The promotional journey for We Are Mars has been an interesting one. As an indie author, I’ve found events are the hardest thing for me to organise and to get onto my calendar, but when I do, I have loads of fun and wonder why I’m not doing more. In recent months, I’ve attended a fantastic book signing event at the Indigo bookstore in Grandview Corners, South Surrey, BC, as well as a local event to raise funds for the annual writers festival, here in Kamloops. The Kamloops Society for the Written Arts Write-A-Thon was an amazing, all-day event that I will attend again in future. Here’s a little more about each of the events and why they were such great mileage for my book and author brand.
Book signing, Surrey, BC.
When I first connected with the manager of the Indigo bookstore in South Surrey, it was at the Surrey International Writers Conference. I was doing the book signing event and he was managing the Indigo store for all the published books available at the event. We corresponded over the next few months and set a date for my signing at Indigo for the end of February.
The weather was not great and I had great anxiety about whether we would make it, but we did and once we were through the mountains, we were greeted by typical Vancouver rain.
The store that the signing was held at has special significance for me, as it’s the Indigo we used to shop at for books and toys when we lived in the area. My son was a baby the first time I took him in there. It was an amazing victory for me to walk across the threshold and be an author with books on the shelves in that store. I spent time inviting my friends from the area to come out to the signing and say, Hi. When the afternoon arrived, I was treated to a steady stream of familiar faces and loads of conversation about We Are Mars and general catching up. It was a fantastic few hours that flew by too soon! Best of all, I got to put books into readers hands – such a wonderful feeling when you can hand someone a copy of a book you’ve put your heart and soul into.
The event was designed to raise awareness and funding for the Kamloops Words Alive Writers Festival happening in September this year. The first Words Alive festival was in 2018, and as it coincided with the Surrey Writers Conference, I was unable to attend. This year I plan to be more involved and attend the festival as a participant and volunteer.
The Write-A-Thon was an all-day writers event that took place in downtown Kamloops, in a local church. Tables were set up and writers came from all over the area to write, enjoy some activities and engage with other writers and editors in a supportive and fun environment. My impression of the event was that it was taken very seriously by the attendees. Everyone was so quiet and focused during the writing segments that you could hear a pin drop! When the activities (which happened every hour on the hour) started up, people relaxed and enjoyed being entertained, participating in quizzes and activities such as yoga. The organisers also did ana amzing job keeping us fed and supplied with coffee and tea. It was a wonderful day. I gained much from the experience. Not only did I complete the revisions of my manuscript, I got to ask some questions of the terrific editors-on-call. I made some new friends and spent time with familiar faces, too. I contributed to the door prize draws and, now, there are copies of my books in other people’s hands. Attending the Write-A-Thon was by donation or collection of pledges. I was lucky enough to collect $132 from my local writers group, as well as my family. It may seem like a small amount, but what was significant, was how willing people were to pledge their support. I appreciated their pledges and reported back on the event with pleasure and pride.
I learned a lot that day, most specifically, that I enjoy attending writing events where I get to interact and learn from other writers. I feel enriched and invigorated by the experience.
Upcoming events include: Kelowna Comic Con (August), KSWA Words Alive (September), various markets and maybe one more book signing before the launch of Storm at Dawn.