Your Author Event Was NOT a Failure

“One fails forward toward success.” — Charles F. Kettering

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I share the story of my meet-the-author library event for one purpose:

Don’t bemoan the poor response to your author event; look for the hidden successes. Click to tweet.

Act 1 – The Setup

 

I called a library. The event coordinator detailed impressive ways she promoted author events. She said the library was dedicated to helping authors. According to her suggestion, we set up a weekday date from 11AM to 1PM.

Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Later, I delivered my press release content and book cover poster, which the coordinator displayed at the entrance. It would greet patrons for a month.

We checked whether my MacBook Air would work with their projector. Too iffy. I’d bring my large-screen desktop.

 

The head librarian said 4 to 12 attended these events. No surprise to me.

Act 2 – The Preparation

 

I wanted to add activities different from the normal ones. Of course, I’d wear my Cisney costume from Calculated Risk’s cover with yellow stickies dotting my suit.

Calculated Risk by Zoe M. McCarthy

Cisney3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I prepared and timed activities to fit a 90-minute period, leaving time to settle in and chat. Here’s the schedule titles:

1.  Doughnuts. Bring enough for participants and library staff.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2.  Writing journey with a twist: A String of Nevers. Perform my journey using catchy titles for each journey stage. Raise a NEVER sign each time I utter “never.”

3.  Story behind the story. Keep it to a few entertaining stories.

4.  Story tidbits. Tell about 12 story-related items from my story basket. End each blurb with an intriguing story question.

5.  Scene 1. Give a dramatic reading.

6.  Book Trailers. Ask for feedback on Calculated Risk’s two trailers.

7.  Q & A

8.  Bird of Paradise Napkin. Invite participants to fold a book-related napkin fold.

9.  Drawing. Give away a copy of Calculated Risk.

Act 3 – The Live Event

 

Sometimes, discussed promotion fails to happen. Such was true for this event. But I set up everything and was ready.

Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By 11:00, no one had arrived.

At 11:15, I enjoyed a doughnut, telling God everything was fine, I trusted him no matter what.

At 11:25, I told the mortified-for-me coordinator we’d try again in the spring. I packed up.

A woman came in: “I hear you’ve packed up and will return in the spring.” We chatted. Another woman arrived disappointed I was leaving. So we went on with the show.

 

Successful Reviews

 

1.  For trusting God and refusing to lay blame for no attendees, God blessed me with two women.

2.  The two ladies are active in eight library book clubs. They told me to come back, and they’d promote the event using their connections. They recommended a bookstore where local authors do well in book signings. And they both bought a book.

3.  I’ll use my preparation for this event for future ones. Rehearsing to two women is far better than to my mirror. I’ll tweak my presentation, and I’ll be ready for the next event.

4.  The head librarian recommended the same bookstore the women did and supplied names of contacts.

5.  I had fun.

What blessings have you received from an author event?

5 Tips on Building Relationships For Your Success

**Welcome to my blog on my new website (zoemmccarthy.com). I hope you enjoy the new look!**

“If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.”  —Luke 6:38 CEV

 

by DuBoix
by DuBoix

Recently, I’ve heard repeatedly if you want to succeed you must build relationships first. Here are five tips to ease your effort.

Tip 1: Relationships that improve your success must be genuine.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m taking classes and reading blogs on marketing. The primary goal stressed is to build relationships. But immediately following that point is:

Tweetable

  • In working to build relationships, you must genuinely desire to help others. click to tweet

You must want the other person to succeed; you gladly do tasks for their benefit. In groups I belong to, this active support includes spending time praying for each other.

Building relationships falls apart if you expect help in return. You’ll get disgruntled when it doesn’t come in the manner you want. Resentfulness doesn’t feel like success.

“Instead of manipulating people for our own purposes, we help them achieve what is best for them. We also try to see life through their eyes. Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.” —Billy Graham

Tip 2: The more you do for others; the more others will do for you.

