Amanda Barber

Stories, songs, and thoughts on life.

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Book Signings and Other Hazards

10 October 2013

This was my first big week of book signings. How do I describe it? Maybe by how I felt at the end—exhausted. I started out the week with the interview with Brenda Layne on WSJM. That went quite well and I enjoyed it. I taught music students the rest of the afternoon and all day Wednesday. On Thursday, I taught music and gave a lecture at Dowagiac Public Library in the evening. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all book signings—one at Parable Books, and two at Barnes and Noble locations. So, you can imagine why I was tired.

At Barnes and Noble, Mishawaka

It’s really coming home to me that American culture or I should say, American attention spans are extremely diluted. In other words, people are spread so thin right now, that the likelihood of them remembering that I had a book signing or even being able to attend if they did remember, is incredibly thin. If you think about all the concerts, events, activities and things you were personally invited to last week, I think you’ll know what I mean. My publicist worked hard to get the word out about my events, and just a handful of people showed up to any of them. The fact is, we live in a noisy world. People are positively bombarded with messages, things to do and places to go. To me, it’s amazing even a few of them heard my small voice last week. So, this book promotion thing is proving to be as hard as I thought it would be! Yet, there were good signs, as well, and small steps taken in the right direction.

In spite of the small turnout to all the events I did last week, I still got rid of quite a few books. I made a number of contacts with store managers and customers. In fact, I just got off the phone with a freelance writer who called to interview me for a piece he’s doing for Publishers Weekly on new authors and self-publishing. He got my name through the manager of Parable Books in St. Joseph. So, through that little book signing, it looks like I’m going to have my name in a well-known periodical. Every little bit helps!

Humorous happenings at book signings: Often times, people would mistake me for an employee. At Parable, for instance, one lady asked me where Beverly Lewis’ latest book was. I snickered to myself and went to help her find it. That happened a couple of times. So, I’d just point people in the right direction or find their books for them and then steer them back to mine. So sneaky. At Barnes and Noble, I’d get these confused guys coming up to my table asking, “Man, don’t they have bathrooms in here?” “Right there, in the corner,” I’d reply. Or there’d be that random guy that would walk up and start flirting or offer to buy me coffee. Ugh. Oh, well. Modus operandi: deflect admiration from me to book.

So, I carry on. I’ll be back next week to report on my book signing this Saturday at Barnes and Noble in Holland, MI.

Something of interest: The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club was accepted at the Flint Film Festival. This festival is competitive, so we have the potential to win an award. It’ll be showing at 7:30, tomorrow night. We shall see what happens with that!