. 

When Marty was 13, he began saving money for his performance costume. He was in California to play some shows with Lester Flatt. He went to Nudie’s (a premier Western-wear shop in North Hollywood, recently closed) with $250. It was only a fraction of what an outfit cost. Manuel was working as a designer there at that time. He told him to come back one day and he’d make him a suit, and he gave him a shirt. Marty indeed came back to Manuel.

Missisisppi actress Sela Ward was present at the festivities and I was fortunate enough to get some pictures with her and the other celebrities!

Sela Ward and Wynne

Wynne and Marty Stuart

Connie Smith

Wynne and Manuel, who makes Marty Stuart’s elaborate suits