Monday, May 26, 2008

My First Check From a Book Signing.

Check out my first check from my first book signing at a book store.
This check is from my book signing at Barnes & Noble in Denton, Texas. Their arrangement was for me to bring my own books to the book signing and they would take 20% from my book sales and sent me the rest.
My first book signing experience:
Books Tom purchased while browsing the book store $37.21.
Snacks for Tom and three grandchildren $15.98
Books I bought from my fellow self-published authors $45.47
Book signing celebration at steak house $176.29

My profit from book sales after cost of books and Barnes & Noble’s 20% $20.08

In the red for $254.91

Book signing with family in Texas-- PRICELESS!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My First Royalties From My Publisher

My publisher posts my royalties for my books they sold on their web site after two months of selling them. I checked their web today and in January I earned $0.00 in royalties. In February I earned $1.79 in royalties and in March I earned $1.79 in royalties. So far I earned a total of $3.58 in royalties. I have direct deposit into my checking account. They pay quarterly. I guess I can wait for my money. Wow! They sure must have done some extensive promoting to have sold two books in four months. I guess I’m on my own for promoting and selling my book!
So far I have three book signings lined up. This Saturday I will be at Borders Express at the Shenango Valley Mall from 12:00-2:00p.m. I have a book signing at the Borders Book Store in Niles on June 14 from 1:00-3:00p.m. I am giving a presentation at the Sharon Library on August 14th at 6:00p.m. in the community room.
Hope to see you Saturday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Second Book Signing in a Book Store.

Check out the display for my book signing on Saturday, May 24th. I have posted flyers around town about my book signing. Thursday a friend of mine and I are going to pass out flyers around my neighborhood. I hope this book signing at Borders Express is as successful as the one I had at the Barnes & Noble in Texas.
Saturday I went to my sister-in-law’s garage sale and set up a table. I sold one book to a friend I worked with when we were teenagers. A few people said they were coming to my book signing on Saturday. This book signing was very similar to the one I had in Texas at Maureen’s garage sale. It was a freezing cold day and I had to wear my winter coat, hat, and gloves.
Come to my book signing at Borders Express in the Shenango Valley Mall on Saturday, May 24th from 12:00-2:00pm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It Pays to be Persistent

Yesterday after my fourth call to a local book store, I finally got a response. I guess you just have to talk to the right employee (whoever that may be). When I called and said, “I have been calling for a month and just want to know what the dates of your self-published author book signings are and if I could schedule one. I left two messages to the person in charge and she hasn’t returned my calls. Could you find out the dates?” Her response was, “Well this isn’t right someone should have gotten back to you. Give me your information and I will talk to the manager and either the manager or the public relations person will get right back to you. I am sorry for the delay.”
Well this morning at 8:00am I received a call with the information I requested and they are e-mailing me information about the procedure to get my book into the store for sale. I know it’s a long shot for the bookstores to display self-published author’s books on their shelves, but it’s worth a try!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Frustrations of Scheduling a Book Signing.

When I first pursued calling book stores to request a book signing, I didn’t realize no one would return my calls. First I called a book store and talk to an employee who would say, “We have a special person who takes care of setting up book signings. She or he is not in now. What is the name of your book? What is your phone number? She or he will call you.” After a week I would call again and repeat the same conversation I had the week before. Then I wait another week and call again this time I ask, “When will they be in the store?” Then they give me their cell phone number or voice mail number. I call and leave my message and wait another week and call again and leave another message.
I called the Barnes & Noble in the area and left two voice mail messages in the past month and she has not returned my calls. They have two book signings a year for self-published authors and I was inquiring about them.
The only book stores that I had no problem scheduling a book signing so far was at the Barnes & Noble in Denton, Texas and the Borders Express at the Shenango Valley Mall. I had no problem getting through to the person in charge. My book signing at the Borders Express is Saturday May, 24 at 12:00-2:00PM. If you are in the area stop by and see me. All the information that I have read about scheduling book signings say, “Just keep calling!”

Monday, May 12, 2008

Home from Texas

My book signing in Texas was a huge success. A special thanks to everyone who supported me.
I met many interesting people. It still amazes me how many people are interested in writing a book with thoughts of one day publishing it, but never pursue it. Maureen told me of a friend of hers that bought my book in December. After she read my book, she told Maureen that I inspired her to write her stories. She sent one of her stories to a magazine and won a contest. This gave her more confidence to write more. She had always had in the back of her mind to write children’s books. She had many ideas but never pursued writing.
I have been busy setting up book signings around town. My first is at Borders Express at the Shenango Valley Mall on May 24, from 12:00-2:00pm. Then on June 14th from 1:00-3:00pm I will be signing books at Borders located at 2102 Niles-Courtland Road in Niles, Ohio.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Garage Sale Book Sales.

Book Signing, Texas in March is a little cold.

Garage sales are definitely not the way to go to sell books! My expectations of selling books at a garage sale were right since everyone who came was looking for a bargain. In fact, many people would offer a lower price than what was on the already low priced items. But, Maureen still had some neighbors and friends who didn’t buy my book yet so I set up just in case one of them passed by. However, none did!! This is my first adventure of no sales!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Next Selling Adventure.

