Monday, October 19, 2015

The Burbank Library Author Signing: What We Took Away

By Susan J Berger and Victoria Krol

On Saturday, October 17, The Burbank Public held a Local Author signing event.. They opened up a meeting room, set out tables, made signs and a program listing the bios and books of the signing authors. The event was beautifully organized and well attended. 

I was one of the fifty signing authors, each of us there, hoping to attract the attention of the attending buyers.

And I had help! My brilliant fellow Inker Hilde Garcia stayed up most of Friday night baking her justly famous chocolate chip cookies. (This one top of the regular organized chaos that is her life and a twenty page paper she had due.) She and I and her son Sam wrapped over 100 cookies and attached a postcard to each. I wanted prospective readers to know how to find the eBook, Audiobook  and paperback on Amazon in case they weren’t prepared to buy at the event.

Most authors brought giveaways ranging from bookmarks to chap sticks. One author’s publisher provided Book shaped USB Drives. I think I had the best. Hilde’s cookies are the bomb.
Hilde schmoozed, bought books and made sure every author got a cookie and the postcard.

My favorite new idea? The author who had a poster with large print snippets of her reviews. It also said Show Special. 10.00 Next time, I want to do that. I know people put review snippets on bookmarks and postcards, but they are two small to read when you’re browsing a show.
Kris Kahrs, my other in-town Fellow Inker came and brought her son Tommy. And bought a book. We haven't had a Pen and Ink meeting in a long time. I was so happy she came!
I sold eight books.  - Five of my children’s books and three copies of Time and Forever.
Kris Kahrs, Susan J. Berger Hilde Garcia. We miss Lupe!!!!

I had three children's books to sell. I sold the last copy of Growing Up Dreams before this picture.

Children’s writers were underrepresented. I am not sure why.  I think SCBWI and Pal didn’t get the word

E Katherine was there with the ARC for her debut novel. How to Be Brave. I’d read a blog interview with her and it’s on my TBR list.

Andrea Loney, winner of the Lee and Low New Voices dropped by and bought my book. I love Andrea.

While I sat passing out cookies and talking with prospective readers, Victoria Krol interviewed many of the authors about the books. Here are her comments.

Sisan McNeil
Her book theme was Norse Mythology.
In her book it was Fantasy and a little drama.

Nara Duffie and her mom.

Nara Duffie
She is a twelve year old novelist.

The Monster Realm Her book is about a secret land called Lanodeka that monsters created to  be able to live in peace. The main characters sibling gets taken into the land of Lanodeka and encourages the monsters to go to war.
Tori bought this book and I dipped into it. I am borrowing it when Tori finishes.
It is self published and very well written. Also I love the cover design.


The books she wrote were Y.A.
One of them was about mother earth and her  creations and how a hunter continued to destroy it. Her other book was about a person who had a personality disorder where at night he was really sweet and kind, but in the day he was mean, cruel and rude.

Paul Marquez

His book was called the Devil’s Daughter.
The Father and the daughter despise each other.
The daughter believes that her father should not destroy humanity so she tries to foil his plans and save the victims of his plans. His book is fantasy and it’s for young adults (Y.A).

One of his series is about Indiana Jones meeting Iron Man.
The other series was called The Twelve Stones.
Both series were not my age group.It was for 18 year olds or higher. Vic Cabrera

Vic Cabrera wrote short stories about his life in Cuba.
It is titled My Cuban Story funny memories ,serious times.

Patrick Burdine
His story is titled Vampire’s Lover’s.

It is not my age group yet. There are good vampires and bad vampires that have developed into bloodthirsty monsters. The main character’s blood helps keep the good vampire’s alive and the bad vampires are trying to kill all the people with the special blood so only bad vampires are on the earth ,they don’t want any more good vampires on the earth.
Nancy Lorenz

Nancy Lorenz wrote about a girl that loved to dance but she faces conflicts when they move from New York to California.Nancy Lorenz included real facts about ballerinas because she was a ballet dancer.Her book is Y.A.

Allison Morse
Allison Morse wrote a book called The Sweetheart Deal. It is very light, The main character wants to be the head of her family's company and another man tries  to take over the company.
LeeAnne Hansen

Her books are for adults. One of her books is titled Yonder and a male ghost haunts a living girl. Her other book is called Ghostlight and it’s about these actors in Scotland and they have a performance in a Scottish castle and a ghost haunts that castle.

Barbara Sheppard

Barbara Sheppard wrote a little book and its purpose is to remind us to live life and enjoy it.

Cheryl Holt

She has written 40 books. One of her books is about a girl and when she is very little and her parents die and she gets separated from her siblings and neither of her brothers remember and one day she remembers and goes on a mission to find them.

Charles Duffie

Charles Duffie is Nara’s father.

He has written two comics, and one fairy tale about a Mole and an Owl.
Note the poster!
Nancy Cole Silverman

She wrote a book titled Shadow of Doubt and it’s about a reporter that dies from poisoned bath salts… who did it?

Christine Ashworth

She writes romance with mystery in them. Her book has a music star whose live is being threatened.

Now that I've read Victoria's notes I wish I had been able to dip into more of the books. I have read Allison Morse's The Sweetheart Deal and Christine Ashworth's Star books and loved them. Alison and I belonged to the same SCBWI critique back in 2008. Christine is the former president of LARA-RWA, which was well represented at the signing. 
Conclusions: No one was making many sales. Most book signings aren’t huge money making events. Don’t spend a lot of money on promotional items. Bookmarks or postcards are good. Candy is excellent. Cookies home made? Gold. A poster with review snippets which people can read easily, with a sticker giving a show special price is an excellent idea. Next time I will get a Square Reader so I can take credit cards. Write on!


  1. Victoria,
    Thanks for the coverage. Twelve year old author? Sheeesh. When I was twelve, I was too busy reading comics to write anything.

  2. Thanks for this post. Did you have to pay a table fee? I usually sell about 8 books at each event I go to and that usually doesn't gover gas, wear and tear on the car and my copies, but at least I get out there.

    1. No table fee. And I don't think anyone sold very many,

  3. Great comments. I usually have a paper craft project for the kids - something simple or I give away paper butterflies that I've made. Xina is right; the cost of these events does not usually pay for the cost of a table. But it is a way to get your name out there and to promote your books. I also enjoy talking with kids and parents. Because I also give book making and paper classes to children, it is a good way to add prospective students to my email list and advertise my free classes.

    1. That's great. Love the idea of book making and Paper classes

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! :)

    1. You're welcome, Jill. Encino Elementary School is doing an event on December 3rd if any of your authors are interested.


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