Book signings. They are one of the sweet benefits of an author’s life. While we write, we seclude ourselves away from the world with only our characters for company. However, after publication we welcome the public to come.
And the 518 Publishing Company savored a sweet last weekend with their first book signing at the ‘Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza’. Our premier anthology, ‘Dark & Bitter’ was front and center and was well received. Four of the 518 authors read excerpts from their stories, welcomed readers, and signed copies of the book. It was such a crush.
But no matter how much you plan and prepare for an event, there is always something that would work better. For instance, the flow of customers coming into the book store was not to our advantage. Even though we were right in front by the door, people would come in look at what we were doing, then keep going. Customers had to be invited into the book signing. Not that it was a bad thing, but the 518 staff had to be diligent. Maybe a big sign by the door inviting people to come sit and listen to the stories would help. I guess it’s a lesson learned.
All and all, it was a smashing success and we like to thank the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza for hosting us. And if you missed it, no worries, there are many in the future.
Two years ago this month the idea of the 518 Publishing Company ignited a spark in the eyes of four women. During the process of creating the small press, we encountered a few struggles. First, getting everyone on the same page took a bit, though that wasn’t a big issue. All of us wanted the same thing, to help local writers realize a goal of seeing their words in print.
Secondly, and probably the biggest hurdle was setting up the LLC. Paperwork, filing, and taxes were just short of a nightmare. The formal LLC letter from the state didn’t come promptly. But after many calls and a good chase, we were finally legal.
Setting up financials was difficult and we had to be creative. With only a few dollars in the bank, the funds wouldn’t cover the cost to publish a book. We needed a professional editor and a book cover. The 518 is not a vanity press. We don’t expect an author to pay for editing and book covers. So what do we do? Kickstarter of course.
Many people use the crowdfunding tool to help fund an idea. Friends, family, and a few unknowns backed us. Dark & Bitter was published, and a few writers became first-time published authors.
And this is why we are here. Every Sunday local writers in the 518 meet at Denny’s to write. Some weeks there may be only a few, and other times as many as thirty. Last Sunday was the deadline to submit for 518’s next publication. A fellow writer felt our push, and they will be published in the upcoming anthology, Exploits of the Adirondacks. It feels good to know that one more person will see their name in print and become a published author.
Check out our ‘Submit to Us’ page. You could be next featured author in our third anthology.
Here are the top seven writing habits repeatedly mentioned by big time writers including Bryce Courtney, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, Neil Gaiman, and Agatha Christie.
- Be consistent. Some authors write at a given time, some only on given days, but all of them make writing important and consistent.
- Never justify. If you want purple grass and seven moons, go for it. If your characters are exceptionally goody-goody, or sociopathic, then that is what makes the story yours.
- Let it go. At some point, put the story, poem, song, play, out into the world. Give it wings. If it crashes and burns, follow point four below.
- Never stop writing. If the first one flops, write the second, and the third and the seven thousandth. You actually never know when someone (see final point below) will read something you’ve written and it really does make it big.
- Balance your weakness. If you can’t make a deadline, write well. If you are submitting crap, turn it in on time. Write drunk, edit sober. Once you have figured out your personal crazy, make sure it isn’t so dysfunctional that you become your own worst enemy.
- Be flexible. If you can’t find a publisher, find another way. If you are getting a backache writing at your desk, write somewhere, anywhere, else. If you hate computers, figure out voice recognition. Work arounds keep life interesting, and productive.
- It’s who you know. Meet people, be friendly. You never know who will make the call that you’ve been waiting for.