By the time you read this, I will be coming to the end of a much needed break in stunning Scotland. (Sadly it’s not one I can write about for CFT as there’s no question of using our lovely railway station as a starting point!).
Yet when I get back, it will be the start of a new adventure, in many ways, as I prepare for my first book signing at the railway station. Many thanks to Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership for their support in making the signing happen.
The opening of the new Chandler's Ford railway station on 19th October 2003 pic.twitter.com/i2ruAFNN30
— Eastleigh History (@Eastleighistory) August 5, 2015
This is, appropriately, the beginning of a new stage of my writer’s journey and I hope to have further signings later in the year. I also hope to be joining in with other local authors with events in the area. More details will appear in Chandler’s Ford Today nearer to the time of each of them. How do I know? I am planning to write several of them….!
How will the signing on 8th July go? I’ve no idea (which is why such events are fun and exciting and nerve wracking!) but I hope it will be fun, that people who may not have heard of flash fiction go away with a better idea of what it is, and if I can sell a few books, great.
It is all about building up the profile, both for me and the book. (It’s not just the book that is the “product” these days. The author is too – you have to get your name out there as that is what people remember – so you work with that. The secret, if there is one, is to only ever project who you really are. Not only is that easier to keep up, you come across as “natural” for the good reason that’s precisely what you are being!).
I also hope to spread the word about independent presses, such as Chapeltown Books, being an excellent way of helping people to get a voice. They really do give authors a voice in an era where the bigger publishing houses will not take the risks. Indeed it is not unknown for bigger publishers to look at the smaller presses and, if someone is doing particularly well, sign them up. As with agents, smaller independent presses can sometimes act as a filter for the bigger publishers.
I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Chapeltown Books now (especially Gill James) and also to Janet Williams, who advised on the poster up above and her compliments to my skill as a copywriter!
At the signing, I plan to do some readings, answer peoples’ questions about flash fiction and so on. One nice thing that has come from reviews of From Light to Dark and Back Again is that is a good read for journeys so I hope to convey that at the signing.
There will also be some giveaways for the first five people to buy a copy of the book from me on the day.
(This isn’t on the poster deliberately as you really can put too much information on these things and I wanted to focus on the type of stories in the book. If people like the sound of that, then there’s a better chance of them coming to the signing. I’m not convinced giveaways in themselves actually do that. What they do achieve is reward those who were coming and likely to buy your book anyway. It is rewarding customer loyalty when all is said and done).
Chapeltown Books have designed my book deliberately as an ideal size to be a gift book. The way it looks is the start of a brand too. The second one in the series by Gill James called January Stones has a blue frame with a photographic image in the middle and looks very striking as she has used a monochrome image which works well.
As for my book, From Light to Dark and Back Again will cost £5.00 per individual paperback copy but I will charge £8.00 if people want a second copy, £12.00 if they want a third etc.
I was at the Winchester Writers’ Festival on 17th June and it was fantastic to meet up with a writing friend who I met for the first time at Swanwick last year. It was also great to make new writing friends. This aspect of networking and conferences can be overlooked sometimes I think. Anyway, the book, Chapeltown Books and I all received an “honourable mention” and a round of applause over the Festival Dinner. Loved that of course and I left postcards about the book at the Festival.
From little acorns etc etc. (Appropriate in oak filled Chandler’s Ford!).
So here we go… and maybe I’ll see you on the 8th.
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.