I read recently that writing a great book is only 20% of a writer’s job, with another 80% being put into the “business” side. Yesterday was my part of that 80%—not writing, but doing a book signing for Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal at the Regent Bookstore on the campus of my alma mater, Regent College.
This is a wonderful bookstore—one of the few theological bookstores left in Canada I’m told—and the timing was perfect with the Regent Pastors’ Conference underway this week. What’s more, it was a double blessing, since it was a chance to share the event with my husband whose book was published in November (Perspective Criticism: Point of View and Evaluative Guidance in Biblical Narrative by Gary Yamasaki).
Bookstore manager Bill Reimer told us ahead of time that they don’t usually sell a lot of books at signings, but he added, “It is a good time for conversations and to get the word out there.”
That was certainly true in our case—our book signing was really more of a “meet and greet” which was wonderful. I was very glad to talk with my former church history professor; one of the Regent librarians; a fellow pastor from the Fraser Valley; a former pastor from Abbotsford now living in Sacramento, California; another pastor and writer from Waterloo, Ontario, who is doing a book signing today at the store; others attending the Pastors’ Conference; plus friends that we had invited and graciously came to support us. I had a great time, and I’m only sorry for the bookstore’s sake that we couldn’t sell more books for them.
Last week, I wondered aloud whether book blog tours are too much effort for too little return, and the same questions could be asked about book signing events too. Are they a good investment of time for writers? Or should that time rather be spent writing?
In my own hometown where I know people, it was great to have a Monday night book launch and signing plus a second signing on Saturday mid-day, both at the House of James, both quite well attended with great conversations and a good number of books sold. And I’m really glad we did the Regent Bookstore signing yesterday for the experience, for the conversations, for getting the word out in one more way, even though the immediate sales were limited. Thanks to Bill and the rest of the bookstore and cafe staff for your help!
But as far as my time goes, I think that’s it for bookstore signing events this time round. Today I’m writing another guest blog post that’s scheduled to go live on Friday and also working on a short script for a Sacred Pauses video book trailer that will double as a discussion starter for a possible curriculum series in future.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: How are you spending your Writer Wednesday—on the writing 20%, the business 80%, or something else?
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