At the Tulsa City County Library’s Third Annual Local Author Conference, I got to give a talk along with my friend, Victoria Moore, about how to navigate relationships with small bookshops as a local author, particularly an indie author.
First off, there were bagels which was great. But then it got more and more crowded and they kept pulling up chairs to add rows, which was quite nerve-wracking.
But we did it and it went great. I’m not going to rehash the entire talk here, but a few of the major talking points included:
- Making sure you’ve actually been to a bookshop before asking them to carry your book.
- Figuring out if your book would be a good fit on their shelves.
- Being nice and recognizing that booksellers at indie bookshops are sometimes the ONLY person who makes the call as to what books are on the shelves, and they don’t have infinite time to follow up with you.
We hit on a lot of other points, and people asked a lot of questions. I was honestly worried we’d get up there and fly through our slideshow in just ten minutes, but I swear I blinked and it had been forty five.
After the conference portion in the morning, there was a small local author book fair which I had a blast at. It was my first tabling event and I have a LOT to learn, but I got to meet a handful of other local authors and chat with a bunch of folks about writing and books and nano. I sold four copies of Chronicles and did a swap with another local YA author for her book!
Now I’ve spent the last 24 hours searching for other conferences so I can do it again. Being in a room full of writers, holding copies of books they too have poured themselves into, is a very unique feeling.