Click the image to explore the Disaster Crimes series.

NOTICE:


DISCLOSURE:

This site uses affiliate links for Bookshop.org, an online marketplace that supports independent bookstores. Chrys Fey will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

November 06, 2019

Chrys Fey's Advice for No-Show Events



LOTS OF BIG NEWS!!!!!


FROZEN CRIMES: I submitted Frozen Crimes (Disaster Crimes Book 5) to my editor/publisher. Now I just have to wait 90 days or so before I hear back on whether or not they like it.

BAD FAIRY: My mom got a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her debut middle grade book BAD FAIRY!

KEEP WRITING WITH FEY: I signed the contract for the sequel to Write with Fey with Dancing Lemur Press. It's titled Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout. It's MUCH MORE than what you've seen here. And very personal.

~*~

A couple of years ago I attempted to do my own book signing at a library, all by myself. It didn’t go so well. I had prepped a speech, had books, set up a table, even decorated the audience’s chairs with leis.

My mom was there.

And M.J. Fifield came. (Yup, mentioning you yet again. LOL)

That’s it.

I had an audience of two...two of my biggest supporters.

They encouraged me to do my speech, which I mostly read from paper. That’s how nervous I was.

The sad thing was, the library didn’t promote my signing. They didn’t post anything on their Facebook page or make an announcement over the intercom. Although they did have a paper announcement taped to the sliding doors and near the check-outs, the big two-sided sign for events taking place at the library didn’t mention my signing, only a computer class.

Unfortunately, we can’t control what the event venue will do for us. Even at a mall event I did with several authors last December, we couldn’t get the mall to do announcements about our author signing.

All you can do is…


1. Make the most of it.

We may have many no-show signings throughout our author careers, but that shouldn’t stop us from ever trying. If we do, we will miss out on those signings that have good or at least decent turn outs. Even if five people attend, those are five people you can turn into readers, five potential sales.

2. Grow

When you go through these difficult situations, they aren’t fun. They will always be disappointing, but you grow with each one. Your skin grows a little bit thicker, so you can handle them better, not be as letdown, and not get depressed over it. No-show signings are a right of passage. You’re not an author until you have one. ;)

3. Try Again

Not at the same place, and not right away, but down the road, when you’re ready.

Do a group event with one or two other local authors, allowing each of you a certain amount of time to introduce yourselves, talk about your book, read an excerpt, and take questions.

Attempt different promos to attract readers/writers to come. Contact your local newspaper, come an hour early and hand out fliers to the people in the venue to let them know about your event, post in groups where you know local writers/readers are, such as on Facebook.

Also, see if you can strong arm a few of your closest friends/family members to come in case no one else does. And if no one else does, you can spend that time having fun with your loved ones. If you brought snacks, enjoy the snacks with them. Throw a little impromptu dance party. (Just be civil and not too loud to get kicked out, especially if you’re at a venue like a library that is quiet.) Have fun, even if only you, your fellow authors doing the signing, and your immediate family/friends attend.

I had never done a signing myself at the time I did this no-show signing. I was a bit naive about it, but now, I know better. That’s what comes with experience. And that is invaluable.


QUESTION: Have you had a no-show event?




Before you go, consider signing up for my mom's holiday blog hop to celebrate the release of her next picture book SLEIGH RIDE.

Blog Hop Day: November 15, 2019

Blog Hop Question for participants to answer in their blog posts: 

What is your favorite holiday memory? (This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.)

All posts will include the cover art, blurb, and buy links for SLEIGH RIDE. As well as her author info.

Sign up here:

88 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

Great post Chrys as always.


Yvonne

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on all the publishing news! :)

Toi Thomas said...

