One bit of advice I have for you writers today on Writers Wednesday is this: When there's a book signing/book launch in your area, GO! It doesn't have to be someone you know, or your kind of book or genre, or even a famous writer. So what's the big deal about it? And what's the difference between a book signing and a book launch? Glad you asked.
A book signing is when a published author shows up at a bookstore, or other venue (restaurant, bar, bistro) and is available to sign books of his or hers that you purchased. A book launch is when a writer's new book has just come out. It, also, becomes an opportunity to buy their book and get it signed. The neat thing about these events is that you can talk to the writer and ask questions about writing and learn more about how they were able to get published, become best sellers (or at least better than breaking even), and learn more about the craft.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THE BOOK IF YOU ATTEND ONE OF THESE EVENTS. YOU DO NOT. Remember that. You can attend and schmooze with other writers and readers and take that opportunity to know more about writing and writers. These events are often free, so keep that in mind. Others may charge ten bucks, but at that price, it's well worth it.
Why is it important to attend such activities? Well, one of the main outcomes is that the writer feels supported and encouraged, and that is huge for a writer. It helps erode that "corrosive self doubt" I talk about all the time. A while back I had a book signing in a beautiful bookstore in a college town and NOT ONE PERSON showed up. So, please, support writers by your attendance, your interest, and maybe even your money.
I am going to two book launches this week and another next week. And believe me, I'll be talking to the authors to see what I can learn. I highly recommend it.