(Note from vjc: This post originally appeared on my other blog on October 6, 2008. It's another example of marketing well done. Each of these authors agreed to talk with me again sometime soon so stay tuned for more from each of these great authors!)
Last night, my kids and I attended the local Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction West Coast Tour in our area. Wow!
Now I have to say, as a writer, book signings are often a mixed bag when it comes to interest, excitement, store support, community turn out, etc. Some are really fun, some are really dreadful. Sometimes even the authors go to great lengths to avoid them. I have one colleague that says "You're not a real writer until you sat and been ignored by the public."
But this group did everything right.
Evangel Family Bookstore hosted the event and decorated the hallway of the mall with pillars, an antique podium, pillar candles (with those little battery-operated tealights inside so the mall was happy) and a chained-off circle of velvet-covered tables. Each of the 8 authors was dressed in a medieval/Renaissance costume and each of them carried a sword with a cross embossed on the handle (apparently the mall wasn't happy about the swords but they were a HUGE hit with the fans).
The authors included Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Eric Reinhold, Sharon Hinck, Donita K. Paul, Christopher Hopper, LB Graham and Jonathan Rogers. Turn out was great and the authors kept the crowds fascinated until well after the lights went out in the mall. (In fairness, the mall stayed open an hour late to accommodate the event but apparently they forgot to tell the timer on the lights.) Along with the signing "circle", there were the usual short readings and then, a sword fight! Christopher Hopper and Wayne Thomas Batson did a fantastic job entertaining the crowd with their funny sword antics and Jonathan Rogers brought a scene from one of his books vividly to life - almost too vividly since it involved eel slime and mashed garlic...
Authors stood for photos, signed autographs for fans young and old, and some even knighted their readers. My family has 8 treasured autographs (several of each, actually), we have a new stack of books to read and we're anticipating some great adventure!
If you want to find out more about the authors and their books, visit www.fantasyfictiontour.com. I highly recommend it.
Of course, I found the promo trailer after the event but it's a fun one to watch:
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