Tonight I attended our county library's annual Local Authors Night. As an AUTHOR! Although my first book published almost a year ago, this is the first official author-to-reader, one-on-one event I've done. It was a good turnout of authors and guests. Eleven authors set up on tables in two areas of the library, in the main stacks and in the children's room.
I'm lousy at remembering the pitch of my books*, but I found a better way to introduce people to it. I should have thought of it before.
First I said 'Hi', then I told the visitor, "My book is a contemporary Scottish romance suitable for all ages." (Right off this told the visitor the heat level of my book and would give them the idea they could buy a copy for a daughter or granddaughter if they themselves weren't interested in romance.) Then I said, "I brought together all the things I love: painting watercolors, which I've done for 30 years; Scotland, which fascinates me; and writing, which I've done for ten years." This opened up topics for conversation. I opened the book and showed the illustrations and people were impressed with the fact that I painted them on location.
Quite a few people said they had Scottish ancestors or current family in Scotland. It was fun to compare stories about traveling in Scotland.
The first book I sold was to a past college teacher who recognized me after fifteen years. It was good to visit with him again.
The author sitting behind me had a book of love poems he'd written during a long distance relationship. Whenever a lady would come by he would offer to read her a poem. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite hear him even though I tried to eavesdrop.
Another author had nine books in his mystery series that takes place locally. I've always wanted to read one of his books since I first heard about him. Now he has nine? I'll never catch up.
I met a psychic who was written stories about ghost encounters at local historic sites. She organizes author and artist events and said she'll let me know about her next event. She was like an instant 'old friend'.
There was a wide range of topics and genres represented at the event. Something for everyone. I enjoyed the evening very much.
*I over heard a few other authors stumbling over their pitches, too. I recently learned in a promotion workshop that the pitch is not just to give to an agent or editor, but also what you should be ready to recite when anyone asks: What's your book about?