I had a no show event but snow was the cause. Everyone who RSVPed was scared to leave their homes and the venue would not give me a refund (yes I paid money, becuase I had so many people RSVP I wasn't eligible for a free space). My sister, mom, and a few close friends braved the cold and listened to my presentation. Oddly enough, my presentation was so engaging an employee of the venue bought one of my books, my only sale of the night. My friends and family already had my book. It was frustrating but not a complete loss.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to you and your mom!
Sorry the library dropped the ball. You can only control you though.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

No show events hurt -- especially when close friends say they won't come because they believe they'll take up space from new fans... Yeah. But we grow thicker skins and move on. Great post! And congrats on the news for your new book :-)

Ronel visiting on IWSG day Year in Review

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm so glad your mother's story found a home.

Some libraries (and bookstores and other venues) just have no idea about marketing. That's a shame they blew it. When I did my own appearances, I always sent posters and bookmarks ahead of time so at least there would be something up. But even a crappy appearance isn't a waste - it often leads to something better.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

That stinks about the no promotion, but you and your mom ARE ON FIRE--writer wise. You should Google how to keep the fire burning. :) Don't do it. Someone might take it wrong. haha

Teresa

Tamara Narayan said...

A no-show book signing sounds like the equivalent nightmare of going to school without clothes. It's good you had two supporters there to help you get through it. Someday it will make for a funny story. Congrats to you and your mom on your publishing successes!

Meka James said...

I've not been brave enough to do an event. My first signing was held at RWA and put on by my publisher. Outside of that, not sure I'd ever approach a venue to put one on, but I should get myself out there some day.

Congrats to you and your mom!!!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Madeline!

Carrie-Anne said...

I'd be humiliated if no one showed up to an event, though I'd also be upset at the venue for not promoting it. That seems like major dropping the ball on their part.

Congratulations to your and your mother on your successes!

Chrys Fey said...

Weather can sure play a part in no-show events.

How awesome that an employee bought a copy!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Alex!

Very true.

Chrys Fey said...

None of my friends have ever come to an event or even bought one of my books. It's disappointing at first, but as you said...we grow thicker skin.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you!

I didn't have the means to create marketing materials, but if I ever do something like that again, I'll definitely look in to it.

Chrys Fey said...

LOL!!!

Thanks, Teresa!

Chrys Fey said...

It already does make for a funny story. Now that time has passed. This happened...um...last year? I don't even remember now. lol

Chrys Fey said...

What's funny is that the director asked me if I'd do it after I contacted her about adding my book to their catalog.

Thank you so much!

Chrys Fey said...

I was both. Humiliated and angry. Sigh.

Thank you!

David Powers King said...

Excellent ways to make the most of it! Reminds me of when I did a signing in the town where I grew up, wasn't a bad event but a little underwhelming. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Live events are so much work so such a low turn out, I've stopped doing as many as I used to. My mother loved to come to them, but since she's passed away, I haven't done one. Book parties are fun. I did a Christmas one with readers in my area. It wasn't so much a signing as it was giveaways, food, and games. I should do that again!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Your story kind of triggers me. I used to do readings at my local library after each book came out. The turnout for the first ones was good, but by the last one... not much was done to promote, and I admit it was pouring rain, but I had three people, including my husband. That kind of discouraged me, and I haven’t done one since. Now I’m in a new town and have to go make some connections at the library, try to get my books in their catalog, and try to arrange some kind of event. I’m reading your bactine and trying to work up the nerve :)

Chrys Fey said...

Just as long as it wasn't a bad event, then that's all that matters. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I've never done a book party. I'm not even sure about how to go about doing one.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm trying to work up my nerve again, too. My mom should get in to the library to do readings for kids, and we haven't yet.

Jacqui Murray said...

Congrtulations to both you and your mom! Whoot! And I love the ideas for no-show events. That was a good suggestion--to do your presentation anyway. Nothing like practice in front of a friendly twosome.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Nor I, but I like the sound of it... tell us more!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congratulations to you and your mom for the book deals. Too bad the library didn't promote you or your book. Somethings just aren't in our control.

Lisa said...