My next adventure in book selling will be Saturday at a neighbor of Maureen’s garage sale. I will be setting up a card table in her garage. This will be interesting since most people who attend garage sales are looking for bargains and I am not ready to discount my book yet. If you are in the area of Lake Country Drive in the Sundown Ranch Community in Denton, Texas. Stop by and see us!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Big Day Finally Arrived!

Maureen and Liz at the book signing. The Cartoon Character and Liz.

Preparing for the Book Signing

Friday I took my books to Barnes & Noble and met with the manager. He gave me some pointers on how to greet the customers. He suggested that I approach the customers and introduce myself and say something to the effect, “Hi! I am Liz. I am the author of “Help! I Married a Cartoon Character” and I will be signing books for the next couple of hours. You should really read this book because:” I asked him, “Why?”He said, “You know.” The problem is the book covers so many situations that I don’t know how to describe it in a couple of sentences. However, Maureen’s friends who have read the book say, “We appreciate our husbands more than ever after reading the book.”
I guess I should practice my book pitch before I go to the book signing. I am not good at being spontaneous. I usually think things through before going into a new situation. This is certainly going to be a challenge with all the different personalities I will come in contact with. This new technique is making me step out of my comfort zone. At my other book signings, I just sat and my relatives and friends of course approached me. They knew what the book is about since I have been keeping them posted about the books progress for the last 2 years.

My Experience at the Book Signing

The book signing was a huge success! The area where I signed books had balloons and signs with my name on. I really enjoyed talking to the other self published authors. It was quite an experience approaching the public. I got many different reactions from the people I approached; however most were pleasant. I particularly enjoyed talking to a gentleman who asked questions about my publishing, my style of writing, and which word processor I used to write my book.
The book signing was coming to an end and I still had not sold a book to a complete stranger. All the books I sold were to Maureen’s friends. I thought I sold a book to a stranger in December but it turned out to be my granddaughter’s friend. I didn’t recognize the last name. My book has been out for 4 months and I still have not sold a book to a stranger. Everyone is a relative, a friend of a relative, a friend, or a friend of a friend.
We were getting ready to pack up when the manager came over and asked, “Well! How did you do?” I said, “Okay! But it doesn’t count. Everyone that bought a book from me was a friend of my daughter. I haven’t sold a book to a stranger yet.” He turned and walked over to the counter and picked up the microphone and announced, “The author Liz Lally will be walking around the store with her book. She has not sold a book to a stranger yet so she will be approaching you and explaining to you why you should buy her book.” I was mortified! But my daughter grabbed my arm and said, “Let’s go!” So I picked up a book and started looking for a potential buyer. We came upon a couple gentlemen who didn’t look too threatening. I started giving them my sales pitch and while they were squirming a lady came up behind me and started talking to my daughter so I left the men off the hook and diverted my attention the woman. However, she was interested in a book for her niece’s birthday party. I said, “This is not a children’s book.” Then she said, “My sister is floating around here somewhere and she just said, “I am looking for a book to read this weekend.” So we followed her around looking for her sister. Finally, we found her sister and I gave her my sob story of never selling a book to a stranger and then I gave her my rehearsed sales pitch. She looked at the book and said, “Okay, I’ll buy it!” We all cheered! Than the manager brought over the balloons and took our picture. I took her name and address for when I am famous and go on Oprah. I will invite her to go with me. Since they were having a party that night the manager gave them the balloons for their party.

The first stranger to buy my book.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Denton Record-Chronicle article!

Wow! Check out this great article! I made the big time! Another “Ten Minutes of Fame!” I am going to buy more newspapers because I am sure my family would like a copy of the article from the newspaper

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Check this out!

This sign is located at the entrance of the Barnes & Noble book store in the Golden Triangle Mall! How cool is that! I walked around the store and the other entrance and found six similar signs. I first noticed the signs on Tuesday when we were shopping at the mall. My book signing is Saturday. I go to the mall everyday and admire my signs. I am really enjoying every moment of “My Ten Minutes of Fame.”
These signs are special because they are the first signs that someone else made to promote my book. Tom has made all the signs and flyers we used up until now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Promoting Barnes & Noble Book Signing.

My sister-in-law notified the staff of a firm that she works at in Dallas about Saturday’s book signing. Maureen sent an e-mail to all the staff at her school and tomorrow she is taking a flyer to Curves.

I went to Starbucks and Panera and posted a flyer on their bulletin board about my book signing. We called and sent letters to relatives and friends in the Denton area.

We are waiting to hear from a coffee shop in Dallas and a bookstore in Lewisville.
I am starting to get excited about the book signing. It is my first book signing at a book store.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Denton, Texas Snowstorm in March.

