My book launch party was really exciting. My first book signing was a learning experience. It wasn't an event, more of a get together and a meet and greet and, of course, the book signing part. Really fun!
But the book event at Magers & Quinn Booksellers was truly magical. Why? For so many reasons.
1) Ann Mayhew. Ann is the Event Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Magers & Quinn Booksellers. I have to admit I was nervous getting ready for my first meeting with Ann. She explained to me what to expect when it came to presenting my book the night of the event. She put me totally at ease and was very supportive and kind. She took me on a tour of the bookstore and pointed out where I would be making my presentation.
The night of the event she met me as I walked in and led me to where I'd be speaking. She showed me where my books were on display and where I'd be signing them after the presentation.
Ann gave me a wonderful introduction and made me feel comfortable at the podium.
2) The space where I gave my presentation was small and intimate. It was nice to be up close to the people who came to see me.
3) I normally am very nervous when it comes to public speaking. But this event, I wasn't even a little bit nervous or apprehensive. I was just....me. My real authentic self.
4) The real magical part was the people that came to see me. Some I knew, some I didn't. So many friendly faces. So much interest in what I had to say or read. Amazing. One of the people who came to see me was my high school writing teacher (see above picture). I look up and there she was!! I was just over the moon she was there. She said she saw the announcement in the local paper that Magers & Quinn had put in on Sunday in the "Book Event" section and that she couldn't stay away. I told her she was the only teacher I really loved in high school. She was always supportive of my writing. What an honor to have her there.
5) The audible gasp! Ann Mayhew had chosen some passages from my book she wanted me to read. In fact, I preferred that she chose, instead of me. So as I was reading a particularly painful passage, there was an audible gasp from everyone. I don't know if I actually looked up at everyone and said "I know, right?", but it felt like I did. It was a validating moment. There were so many of those while I was reading.
6) It was pouring rain that night and people still showed up!!
7) I had hired a professional photographer (pictures in the Gallery section of my Blog). He happened to be a friend of mine that I went to camp with. We've known each other since I was twelve and he was fourteen. That added to how special the evening was. I totally trusted him to do his job. In fact, I only saw him once in the course of his taking eighty-six pictures. My understanding was he was going to stay until he got all the shots he needed. But he ended up staying the whole time. There were people there that he knew and we all played a game of catch up. He said to me as we were leaving that he thought it was a really special evening. He didn't know the things about me that I wrote about in my book. He enjoyed the Q & A session and all the great questions that were asked. He also enjoyed my thoughtful responses.
8) The people that asked me questions were really interested in hearing my answers and wanted to know more of my experiences. They enjoyed when I presented them with "teasers" about my book. They were receptive and lovely.
9) Signing books for people was a joy! I got to hear about their lives and experiences. Why they come to book events. What they want to learn. It makes me smile thinking about it.
10) Before I left, Ann came up to me and said if/when I ever write another book, Magers & Quinn would like to have me back. She said it was one of the best presentations that they had ever had. I was so flattered.
So those are the reasons the event at Magers & Quinn Booksellers was so magical for me. I'm hoping that I get to have that feeling again. I know it took me days to get my feet back on the ground.