Really great advice, as usual! Congratulations to you and your mom both!!! Luckily, the library I did mine in was wonderful and fully promoted the event, and there were multiple authors too, which helped.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your publishing news! And your mom's news! Awesome that you can share the love of writing.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Way to go with your events!!! I have to admit I got scared after a bad run of three events in a row. I need to get back out there.
You inspire me!

Heather Erickson said...

I've only done one book signing. It was with my husband and I had written a press release, which a local reporter turned into a full page human interest story in our local paper. It did go well. It helped to have 2 authors. I did a library thing once and no one came to my table. That was very disappointing. You win some, you lose some.

Jemi Fraser said...

Book signings scare me. I don't have my book(s) out yet but I'm not sure I'm up for that level of stress! :)

Patricia said...

I have my fingers crossed for you and your story. Congrats to your mom, too!

sherry fundin said...

congrats on frozen. that's a shame about the no show. the people have no idea what they missed! i'm pretty booked up for the rest of the year and through january, but of course, i will find room for your mom's new book. how can i resist?
sherry @ fundinmental

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations to your mother and to you. Hope you have good news soon. Signings. Sigh. In October a local library planned a huge signing with around 20 authors signed up. I was excited. Saturday morning, maybe 15 authors showed up. Half that of shoppers. No promotion. No one knew about it. To make me laugh, though, a young man stopped at my table. Smiled. Picked up one of my books. Put it in his pocket. And walked away. I kept thinking he'd be back. Wrong. Never saw him or the book again. I do hope he enjoyed it. So, promote, promote. Is all I can say. People have to know about it.

Lidy said...

Congrats to both you and your mom! I've yet to do an author event and as you say a no-show event is a rite passage, then it's good to know so now and not be too disappointed down the road. I am part of the local writer's group in my area and they have a FB page. So when the time comes for future events I know I can go and post something there. But'll probably help turnout a bit is being more involved in attending the events like the poetry readings, workshops, befriending the other members, etc.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Jacqui!

Practice makes perfect. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Rachna!

Chrys Fey said...

You were fortunate!

Thanks you, Lisa!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Natalie!

Liz A. said...

What a bummer. At least you learned something from it.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Tyrean! I hope you do go back out there. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Book signings can be overwhelming. Ones that are put together by local groups with several authors are usually decent and help you to grow. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That's awesome!

And you're right...you win some, you lose some.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. That always counts for something.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Patricia!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Sherry! We both greatly appreciate that. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Beverly!

OH MY GOSH! Maybe he didn't realize it was for sale? But still...it's a library. Nothing is free there, unless they have a table or something by the doors with a sign that says "free."

Chrys Fey said...

Absolutely. Local writer's meetings/groups can be a big help. If you are involved in those things and make friends, they can turn out in support for you.

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats on submitting Frozen Crimes to your editor/publisher... and to you and your mom!
A book signing sounds like a scary occasion. I suppose it helps to have a multiple-author event.
I like number three - try again.
Happy IWSG Day, Chrys!

M.J. Fifield said...

So excited for you and your mom! You two are amazingly awesome!

(I tried to sign up for the bloghop, but the link didn't work for me. Feel free to send me stuff, though.)

Sarah Foster said...

I think I'd be so disappointed to have a no-show event, it would take a while to try again!
I think I'll probably do the blog hop but I'll have to think of my favorite memory first. Right now nothing's coming to me (it's been a long day! lol).

Jennifer Hawes said...

So sad that more people don't show up to these events. I feel your pain. But you're right, you gotta move on and make the best of it!

Chrys Fey said...

THANK YOU!

I just checked the link and it worked. Odd. I will add you manually. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Michelle!

Try, try, and try again. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

It did disappoint me. Doing bigger events is very different than trying to do something yourself, where you're the only one.

I'd love for you to join. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Jennifer!

Samantha Bryant said...

I've been there in the "no audience for your event" boat. I've started asking my sister to come to everything I do and if there's no live audience, we take the chance to make a video for my YouTube page or do a Facebook live or something. Teaches us more about the technology and lets me use the moment for practice for when I have a bigger audience.

