Monday, May 14, 2007

Book Signing Jitters

Book Signing Jitters


Heide AW Kaminski

I took a flyer to the local newspaper. I drove around with a flyer attached to my rear windshield for several weeks. Heck, I even got a local radio station to make an announcement.

And now I am sitting at the café.


Such is the fate of an unknown author. Just in case I brought with me not only the books I am here to sell and sign today, but also copies of my other print books (three more) and copies of all of the anthologies that include stories of mine: 15 all together.

You look at my books and you look at my resume and you must think “Dang! She’s got to be making a living off her books.”

Not so.

A few days ago, I received a royalty check. $2.01. Yup, two dollars and one cent.

I spent two years writing this book?

Calculate the hours I put in and figure out my hourly wage. Could make a spot in the Guinness Record book for lowest pay ever?

Not so.

I’d be competing with thousands of other authors for that spot!

So why do we do it? Why do we slave over this fruitless occupation?

Two reasons:

It’s an obsession. It’s a hunger, an addiction you just can’t break. I was born that way. From the moment I could speak, I told stories. From the moment I could maneuver a crayon across paper, I filled note pads, napkins, placemat, scrap papers with stories.

Some authors make it. Either they have a famous or influential parent or are already known as a singer/actor/politician, etc. (in which case the already wealthy person not only gets a hefty advance – regardless of talent – and also free mega advertising, or they have a publisher’s clearing house moment: sheer luck (in which case talent helps, but talent alone is worth nothing, you need talent and sheer luck.)

Just like millions of people waste their money gambling, thousands of budding authors waste their time and dreams hoping for the one moment when an important person catches a glance of their labor and enough of a glance to glance again and realize “Hey, this has potential!”

My book signing started half an hour ago. No one has come into the café yet, not even the people who promised they’d be there.

There are four customers who were already here when I arrived. One’s an older woman who looks as though she’s off the streets, lingering here for a comfy couch and free coffee.

Three men are avidly discussing topics such as yoga.

Should I approach them?

I am a shy writer.

Public speaking is not my forte. How am I ever going to make it in the lime light? Trust me, I’ll blossom!!!

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Henri, the Ghostest With the Mostest

Henri insisted I blog about this. I say it's not doing his ego any good since it's inflated as it is, but how can you turn a ghost down when he's at the height of his infamy?

Ah well, okay, here goes...

Ronda of Storyation just blogged him here.

Over the Hill Boomer Chick just blogged him here.
Cat Muldoon blogged him here.

And just when you thought you'd heard it all, Henri is now going on a virtual book tour. It's not my idea. It's his. Just because he was nosying around when I was setting up tour dates for my clients.

He has this fetish for Coors Light and he was rummaging through my fridge, found one in the back, and plopped himself down on the love seat. And stared.

"What?" I asked.

"Nothing," he said.

I turned my attention back to the computer screen and I heard pop, then a belch. Then, the can was thrown across my living room.

I jerked around, ready to give it to him where the sun don't shine, when he said, "So, when am I going on tour?"

I really didn't think I heard him right, so I ignored him.

Big mistake.

My computer shut off right in the middle of some really important work and I knew when Henri started shutting machinery off, it was time to listen.

I whirled around in my computer chair and said, "What. Is. Your. Problem???"

"I don't have a problem."

He could be so incorrigible!

"Okay, okay, you can have a freaking tour! Will you just turn my computer back on???"

So, that's how Henri got his first virtual book tour. The way he struts around, you would think he wrote the whole freaking book, but I really like my computer on, so Henri now has a tour page up at and he's going on tour in June.

It ought to be quite interesting. He promised he wouldn't cuss, pass gas, nor make rude and obscene remarks to the blog hosts, but I'm watching his every move. Anyone who could actually have the nerve to make out with one of the girls trying to find this ghost for this man who is pining for his dead wife, I must say has a lot of chuzpah.

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