Local Author Open House Recap, By the Numbers

Well, all, we’ve got another authorial first in the books. (Unintentional puns = 1. Apologies = 0.) This past Saturday saw me at Cook Memorial Public Library, taking part in their first annual Local Authors Open House. Here’s the rundown:

A heck-ton = The friends I invited to drop by and support me.

0 = The friends who came. *sad trombone*

(Part of me wishes this could’ve come as a surprise. The rest of me is just grateful I was braced for the total letdown, saving me from a brutal crush of devastation.)

Over 30 = The members of the public who I’m told did make an appearance – including my parents, sisters, and baby nephew, as well as a friend of a friend who even went so far as to bring me a cup of coffee. So props and thanks to all of them!

12 = Other authors in the [open] hizz-ouse.

More than 0 = The books I needed to sell in order to feel like a non-failure.

4 = The books I sold; three “Swan Prince”s and an “Inspired”. (If I rightly recall. I have yet to do an official cash/inventory count, ‘cause I’m kind of person who needs recovery time after this sort of thing.) So… roughly 1 in 7 or 8 attendees purchased a book up front. Doesn’t sound too shabby.

In retrospect, I’m wondering whether or not I would have done well to lower the price of the books on the table. I had them at their regular Amazon price, minus shipping and handling, rounded up to the nearest whole dollar number. Perfectly fair pricing, to be sure, though perhaps if I’d been willing to throw away any dreams of profit in favor of asking for a more attractive amount (say, $5 for each Wilderhark Tale, $10 for the novel), I might have moved more merchandise. Hard to know for sure. In any event, pretty much everyone who stopped at my table at least made off with a free “Swan Prince” bookmark, complete with my web address on the back, so time will tell whether I manage any down-the-road sales that way.

More than 1 = The people who saw my advert for “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” (which you can totally add on Goodreads, as of yesterday!) and essentially said, “Oh, that’s not out yet? It looks cool.” Which, of course, is just what one hopes to hear. ^_^

Number 1 best part of the event = There was this girl who showed up. Let’s call her Carolyn. Bright little ray of sunshine, asking about my self-pub experience, trading stories about participating in NaNoWriMo. She moved on from my table after grabbing a bookmark to investigate the other authors present, and later made her way back around again to chat with me, my mother (aka the one to thank for all the photos present in this blog post) and Bruce, the author seated next to me.

By and by, Bruce took it into his head to give Carolyn a free copy of his book – a “we semi-established authors have to reach out and nurture the up-and-coming writers of tomorrow” sort of gesture. And darned if Bruce’s act of generosity didn’t ignite a wildfire in me, roaring, “CAROLYN’S AWESOME! I WANNA GIVE HER A BOOK, TOO!” So just like that, our young friend made off with two gladly given freebies, including a signed copy of “Inspired”.

Whoever would have guessed that the highlight of my sales opportunity would be the chance to make a gal stammer with joy over a book given away? ;D

Many more = Events like this that I hope I’ll get to do in the future!

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10 thoughts on “Local Author Open House Recap, By the Numbers

  1. Awesome! Is this the first year the library has done that event? If so, I’d recommend that they market it more for upcomming years. That happened with the event I went to and it improved in the 2nd year in my opinion. Although, to be fair, it rained a lot the first year. XD Glad you had a great time! Would you attend next time?

    • They called this Open House the “first annual”, so it sounds like they’re definitely planning to make it a yearly thing. I’m honestly not sure yet where I’ll be this time, next year (here? Germany? Elsewhere in Europe?), but if I can swing it, I would happily set up a table again. ^_^ And yeah, the more participants hyping these kinds of events in the weeks leading up to it, the better the odds of success.

  2. Everybody comes to the first book launch, then it peters out event by event, right? You never know what you’re in for with signings. I’ve been there, for hours, grateful for any conversation. 🙂 You have a great attitude, Danielle. Multi-author events are nice, too, because you get to meet other local writers and know you’re not alone in the lonely boat.

    Hey, I finally got myself a Kindle and bought Inspired! (I couldn’t get it in Canada any other way. So eventually, of course, the Kindle had to happen.) So entertaining!

    • “Alone in the lonely boat”… I may make that my new euphemism for when I’m feeling forsaken. X) As for my attitude, well, it tends to swing wildly from one moment to the next, but I try to scrape together my best for the ol’ blog.

      SQUEE, you’ve experienced INSPIRED?! I am all a-thrill — thank you so much! My mom just got her first e-reading device over Christmas, and bless her heart, the Wilderhark Tales were her first purchases. ❤

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