Author Antics

Newsflash: I am giving away a copy of my latest book, You ARE Good Enough, as a Christmas gift to all my blog-readers – see below

I survived the book signing.

As an author, it was one of the most uplifting experiences of my hitherto short career.

I signed my book at the annual Ladies Lunch Club Christmas Market. We went to scout out the location and set up on the Thursday afternoon. I took my friend Sharon Duerst of the Mending Stone Blog’s advice and gathered together a few suitable props beforehand: a shabby chic table, two chairs and a few more bits and bobs. The idea was to re-create a Frenchwoman’s boudoir, as background setting for selling my French Woman’s Confidence Secrets book.

The setting was glorious. It is still autumn here. The vineyards are in full autumn swing, sporting colours that defy natural law: brilliant red, glowing ruby, bright orange and yellow…The location was a several- centuries-old wine-producing château, deep in the heart of the vineyards of Gascony. If I had to choose somewhere to do my first book signing ever, I could not have invented anything better.

The Christmas market’s vernissage was on the Friday evening. This included a wine tasting. Obviously. The Chateau de Millet did us proud. Intent on staying sober, I only had a glass the Chardonnay. I am not a huge Chardonnay fan, but this one was divine. The tasting room was large, on two levels, so there was ample space for all the stalls. I was the only one selling and signing books. There was a huge variety of Christmas presents and decorations on sale. There was also a stall selling breads and cakes in aid of a refugee family in Eauze.

The vernissage was well attended. During the three hours it lasted, we sold all books I had ordered, except for three that I promised to hold onto for friends. I say we, because my husband sold at least half of that number. He mostly chatted to the menfolk while they tasted the wines. He might have mentioned, once or twice, that his wife is selling her book and would that not make a great Christmas present? So difficult to find a suitable Christmas present for the Missus, isn’t it?

I rarely got to sit down behind my snazzy little table. I signed most books standing up. I mostly remembered to add one of the controversial bookmarks advertising my next book to each book I signed. I severely miscalculated, though, I did not order enough books. I did not take into account that some people may buy more than one book. One woman bought three books, one for each of her daughters. Which meant I ended the evening with a list of e-mails from people who would like to buy a book, as soon as I have more in stock.

All this was wonderfully gratifying, but it was not the best part of the evening. The very best part of the whole experience was the people I met. I met the most amazing people, people that I would probably never have come across otherwise. Most conversations started with ”So what is your book about?” This was followed by me stuttering nervously, ”It is about women…er, French women…and about what other women can learn from them about being self-assured and self-confident…” in whatever language I was addressed in: Dutch, French or English. Luckily, most people promptly soldiered on with another question and before we knew it, we had found a common interest and were chatting away as if we were old friends. That was the best part of the book signing. The people.

The second best part was the e-mails in my inbox on Saturday morning. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t. The vernissage finished at 20h00. At 23h21, the first e-mail arrived. Several followed, saying how much the reader was enjoying the book and could they please order another for a friend, daughter, mother or sister? I was amazed. Admittedly, I had started to receive unsolicited 5-star reviews on Amazon, but until now, most people who said the book was good were friends and family. Not altogether unbiased, in other words, so I took the praise with a pinch of salt.

The euphoria wore off way too soon, sadly. Especially as I have been very busy with the editing and publishing of my latest book called ”You ARE Good Enough.” It is much shorter than the others, only 89 pages. It is available in print on Amazon for $4.99. 

One last thing about the book signing: The sweetest thing that happened was when the wife of the owner of Chateau Millet, who does not speak a word of English, bought my book (in English) for her daughter, who apparently does speak a few words of English. I hope the book lives up to her expectations, otherwise I shall have to go and buy our Chardonnay somewhere else!

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To all my blog-readers: To thank you for your support over the last year, I am giving away free copies of my 89-page e-book “You ARE Good Enough – A 10-Step Strategy to Stop Sabotaging Yourself” via this link: Merry Christmas to my Blog Readers!


21 Replies to “Author Antics”

  1. That’s a fantastic outcome – you must have been overjoyed with the response – and good on your husband for being so proactive in his sales to the husbands!

  2. I am so happy for you!! And, this was such an encouragement for me.. thanks so much for sharing!! Vicki- formerly horses dirt and motherhood blog.

  3. Wow! So thrilled for you Margaretha! What an incredible first signing! It’s not a bad thing to run out of books – readers will be impressed by how popular you are! Thank you for the mention of my advice on ways to allay your nerves for the signing! Sweet! Glad something I learned helped someone else! And also, thank you for mentioning my blog which is named after my first book, Mending Stone.(shameless plug – available on Amazon) Wishing you great success! You’re on your way! This inspires me to write and post some of my experiences – I agree with you – the people are incredible!

    1. You are welcome to plug anything at any time, Sharon. It is partly due to your good advice (and encouragement) that everything went so well. If you ever want to do a guest post, this blog now has nearly 11 000 organic followers…

    1. Thank you, Christina. Just so you know, I plugged your Facebook group, BlogShareLove, in my book “French Women’s Confidence Secrets.” Best Facebook group I have ever joined. Nearly our first anniversary!

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