Last Month marked two firsts for me. I attended my first writer’s conference, Romance Slam Jam. I also had my first book signing. My books have been out for two years now so you must be wondering why I’ve waited so long to do a book signing. The simple answer: fear. I had always been afraid I would be that person surrounded by piles of my books, fidgeting and twiddling my thumbs while readers passed me by afraid to make eye contact.
But the book signing at the Romance Slam Jam conference was different. It was a mega book signing with scores of authors of African American Romance signing books at the same time. I was comforted in the thought that I would not be alone.
The authors were all arranged in alphabetical order so I just happened to share a table with the legend of AA romance, Rochelle Alers. She had been writing for over 25 years with scores of titles under her belt and a huge fan base, so you know I was intimidated. Here I was with my table piled with my books, sign in sheet for contact info and a beautiful smile to greet my readers. Ms Alers had herself and a pen only. But the line to Ms Alers’ tables stretched as far as the eyes could see. And mines? Well I was fortunate to have one or two saunter to my side of the table occasionally.
So I fidgeted with my pen. I made eye contact with Ms Alers’s fans hoping my charming smile would draw someone to my side of the table. I chatted on the cell phone. Then one by one, several of Ms Alers’s fans came over to my side of the table, the book cover having enticed them. Quite a few purchased my books for me to sign. Turns out, being next to a veteran was a good thing after all. People who had never heard of Jewel Amethyst were now interested in my books. I got new readers. Several have since contacted me via Facebook telling me how much they enjoyed my book.
And as an added bonus, I made a new acquaintance: a legend of black romance. She paid me the best compliment a veteran could pay a novice. She asked me to sign her copy of my book. I was in writer’s heaven!
So what’s your book signing adventure?