Yesterday (Oct 8), I participated in Indie Author’s Day at the Buhl Public Library. The event was surprisingly successful and went by quickly, considering it was most of the day. And that’s always a good sign.
The first part of the day was a youtube presentation that was fairly informative as a discussion concerning getting into libraries. From the standpoint of someone doing this for awhile, I don’t know if I considered it particularly useful for me, and maybe it was geared for writers a little newer to the paying field. At this point, having been doing this since 2012, I’ve got different methods. the talk about getting into libraries was by far the most valuable, but still not something I intend to act on in the near future. The gist is that libraries will help you find people to buy your books in the future. Here’s the video:
Following this one hour presentation, the library had 4 panels – Creation, Editing, Differences in traditional and indie publishing, and Marketing. I did Editing.
At the end, around 3:30, we returned to our tables, and those of us who have books did a book sale and signing. I’ve done signings and several libraries in the past, and the overall takeaway from those events is that people do not come to libraries to buy books. They are there to check out books – for free. This signing was pleasantly different. Books were sold. I also was asked to do a speaking engagement for the Idaho Writer’s League in January. 🙂
There’s a lot of other activities I know other libraries did, like author readings and critiques, that would’ve been fun to include. However, all of the allotted time was used up, and I don’t know how we could’ve squeezed anything else in without cutting out other stuff.
The participation, too, was great. For the video and presentations, our small library was packed. Packed means about two dozen individuals. There were people who have never published to people who have been doing this for years. The book signing too took up about half of the library, with the librarians having to drag out additional tables for those who showed up.
I did not know many of the authors, which kind of surprises me. I expected to see more of those in this area that I know, but only a couple showed up. Maybe Octoberfest distracted them, and I know at least one author was out of town.
But then an author group I belong to with heavy numbers in the Boise area ignored this same opportunity from their library, and I’m totally surprised by this. Are the authors/writers I used to run with getting burnt out? It would be a shame. I know life happens. Or maybe I’m seeing a dropout. Maybe they published one book and no longer care about selling it. We all write for different reasons. No judgment, but I’m left with unanswered curiosity.
I expect this event to continue next year, and hopefully, my author/writer friends will attend next year. I know a certain librarian (my wife) worked incredibly hard to make the one in Buhl a success, and I think it’s great that libraries across the nation participated in creating an event for those of us chasing this dream.
So did you attend? What did your library do, and what are your thoughts?