Monday, October 17, 2005

Back in for a moment. Had a bad mishap at my signing this weekend. I go to the store to sign, and I see no indication that I'm supposed to sign there. No store announcements, no signs on the door, no nothing. Worse yet, I see all this stuff for another author. I case the place and see a set up with his books on display. So, I approach the associates and tell them that I'm there for my signing that's schedule for a half an hour from then. They tell me that they have me nowhere on their event calendar. I'm so distraught. I've been advertising my butt off for this signing. So, she gets on the phone to find out what's what, and I call my agent in near tears.

So, she can't find me in their system, but says they can set up a table on the lower level (which is good) for a meet and greet. Problem is, the 50 books that my publicist said were at the store are not there. They only have 3 books in stock. It's 15 minutes before the signing. I tell her I have a few books at home (my author copies) and we agree on terms to sell these. I'd use the money made to replace them. So, I get in my car to go home to pick them up. That's a 15 minute drive, one way. So, I arrive back at the store at 20 minutes past the time I'm supposed to sign. There's a small line of people waiting for me to autograph their copies (how cool is that?!). So, we count in my book, she goes up to get an invoice, and I start signing copies. The first few people are people who read the self-published version and enjoyed it so much that they bought the new version. How cool!

So, the associate comes back down with the invoice and shows me were they're selling my books that are listed as $12.95 for $7.99 because that's the only price she could find in their system. I only get a fraction of what we sell the books for, so I won't even make enough money to replace the books. This would be a total loss for me because the books wouldn't count as sales anyway. I think things over and decide to cut my losses and just learn from the experience. So, after 45 minutes, I wrap up and take the rest of the books with me.

I get home and do some research and find out that my publicist mistkenly booked me for a Brentwood Borders...in Tennessee. Instead of my hometown, St. Louis, MO. So, no doubt, this store had my 50 books, and probably signs everywhere saying I was going to sign. And probably cursing me out because they think I was a no-show.

Well, aspiring writers, this just "shows to go ya." Sometimes, things can go wrong when you least expect it. Hey, crap happens. You just gotta pick up and move on to the next thing. So now, I'm preparing for another St. Louis event this weekend at the St. Louis Book Festival at the Muny in Forest Park. The following weekend, I'll be in Tennessee, for real, this time! LOL In Memphis.

10 comments:

Lexi D Mon Oct 17, 02:35:00 PM EDT  

Wow, Cherlyn. I commend you for keeping Your Head UP! Especially in a situation like that. I can only imagine. Having just had my VERY FIRST SIGNING this past weekend and things went very well, but reading your story has my heart pumping fast. Like I said ... I can only imagine --but hate to even do that. Keep the faith. Lexi Davis

princessdominique Mon Oct 17, 03:35:00 PM EDT  

Wow, that's all I can say. Chin up.

piscesgurrl Mon Oct 17, 03:36:00 PM EDT  

oh my goodness, this is horrible I was feeling you girl and near tears. I can only imagine how I would feel if I were in your shoes, and my tears would have been strolling down my face. I'm glad you were able to do what you could for those who did attend, but what a loss. I hope in 2 yrs you can look back at this and laugh.

Keep inspiring, I'm learning!

Michelle Tue Oct 18, 02:18:00 PM EDT  

Cherlyn - hi, Michelle Buckley in KCMO. Sorry about your awful signing. We're gonna have to hook up and trade horror stories. I've been seeing your name everywhere, so you're really getting out there. Keep up the good work! And maybe next year I'll see you at BEA again. Me, you and Alicia are overdue for karaoke! :-)

Rose Wed Oct 19, 12:16:00 AM EDT  

Cherlyn,
Sorry to hear about what happened. But I was thinking good things about you. While having my signing with the Just Us Girls Book Club, I told them about you and your book. I know they are going to choose you real soon for a selection. I encouraged them to support you. I know that will. That won't help what happened to you, but less than 10 miles away positive things were being said about you.....

Cherlyn Michaels Wed Oct 19, 10:37:00 AM EDT  

Lexi,
Congrats on your first signing!!! Glad to hear that everything went well. And don't let my story worry you. Just use it as a precaution. If you're setting up your own signings, you probably have nothing to worry about. Last year, when I set up my own signings, they all went off without a hitch. It's the adjusting to a publicist for things that I can do on my own that's a little difficult. So, if you have a publicist, you might want to do your own follow up if you want to be 100% sure. :-)

Dom,
It's All Good! LOL

Picesgurrl,
In every aspect of life, there are ups and downs. You learn from it and move on. And you share your experiences, so that others will have the opportunity to learn in advance. Getting upset, throwing a fit, and staying negative does nothing but hurt you and bring you down. What's done is done and none of that will change the situation. You do try to rectify the situation and find resolution so that it won't happen again, but no sense brooding over it. Too much stuff to do! :-)

Hey Michelle!
Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I know a lot of authors have signing horror stories. I'm just now starting to fill up my chest! I look forward to seeing you again soon. I'm working on my fake moves and my lip syncing. :-)


Rose,
Thanks so much for the support! They already contacted my agent to request a date. I already replied. I really appreciate you spreading the word about my book! Oh, and I'm going to try to find you this weekend. I saw that you were going to be at the St. Louis Book Fair this weekend. I'll be there Saturday, and Sunday if I have books left. See you then!

MsJayy Wed Oct 19, 11:21:00 AM EDT  

Whew! Girl, you were truly rolling with the punches that day. That's great. Rubbing elbows with my own list of "literati", I see that book signing mishaps are more frequent than the general public knows but most authors have a back-up plan. Talk about grace under pressure. Keep pushing Sis!

~ Jackie
...searching for chocolate footballs...

The Foxybrown Show Wed Oct 19, 12:38:00 PM EDT  

Awww sorry it didn't work out but I'm sure the next event will be a hit...

LaEquis Wed Oct 19, 03:35:00 PM EDT  

Cherlyn,
Congrats on your first--albeit frustrating--signing. What I've learned to do is to call, not only ONE week in advance of any event, but THE DAY BEFORE, or morning OF. That way, you can take care of any mishaps that may occur, or reschedule if need be. You live & learn. The next ones will be better.

Xenia

Peggy Thu Oct 20, 12:40:00 AM EDT  

Cherlyn,
Know you made lemonade outta those lemons! You always do. There's a balance on the other end of the seesaw for you -- probably in Tennessee. Keep smiling!
Peggy