Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Lessons of An Independent Author: The Power of a Group Event


I already told you I was scared, nervous  . . . terrified. I already admitted the ridiculousness of that emotion. I mean, seriously, what a "first world problem"--terrified about signing books and the possibility that nobody would be interested. I'm rolling my own eyes, trust me.

But you can't always control your emotions. The gnawing nerve monsters creep into your system before an event and whisper words of failure and distress.

My nerves took over early. The event didn't start until 7 pm, but I convinced myself that I should leave the house by 4:00. Seriously, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry, because the last time I headed in that direction to drop off books and then adjudicate a show I was almost late because traffic was horrific. I brought my grading with good intentions of finding a coffee shop and getting something accomplished.

I managed to grade a few things and then I started getting really, really nervous. So I distracted myself by creating silly images of myself with the camera on my computer.

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Just before it was time for me to head back to my car, pick up my books, and get setup in the  store, I got into a conversation with the man who sat near me at the coffee shop. He was reading a book about the legend of Faust in German. He was clearly a professor, and it turns out that he was non-tenured faculty at Wellesley College in Anthropology. We talked for a few minutes about learning languages, teaching, tenure, etc. Then it really came time for me to go, so I told him I was about to go do a book signing down the street and told him he should come by. He did, AND HE BOUGHT A BOOK!

When I arrived only a couple of the authors were there. We were positioned at small tables, with only a little space for each of us, which was a challenge at first. But, as other authors arrived, and other authors confessed their nerves, it made everything better.

I wasn't alone.

Next thing I know, friendly faces are greeting me at my table. Hugs from people I know. People asking me to sign either copies they already had, or new ones they were buying for friends. In between, I chatted with some of the other authors and answered questions about myself and my book.  I made connections and planned a future lunch date with author Suzy Duffy.

Suzy Duffy and I

For my first experience of a signing, having it as a group event was the best possible solution. I wasn't alone. People came for other reasons, and then talked to me. I'm not sure who bought my book, but I know that I left there without any books left, and that's pretty amazing. (I'm not saying I sold a ton of books, but I sold a lot more than expected). Welleseley Books really set up a lovely event, and I feel like I was a part of the success. (Several of the other authors thanked me for being a social media master which made me laugh inside since I feel more like a floundering fish on dry land).

I'm sure I will be just as nervous (if not moreso) for my first solo signing (at the moment scheduled for March 22nd), but there is definitely something to say about the power of doing it with a group for the first time. (Cue dirty thoughts now, totally appropriate).


In P.O.W.ER a group of powerful people come together to change the world. Buy your own copy today.