My book signing scheduled at the school library Friday was cancelled since the school was closed due to a snow storm. Who would think that Denton, Texas would get seven inches of snow in March? I will do that book signing later in the month after spring break.
We didn’t cancel the wine and cheese book signing at Maureen’s house since the snow was melted off the roads by noon. The book signing was a success and I enjoyed meeting Maureen’s friends. I read a story from the chapter titled The Romantic and Maureen read her favorite story from that chapter. In a couple of weeks we are going to get together and have a Book Club and talk about my book.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Confirming Book Signing at Library

I went to Maureen’s classes and talked a little about the process of writing my book. They asked many interesting question. Following are some of their questions: “Why did you write a book?” “How long did it take you to write your book?” “What is your book about?” “Is your husband mad because you wrote the book?” “When are you going to write another book?”

I enjoyed talking to the students and I am looking forward to meeting the teachers and some of the parents at my book signing in the school library Friday.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Confirming Book Signing at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday I went to Barnes & Noble to meet with the Community Relations Manager to firm up my book signing. When I walked into the store there was a man walking with a hand full of signs. He asked me if he could help me and I said, “I am looking for Thomas, the Manager, and he said, “That’s me!” So I said, “Hi! I am Liz Lally.” As he put down the signs to shake my hand, I noticed my name on them. We talked for awhile and he showed me where the book signing would be set up and reminded me to bring my books in the day before the book signing on Friday the 14th.

He suggested that I take a press release to the local newspaper and gave me the names of a couple people to talk to about my book.

Later Maureen said, “That was definitely a sign! What are the odds of the first person you meet in Barnes & Noble being the manager you wanted to talk to and he is carrying signs with your name on about the book signing.” “A sign of what,” I thought!

If you are in the area come to my book signing on March 15th from 2:00-4:00 at Barnes & Noble in the Golden Triangle Mall
2201 1-35 East South Space NO18
Denton, Texas 76205
Go to my web site

Friday, February 29, 2008

Selling My Book

The next stage of my book experience is selling my book and it is just as difficult as I expected. In December I had two book signings and sold books to all of our relatives, friends, their relatives and friends. The first of January I sent a mailing about my book to everyone in our graduating class of 1961. Since Tom and I graduated together we thought we would get a good response from our class.
Now I am taking the big step of attempting to sell to strangers. I need to find a way to find the book readers outside my circle of friends and relatives. I am starting to write my blog again. I read that this is a good way to sell books.
I am going to focus on book signings now and see how this goes. Currently I am in Texas visiting my daughter and I have five book signings lined up. I will see how this goes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My computer went on the blink.

About a month ago my computer started beeping and blinking on and off. Then it wouldn’t start up so now I can’t Blog from my easy chair. I am using the desk top computer and have to stay in one place.
I am getting some comments from people who read my book. Here are some comments:
“That was a great book.”

“I really enjoyed your book. It was hilarious. I remember the skunk in your cellar and Dave and Tom coming to the legion. And your insurance would have covered it I would have killed him. And that golf trip and you meeting up with Fred. I knew right away what priest you were talking Terry oh he was someone to fear. That was hilarious. I always wondered why you stayed married to Tom. I want a hard copy signed and I will put it away for my great grandchildren to read. I’m giving this book to my friend to read.

“Your book was great! I especially liked the story on gadgets and I can relate with repairs it took me two years to paint a railing black and white. The way you wrote your book and followed through to the end shows that you are a close family. I liked the way youexpressed where your kids are now. You have found your nitch. If you write another book call me I will buy it.”

“At one of my book signings a man was browsing through the book and started laughing hysterically. After he composed himself I asked him what he was laughing at and he said, “When he leaned against the closet door and fell in. I do that all the time.”
“I liked the part where Lal had you go first if there was any danger.”

“I liked the part where you accidentally bumped Tom’s latest golf injury when you walked out of the room.”

“I really liked your book especially the chapter on old age it’s nice to know other people do the same things I do. It has to feel really strange to be driving along and not know where you are going. I liked where you get Tom back by changing the silverware drawer I do that to my husband and it really does relieve tension.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I sold my 100th Book.

I mailed out my 100th paperback book yesterday and I sold 35 hard back books. I am still wondering how many books I have to sell to be included on the best seller list. Also, at what point do I become a famous author.
I was really excited last week when someone ordered a book and it was not a relative or a friend of a relative or a friend or a friend of a friend. I questioned everyone and no one knew this person. A stranger ordered my book! The word is getting out about my book.
Since I self published I have to promote and sell my book myself this takes me way out of my comfort zone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I’m back!

For the past month, I was feeling exhausted from the publishers requesting another paragraph for the paperback cover, the hardback and the web site. And the editing seemed endless. Finally, my book was published.
Then I was reluctant to hand over my books to people who wanted to purchase them. I felt like a mother who was sending her child to school for the first time.
My sister-in-law had a wine and cheese book signing for me at Jess’s restaurant on December 15, 2007. My daughter flew in from Texas and many of our relatives and friends attended. It was a huge success and I was excited to visit with friends that I hadn’t seen for awhile.
My brother’s wife arranged a book signing on December 22, 2007 at Once Again Boutique where she works. I enjoyed talking to the customers and signing books for them.