I vaguely knew of the NM Book Co-Op before this meeting. It was something I heard mentioned or saw in e-newsletters—but this was the first time I've attended one of their meetings, and I was really impressed.
Okay, it was held at a local Golden Corral Restaurant, but I'd never been to one before and had little idea what to expect… it was kind of like a food theme park. LOL
The Co-Op had a private room for the meeting though, and once everyone had had a chance to eat and socialize for a bit, the meeting began. There was general news and open discussion, mostly about the Tucson Festival of Books. Apparently this is an amazing event—people that had attended only had wonderful things to say. I also got an earful about promoting your books in general—little did I know I'm supposed to have a box of my own books in the trunk of my car at all times (I have to admit, I've missed out on quite a few sales in the past year just because I was only carrying one copy of my book on me) and sell sheets.
The theme for the meeting was 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Book Signings'. Local authors Anne Hillerman and Don Bullis, plus local indie bookseller and 'author herder' Ollie Reed. They all had personal takes on the subject, the the overall messages were: be prepared, work/schmooze/SELL (don't just sit there and smile), find organizations and events that relate to your book–outside bookstores!, the more you say yes—the more contacts & connections you make, send out your own press releases, and oh yeah, BE PREPARED. ;)
|Don Bullis, Anne Hillerman, and Ollie Reed talk about Book Signing Events|
*I also entered my little picture book in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. Keeping my fingers crossed!