Monday, October 14, 2013

My First Book Signing...Or Not

Good Morning. Well, for those of you who have been following the saga of the bully and me, let me just say, I have triumphed over adversity. The Parent Volunteer room is now officially, the "Gift Card Corner Office", I will be getting a brand new file cabinet with sturdy lock, have been allowed to implement the new "ledger" as well as single page reconciling sheet (no more 28 pages of useless paperwork every week) and I will now be filing any and all reports that need to come out of that office. (I have since learned that Tina* only filed the reports to help me out -- she knew I was inundated as the new coordinator. At least that was her story. Ahem.)

Anyway, this Friday is my first book signing for the school project I have been working on since last April. It's a cozy novella about two teachers in 1809. Well, technically the two teachers who won the prize I had in the auction "Be a Character in a Story".

Now I've known for about 6 weeks I'm going to be signing books this Friday night the 18th at the Fall Festival. I put the final final final touches on it about 3 weeks ago. I formatted it for paperback and have had my proof since then. I made the necessary changes and put it on sale last Sunday.

With all the aforementioned drama sucking the life out of me, I completely lost track of time. I thought I still had another week to order the books and get them shipped to me. I ordered them Thursday night.

So when I ordered my proof copy, as I ordered all my other proof copies, they get to me in about 4 days because the plant where they make them is in South Carolina. I didn't think any differently about ordering 50 books. I mean hey, they're made in South Carolina right? It's only a spit away as the crow flies.

When I hit the shipping and handling button, and my receipt came up on the screen, it said they would be shipped to me BEFORE October 24. I looked at the date and didn't really think about it because I knew I had another week before the Fall Festival. (The mind plays mysterious tricks on you when you least expect it.)

Uh, guess what, the Fall Festival is on the 18th. Which I knew. That's THIS Friday. Which somehow, I didn't know. Well, I did, but I didn't. You know. And BEFORE could mean on the 23rd, or the 19th. I think it's going to take a big fat miracle to get them to me BEFORE the 18th. ( Like on the 16th so the teacher who is also supposed to sign them can actually sign them before she leaves for her son's engagement party on the morning of the 18th.)

And you may wonder why I didn't just click "expedited shipping". Well because 50 books is $23 standard. Then $45 for 5 days, then for two days $129.99. I don't know about you, but my checkbook balance isn't all that. (And no the school isn't paying for any of this. And when I figured out my profit after all is said and done, it's 50 cents a book. Which is why I'm not doing this again next year for the auction.)

Needless to say, I have no idea whether or not I'll be having a book signing at the Fall Festival this Friday night. *face palm* *face palm* and just for good measure *head desk*

I told the school secretary what I did, and she said, "Don't worry about it." I told her what I could do is make copies of the cover (on nice card stock) and hand those out instead. Take names and payment and when the books come in, sign them and send them home with the kids. She thought that was a reasonable idea.

But man, *face palm* *head desk* how inept can a person be? Okay, how inept can I be that I didn't get the books like two weeks ago so even if they do come in before Friday, I won't be running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

And generally something like this really wouldn't bother me, but we've been talking it up at school and everyone is excited to read it. Total Fail.

Tell me -- Have you ever lost track of time -- which I'm sure you have -- but has it completely rendered you brain dead? And just in case the books do come in, what do I do? How do I sign them? With just my name? Some kind of simple salutation? What do you suggest? Happy Reading? Thanks for reading? Hope you like it? None of the above? What do I have on the table? Candy? (I have no swag. Again, brain dead.)

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013


Maria Zannini said...

First off, congrats on putting that bully behind you.

Re" signing and time
Ugh! These things drives me insane.

The cover flap is a good idea, or even bookmarks.

Keep your signing simple. You'll end up with writer's cramp if you have more than a dozen books to sign.

Unless it's a close friend, I sign most books with: "Enjoy, and my name".

Em-Musing said...

Triumphant is good. And perhaps all that drama made you brain mush when it came to your book signing and the time to order your books. Very recently, I was supposed to send $$ to an editor. I totally forgot. Felt like an idiot. If the signing goes on, I wish you a large turnout.

Liza said...

I like the idea of a post card, or a book mark. As for signing, how about including the name of your daughter's school, since it's a fundraiser? Unless that would lead to writer's cramp.

J.B. Chicoine said...

Probably the most important thing with a book signing (and bear in mind, I've only done one, but it did go pretty well) is look people in the eye and SMILE, be approachable. Just sign your name on the title page, unless someone asks for something specific. Have fun.

Oh, and I think your alternate plan (in case the books don't arrive in time) is really good. Relax! :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Thank you Ladies for all your support. I feel like such a spazz. And I will take it in stride. I suppose worse things could have happened during the last few weeks and flipping out over a shipment of books won't get them here any faster. Right?

I suppose the cover copies on card stock is really the only thing I can do. I don't have any money for bookmarks, otherwise I would have done that. But if I make the copies small enough, they could be used as well. Right?

Maybe I'll play around with my Word Publisher program today and see what I can come up with. They won't be all that, but it will be something.

Sarah Ahiers said...

aww suck! But i will cross my fingers that maybe the books will arrive in time.
But! I do think bookmarks or cover sheets are a good solution

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like you've been very, very busy and have accomplished a lot, personal and professional.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Aww, so sorry about this! Last year for Bonded, that hurricane on the East coast made it so that the bookstore where I had my launch didn't get my books on time. Luckily, I had some copies to take -- just a few -- but I'm no big fancy author, so it was enough for the small group that came. However, I've seen authors do signings with no book before because of some reason or another. I've seen them sign book plates before (just printed labels), or bookmarks, etc. As long as you have a way to give people a receipt and a promise to ship or hand them the book when it comes in, I think you should be okay. It sounds like people already know about and want the book, so that's a plus. And you know they're coming. Candy on your table is always good. Bookmarks are good, or business cards. I like the idea of the cover printed out too. :)

Shelley Sly said...

Aww, Anne. These things happen. I'm an expert at losing track of time or completely misreading/misinterpreting something. It'll all work out okay.

Re: the drama... I'm shaking my head at how, as adults, we still run into "high school" level drama sometimes. Glad things are working out for you now.

Linda G. said...

I lose track of time ALL THE TIME. My theory is, time really is speeding up. That's why it gets away from us so easily. (Hey, it's POSSIBLE. I mean, I'm told anything is, so why not this perfectly reasonable excuse?)

February Grace said...

Lately I lose track of time all the time. I look at the calender and go hey-- what?

Sending you huge hugs. Sorry I haven't been around, been a rough patch but I am trying to do better at keeping up especially with the people dear to my heart. Like you <3 <3 <3



J.L. Campbell said...

Oh, boy. I can only imagine how stressed you've been over all this. Things can and do slip by us when we're doing too many things at a time.

Next time you do a signing, this experience will help keep you on target.

Old Kitty said...

Awww well I hope and just know your book signing went off with a bang!! I hope you had a lot of fun too!! Yay!

I'm sorry to read about this Tina person. :-(

My best advice is to ignore adversity and carry on!!! Be like your own feisty heroines! You know in your heart you are in the right! Take care