My place of employment hosts a program called “Coffee Time.” Employees get to address their co-workers in a public forum over coffee about a hobby or work-related topic.
On a recent afternoon, I chose to be a “Coffee Time” presenter and spoke about my adventures in writing.
I displayed copies of literary journals that have published my short stories and essays. I shared with them what inspired me to write my stories and handed out copies of my work so people could see the finished product.
Also, in a drawing I gave away a copy of Chicken Soup for The Soul: The Dating Game, in which one of my stories–“Short Distance Romance”– was published.
“Coffee Time” offered a great opportunity to let more people know about my writing and get more practice for future book events.
I’ve been a member of Boston Women Communicators for several years. The organization supports women in communications and helps them advance in their careers. Jane Breschard Wilson, the founder, agreed to let me conduct a book signing at a recent monthly meeting held at the College Club of Boston. On the table set aside for me I arranged copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game, in which I have an essay, a copy of an article about me that was published recently in the Weymouth News that I had laminated and mounted with a small easel at Fedex Office, pens that I pre-tested to make sure they worked properly and copies of my business card with my blog address.
I only sold two copies of the book but I had a delightful time chatting with the members and getting good practice for future events. I got a good sense of what people like to talk about when they come to an author book signing. A number of people took business cards which I know led to more traffic on my blog based on my stats in the days following the meeting. I came up with a stock phrase to use when I signed the books so I could write and chat at the same time. So while not getting my essay into the hands of many readers, it was worth the time and effort.