Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pitch Wars Writing Contest!

What is Pitch Wars? Pitch Wars a writing contest that pairs agented authors, industry interns, and editors with aspiring writers to fine-tune and spruce up the writer's "pitch," also known as the body of a query letter.

The Pitch Wars start on November 26th. ON this date, potential contestants will send their applications to their coach of choice to this email address: Applications include a 3-sentence pitch and the first 250 words of the manuscript.

Starting December 5th, the coaches will review the entrants' applications and choose their match.

Teams will be announced on December 12th. From then until January 16th, the coaches and the writer will work to perfect their entry. On January 20th, the coaches will submit the pitches and on January 25th, the winners will be announced.

Want to know more? Here are some websites to help you out.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The First Five Pages Presents Sydell Voeller's Dummy & Me

Dummy & Book Book Cover

That stupid old feeling was haunting me again. I knew it was time to strike head-on. Flopping down on my bed, I closed my eyes and for the hundredth time called forth a picture in my mind. There I was in the school cafeteria with a bunch of kids clustered around me, talking and joking like it was the easiest thing I'd ever done.

My hair was no longer a mousy washed-out brown, but strands of curls fell, like the commercials say, with rich auburn highlights. My too-large nose was perfectly formed with just a hint of a ski-jump tip like Sally Murdock's, the most popular girl in the tenth grade class. I wore cool looking clothes with the latest designer labels—not the stuff I’d bought at Good Will. But the best part of all, I knew exactly what to say at exactly the right times. Even Jason Middleton, the class clown, laughed at my jokes. I had a major crush on him! The vision suddenly vanished. Negative vibes, the eternal culprit. It happened every time. As soon as I'd managed to concentrate on even a hint of my innermost dreams, there were those vibes, reminding me it was all impossible. My hopes faded as quickly as snowflakes striking a sun-warmed windowpane. During the past week I'd been reading this book about improving one's self-confidence. In it, the author said that you had to imagine yourself the way you wanted to be, tell yourself you'd already accomplished your goal, and then live as if you really believed it. Pretty soon you'd discover you were closer to your dream than you ever imagined possible.

I sighed, then shook my head. I'd tried it time and time again. Was it really possible for a fifteen-year-old like me?

Oh, it's not that I lacked friends totally. Tammy Haddon and I'd been best friends ever since second grade. And Delia Zeigler, my locker partner, sometimes joined Tammy and me when we walked to school.

Yet now at Meadow View High School, I wanted to stretch my wings and really belong to a special crowd.

The sound of my dad's angry voice jerked me from my thoughts. "Dede, how many times have I told you to start dinner before I get home?"

Springing up from the bed, I groaned. "Coming, Dad!"

A couple of years ago, Mom divorced Dad and took off for New York City to become an actress. They had always been so different. My father was contented to keep working at the cannery where he'd landed a job the day he'd graduated from high school. But my mother, who’d majored in drama and graduated from college with honors, was a dreamer.

I know Mom loved my older brother, Bryon, and me. I’ll never forget the look on her face that horrible day she told us good-bye, nor my own helpless feelings raging inside. How could she just walk off and desert us?

Still, she was restless, just like her grandfather, a famous ventriloquist in the fifties who traveled with the vaudeville. I could never change her restlessness.

I hurried out to the kitchen, nearly bumping into my father. "Sorry, I guess the time got away from me."

"Deanna, Deanna," he scolded, shaking his bald head. "The time always gets away from you. What were you doing? Lying in that room of yours and day-dreaming again?"

"Sort of.” I reached into the lower cupboard and grabbed a handful of potatoes. How could I ever explain to him about my latest attempts at positive action?

Author Sydell Voeller
"I suppose your brother is working down at the greasy spoon again."

"Dad, it isn't a greasy spoon. It's McDonald's. You know, a cherished American institution like motherhood and apple pie.” I'd borrowed those words from a commercial on TV.

He glanced up from the front page of The Oregon Reporter. Though his gray eyes looked weary, I could tell my dramatic proclamation had caught him by surprise. Or was it what I said, not how I said it? I wondered a split second later. Why had I mentioned motherhood and cherished institutions? I was only trying to get my point across, not open old wounds.

"Little do you know about motherhood," Dad grumbled. "Certainly nothing your mother ever taught you."

I sighed, saying nothing. It seemed he was always complaining about her.

Before she left, Mom had longed to go to the East Coast. Dad insisted on staying in Oregon. They fought about it constantly.