Congrats to your mother! I've been hearing a lot about Wild Rose Press here lately, all positive!

@samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

emaginette said...

I think the hardest one would be to try again. But you're right. No one should give up. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Gwen Gardner said...

Congratulations to both you and your mom. And that was so brave of you to give your speech to just two people. Thanks for the tips!

Diane Burton said...

Congrats on submitting Frozen Crimes. I love your series. Congrats to your mom, too. I'm looking forward to the blog hop. As to the no-show writer talk, yep, I've been there. And the library did advertise it. But I was the last of a series of "visits with an author". I think everyone was tired of it. Or maybe it was me. LOL It was a distance away, so no family was there, either. It wasn't exactly a no-show. A wannabe writer showed up with her daughter (who wanted me to tell her mom she wrote crap) and a long-time reader. It was an interesting evening. You win some, you lose some. Then you move on.

Olga Godim said...

No-show events could be so disheartening for a writer, but I like your list of dealing with that.
Congratulations to your mom.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Congratulations to you and your mom! Sorry about what happened at the library. It was out of your control, but you seemed to handle it well. Thanks for the great tips if we're ever in that situation.

Julie

Denise Covey said...

What a busy life you have at the moment Chrys. Hope your latest is accepted. Nice to see you also have a bloghop on the go.Thanks again for critiquing for the WEP winner recently.

Anonymous said...

So many congratulations to give to you and your mom! That's so awesome and well deserved. I'm so happy for both of you!

Having that event was brave and what a great way practice. Go you, I say!

Elsie

Sandra Cox said...

Many congrats to you and your mom. That's great, Chrys.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Chrys.... How wonderful for your mom! Thanks for the advice about the "No SHOW"...I have't had my book published yet, but when I do have a signing, I will remember your advice... Congrats on you new contract, too!

Chrys Fey said...

I wish one of my sister would do that.

Thank you!

The Wild Rose Press is my publisher. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Anna!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! And you're welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Diane! And thank you for signing up for the hop!

Oh my gosh. The daughter told you that? lol

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Olga!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Julie! And you're welcome. <3

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Denise!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Sandra!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Michael!

I hope your first signing is a hit. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Elsie!

Stephen Tremp said...

Yes I have had no-show events. It's a humbling experience especially if you had a couple previous successful signings.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I fear this all the time, Chrys. I give Writing Workshops at local libraries and assisted living places. I prepare special presentations on specific topics. Then I pray and do all I can with social media and writing groups to advertise and get participants to come to these FREE events. I always think, I would have loved having free writing events when I was starting out, trying to figure out how to create story. But as you say, we live and learn and try to keep our chins up. Luckily, the venues keep allowing me to do these events. I can't wait until I have actual books out to try and promote. Yikes! Keep the faith, Chrys!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I've never had an entirely no-show event, but it wasn't exactly SRO, either. I was invited to do a signing at a store in NC that was selling my first book. Not much of a turn-out, but it was still lots of fun. Fewer people just means more time to be up-close and personal with the people who do show. :)

You and your mom are getting to be quite the publishing duo sensation! Congrats to both of you.

Chrys Fey said...

It is a humbling experience. Even if it's your first and you have grand expectations.

Chrys Fey said...

I'd attend your Writing Workshops. :)

Chrys Fey said...

As long as it's fun, that's what really matters.

Thank you, Susan!

sage said...

maybe not a no-show event, but I've certainly done many events where the attendance was way less than I'd hope. Hang in there and don't give up!

www.thepulpitandthepen.com

Chrys Fey said...

I won't give up. :)

Nick Wilford said...

Sorry to hear about that experience, but your advice on this matter is very welcome! I've only done one author event, which wasn't my event - per se - it was for the launch of my stepson's fundraising anthology at the local library. Apart from the family, only two of our friends came - but that didn't really matter to us, it just felt like a massive achievement to get the thing out there, and we got more interest online. Congrats to both you and your mum on the good news!