You may have seen on social media that I attended the Surrey International Writers Conference over this past weekend. I participated in the Author Signing Event on the Saturday evening, alongside sixty other authors – some famous (Tess Gerritsen), and some just like me; an indie.
It was a busy and quick hour and a half of meeting new people and chatting to readers and writers, alike. It was fascinating to see the energy in the room, especially the excitement around the authors attending the signing that were well known and had presented during the conference. I sat next to the immensely likeable Liza Palmer, chatting about my start in writing and I was thrilled to bits when she whipped out her iPhone and bought We Are Mars on iBooks, no hesitation. I look forward to her feedback, but knowing she’s a very busy and successful author, I won’t hold it against her if she can’t find the time to even read my book (insert crowd laughter here). If we’re being honest, authors are busy people! There are a lot of events to attend and there are plenty of demands on our time. I’m just glad I got to meet her and I look forward to reading Liza’s books myself.
In terms of how successful the event was for me, I’ve come to realize the true purpose of events of this nature are not book sales, because it’s hard to distract someone with your newbie book when they have an armload of books for Ms. Gerritsen to sign! The real reason for attending is to be seen. Participation is for PR, not sales. I was there and I can count myself as seen, even if only by a few interested passersby and other participating authors. The reality is, my book is only five months old and I’m getting to some pretty amazing events already. I’m excited for the potential that is opening up around me as I dive deeper into the world of being an author. I can’t wait for my next public opportunity – a set of Christmas markets in my city in November. The reception for my book has been great in the short time it’s been around, and I look forward to carrying it into the new year to new events and opportunities.
In terms of the conference, I’m really hoping to participate in more than just the signing next year. I’d like to attend the workshops and presentations, because the people I spoke to that were there for the weekend were so excited and full of good things to say about their time at the conference. If you are a writer looking to attend the SIWC, keep your eyes open for the early-bird registration and get on it! This conference sells out QUICK! And maybe I’ll see you there!