Yet secretly I couldn't blame him for complaining. Why couldn't she have been contented with her teacher's aide job at Blakely Elementary? Wasn't it enough to direct the annual school play and audition for roles at the community theater?

Dad snapped open a can of beer. "Better watch that day-dreaming, Dede. You'll end up just like your mother."

"So? There are worse things than being a dreamer."

I refused to tolerate his criticism any longer and rallied to Mom's defense. Funny how mixed up inside you could feel about someone you love. But Dad would never understand that. He was much too wrapped up in earning a living and hanging out at the Elks Club on weekends to care about me.
Dad clunked his lunch box down on the counter. “Did you get an e-mail from your mother today?” he asked.

I told him I had. 

"What's she up to now?"

"She's still stuck in that little rooming house, but she's hoping to find something better soon."

I yearned to be with her, yet I knew it was impossible. She could never afford to keep Bryon and me on her meager income. Dad didn't have extra money to send either. 

"You can read the e-mail if you like," I added.

"Later.” He dismissed my offer with a shrug.

I glanced up at the clock on the wall. I'd better hurry if I was going to get this dinner out on time.
"I hate cooking," I muttered to myself. "Why did Mom leave and dump it all on me?” Now that Bryon had turned seventeen and taken a part-time job at McDonald's after school, it was worse. At least he used to do the laundry in the evenings, but not anymore. That chore had been dumped on me too.

"What did you say, Dede?” Dad's words gave me a start. I hadn't meant for him to hear.

"Nothing," I answered. I shoved the potatoes into the microwave. "No over-time tonight?"

"Nope. The swing shift crew is finally shaping up, so I won't need to fill in for them. Good thing they hired two more men after Jarvis and Kettlemen quit."

The wrinkles in his forehead faded a little and I saw a hint of a smile on his lips. He rarely smiled anymore after the divorce. I'd watched him grow from a peppy, happy man to a bitter old one. We'd all suffered silently in one way or another, but I couldn't help thinking I'd suffered the most.

"Bryon's getting a raise next week," I told my father. "They told him within the next year, he might work his way up to evening manager.” I opened a box of Hamburger Helper and dumped it into the skillet of sizzling ground beef. The tangy smells of dehydrated onion rose up about me.

I waited for his reply, but when he didn't answer, I continued, "Bryon's doing a great job there. Remember, you were the one who told him it was time he helped out with the family finances.” I figured that should get a rise out of him.   
"Good. That way he can pay for his own car insurance. Next payment's due come April.” He gave the paper a quick snap. "The rates are getting just plum out of sight. Why, what with that and the price of gas, pretty soon it won't pay to drive a car, I tell you."

I stirred the hamburger concoction, watching the steam rising from the skillet. "I'll sure be glad when I can get a job. I mean a real one that pays. That way I won't have to bug you for new clothes or money to go to the movies with Tammy."

Every Saturday morning, I took the bus into Portland, Oregon to the children's hospital. I loved my volunteer job on the orthopedic ward. Lots of the patients stayed there for weeks and weeks, so I'd grown to know them well. It also proved a good escape from my chores at home.

“Tammy still your best friend?" he asked.

“Of course! Tammy and I will be friends forever." Though she'd recently signed up to work on the yearbook and because of that, made lots of new friends, I never doubted her undying loyalty.
"Good." Dad said. "Then maybe Tammy's mother can get you on at the hospital when you're old enough.” Mrs. Haddon was the activities director there and a lot like a second mom to me.

"She's already talked about that," I answered. "Says I stand an excellent chance of getting hired someday. Someday soon, matter of fact.” I was eager to let him know my efforts could possibly count for something in the long run. I'd always wanted to become a nurse for as long as I could remember.
That evening, after dinner dishes and homework were done, a bright new idea popped into my head. I'd try still another plan of attack in solving my self-confidence problems.

I grabbed my diary from the top of my dresser and thumbed through the pages. The blue vinyl covered book fell open to the last page, exactly where I wanted it to fall open.

I printed across the top in bold red letters, "My Plan for Positive Action.” In my book, the author had said you also needed to put your goals on paper.

There! It'd be simple. At the beginning of each week, I'd write down a new strategy, sort of adding one on top of the other like building blocks. This first week, I'd concentrate on smiling and saying hi to as many kids as I could, especially kids I didn't know. I wasn't sure exactly what I'd do for weeks number two, three, and so on, but I'd worry about that later.

As I closed my diary, anticipation stirred within me. It was only a matter of time:  Great things were just waiting to happen!