But the prize while forming this habit is that you grow to enjoy helping others. And watching them succeed. Your general care for others becomes personal and natural.

Tip 3: Being an extrovert or introvert has little to do with building relationships for your success.

I’ve learned it’s whether people charge you with energy or drain you of energy that classifies you as an extrovert or introvert. Not necessarily how talkative or shy you are. I’m an introvert but readily express myself one-on-one.

Regardless of type, you make genuine relationships one person at a time.

by luisrock62
by luisrock62

Tip 4: Strong family relationships are essential while you build relationships outside your household.

I think Billy Graham warns us well:

“We have exchanged love of family and home for cyberfriends and living in constant motion that robs the soul from memories – and perhaps from that still, small voice that longs to be heard. —Billy Graham

Tweetable

  • Building relationships for success starts in the family. click to tweet

Tip 5: You can’t do everything yourself.

Tweetable

  • Like it or not, we need others; we’d fail at probably 80% of what we do all alone. click to tweet
Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My brother-in-law, a retired company executive, always noted his own weaknesses. Then he hired people who excelled in those weaknesses. He was more concerned about building relationships for success than feeling threatened by his staff.

Another example. I plan to make baskets of goodies related to the events and characters in my book. I’ll give them away at celebrations of my book release. I’ve had fun buying the goodies.

I’ve wondered how I’ll make the baskets look inviting. Then I remembered a lovely basket a church member made to collect notes and cards. We’ve developed a friendship though the prayers and bits of encouragement I’ve offered during a difficult time. I’ll ask her to help me. I picture me serving her lunch and us having fun packaging the baskets together.

What tips do you have about building relationships for success?

When Can You Call Yourself a Writer or Artist—Comfortably?

“The artist finds a greater pleasure in painting than in having completed the picture.” — Lucius Seneca.

 

by veggiegretz
by veggiegretz

Do you dream of people buying your art masterpieces or reading your bestseller or attending your sold-out performance? Or do you picture the Most Creative Teacher of the Year Award resting on your mantle?

You’ve purchased the beret and the smock or the getup of your craft. You look marvelous. Then it comes time to study the craft. You realize it encompasses so much than you thought. Maybe God hasn’t called you to the craft.

Don’t get discouraged. Your desire may need to mature a bit. It did for me.

You’ll know you’re on the right track: 

  1. When you connect to everything you do through the perspective of your craft.
by vilhelm
by vilhelm

I’m a writer. My husband looks at the price and functionality in buying a tractor for our garden. I look at its seat and visualize my grandsons riding on Grandpa’s lap. I imagine their smiles and excitement. I picture them telling their children stories about Grandpa taking them for tractor rides. I see everything through story.

An artist told me her artist’s eye never shuts down. While she reads a novel, she sees paintings.

A creative preschool teacher looks at a toilet paper roll and pictures hundreds of uses for it as a craft or a learning tool.

  1. When you care less and less about fame-filled success.
kconnors
kconnors

I want my novels to sell, yes, but am I seeking fame as a bestselling author? No. I just want to write stories that will touch others as the stories have touched me. Through my relationship with God, I believe this is where I should be.

Two artists told me how the economy has made it tough for them. For one, it’s few people signing up for her art classes. For the other, it’s few sales. In their success slumps, did they quit offering art classes or stop painting? No.

  1. When you jump on opportunities to learn something new about your craft.
Pobello
Pobello

You actually practice what you learn from conferences and workshops you attend. Your bookshelf lined with books on your craft has expanded to two shelves. And you’ve read the books.

You spend time perusing the works of your betters, soaking in how they create something marvelous. You no longer care about looking marvelous.

Tweetables

  • Call yourself a writer or an artist when you view the world through your craft’s perspective.
    click to tweet
  • Call yourself a writer or an artist when you care more about the craft than the fame.
    click to tweet
  • Call yourself a writer or an artist when you dig deep into learning your craft.
    click to tweet

What made you comfortable to call yourself a writer or artist?