Book signing come and done

Yeah, that’s me up there. And yeah, that’s my paraphernelia from the book signing I was just at. After months of pestering (ok, maybe ‘coaxing’ is a better word), I was able to get a book signing organized at my alma mater, Mount Union, in Alliance, OH. This was an exciting event tor me, especially how I was to be sitting with other alumni that published works. There weren’t any R.L. Stine’s or Stephen King’s sharing the floor with me, but it was a diverse crowd nonetheless.

A professor from Mount Union; an author of a children’s book; an alumni from the 1960s who wrote a book on selling…there was a whole slew of inspired writers who felt compelled to print something. And that’s just what they did. They put their thoughts to paper, as did I. That’s pretty darn cool from one writer to another.  I hate to use the term ‘neat’, but it was a ‘neat’ experience. Not grandiose or overwhelming, just really ‘neat’ to be in that environment with that type of atmosphere. That being said, I took some things away with me from the experience.

This was the first time I’d have to sit in front of people and explain how I’d come up with the idea. Sure, I’ve pitched the concept to close friends and relatives, but never to a total stranger. What should I say? What’s my pitch? I had a few ideas how I’d present myself but when the time came, I altered this pitch slightly. This was all very dependent on who my audience was. An elderly gentleman asked me just what the heck someone could learn from video games, to which I replied, “Probably nothing, but you can certainly buy my book to find out.”

He did not purchase but I think it’s because he didn’t have any cash on him.

On the other end of the spectrum, a young girl came by with her father to inquire on my book. The father was an alum; the daughter a senior in high school. The father was trying to show his daughter around campus in hopes that she would choose Mount Union upon her high school graduation. She explained to me that though she liked Mount’s campus, she preferred another school instead. I told her that’s all part of the journey and if you feel comfortable somewhere else, then you should follow your instincts. We chatted about her choice of major, the other school, and what year her father was graduated (I guessed conservatively, of course). The daughter then asked what there was for her to know about playing video games within my book. I replied,”I’m not sure but you can buy a copy to find out.”

She, like the elderly gentleman, did not purchase but I believe it was due to her lack of interest in Mount Union, not my book necessarily (or at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself).

In all honesty, I didn’t press my book that much. In fact, I did much of the opposite. I sat back, shot the breeze with my friends and family who came by to support me (much props to you guys) and calmly chatted up the people who came by my booth. When the smoke cleared, I realized that I had gotten the word out on my book to a few folks, but whether or not I made a real impact is another story entirely. My efforts to make the book signing happen was my victory so anything additional was going to be just that – additional.

I need to change that frame of mind. You may have compiled the resources to get up the mountain, but what about the actual hike to your destination? It’ll take more than setting up camp at the base to get up that trail. And so, I have my work cut out for me. Again. The idea is there, the pieces are set in motion, and all that remains is more push to keep things moving along. Back to the laptop I suppose. I’m sure there are more venues and signings just waiting to be crashed by yours truly.

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