Sydell's Links
The buy link for this book is:
My website and blog:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Her Sister's Murderer by Tabitha Short

Her Sister's Murderer

by Tabitha Short

Giveaway ends October 28, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The First Five Pages Introduces It's All In Your Mind by Ann Herrick

Chapter One

It's All In Your Mind by Ann Herrick
If I had to pinpoint exactly when I started denying reality, I'd say it was the night I went to The Exit.
            "Turn off the engine, and let's go in," Caprice said.
            "I just want to hear the end of 'That'll be the day.'" I did like the song. But what I really wanted was a few more seconds to gather myself. The dingy building with the dim light struggling to shine through the grimy windows was not exactly in New Haven's new Urban Renewal. "Are you sure it's okay for us to be here?" A mist of cold sweat formed on my brow as I watched people filing in.  "Everyone looks...older. What if they throw us out?"
            "Vija Skalbe, would you cool just it for once? It's a coffeehouse, not a bar. No one here is over twenty. Trust me." Caprice snorted her snide, stifled laugh. "You'll be glad I dragged you here."
            I doubted that.
            Caprice lit a cigarette the second she stepped out of the car. "Just this one," she said. "I'm trying to quit."
            I'd told her Karl had warned me not to let anyone smoke in his car. I took a deep breath as we went inside and ordered coffee from a rough-looking guy with a Frankenstein forehead. Caprice pulled me toward a mushroom-sized table near the low platform that served as a stage. I sat down and wrapped my hands around the mug of acrid liquid. Caprice drank hers black. I had enough cream in mine to turn it white, but still could hardly stand to swallow the bitter taste. My folks loved the dark brew, but my coffee-appreciation gene must have been recessive.
            Blue smoke hung in the air from all the people puffing on cigarettes. One girl with long black hair touched a black cigarette holder to her lips, and blew a thin stream of smoke that swirled in the hazy light. Her over-sized black sweater hit mid-thigh on her black-tights-clad legs.
            I slid my feet under my chair, pushed myself close to the table, and tried to hide. As usual, I didn't quite fit in. Ever since my family moved to Connecticut from Latvia when I was eleven, I had one foot in each country. I wanted both feet planted firmly on American soil. But my parents constantly reminded me that our roots were in Latvia.
            I'd asked Caprice what I should wear, and all she'd said was, "Something somber." My black pleated skirt and mustard-colored sweater with matching cardigan turned out to be as out of place as I felt. I should've guessed, since Caprice had been wearing mostly tight-fitting black for the past two years. Her white lipstick, however, was new. Not a look out of Seventeen. Not that I was either. I tried to follow the latest fashions, but seemed to latch on to them just as they were ending. I was not what you'd call hip.
            During most of the week The Exit held readings. "Beat" poetry, radical writers such as Jack Kerouac, that kind of stuff. I'd read On the Road. I lost track of how many times the characters drove back and forth across the country on the open roads. I wasn't sure there was any purpose to it, but I envied them their freedom. My parents viewed American coffeehouses with profound suspicion. They would be appalled if they they'd known I was here.
            On Fridays, however, all sorts of music, was featured. I liked music, and that was one reason why Caprice was finally able to strong-arm me into going.
            Caprice and I had become friends in the middle of sixth grade, soon after I moved to Chatfield. I was extremely shy. She lived just a block away then, and we found ourselves walking to and from school together, and something clicked. She helped me with my English, and radiated confidence. I admired people with confidence.  Caprice enjoyed coming to my house where there was a father and a brother. She had neither. She liked bugging my brother, Karl, and he liked to tease her. Caprice and I became best friends. For a long time she was my only friend, and even now I was not what you'd call popular.
            Caprice and I even had a ceremony to make ourselves Spit Sisters. We were both too chicken to actually cut ourselves in order to become Blood Sisters. So, instead, we spit into each others hands, rubbing them together to "absorb" the saliva. We figured one bodily fluid was as good as another. We cut a lock of each other's hair and clipped the tip of each other's pinkie fingernail. We dug a hole and buried the hair and nails. Then we marked the spot with a pile of round rocks we'd collected from our back yards.
            We started to drift apart in junior high. When we started high school, Caprice announced that she'd dug up our hair and fingernails and scattered them. She didn't want to be Spit Sisters any more.
            This spring I turned seventeen and my brother joined the Navy rather than wait to be drafted. He left his old Chevy in my care. That's when Caprice started getting friendly again. Maybe it was our history together, as well as the car, that renewed her interest in me. We certainly weren't in the same circle. Of course, my circle was much smaller than Caprice's, so I was more willing to adapt. I struggled to find my place in the world.
Ann Herrick
"Well, Vija..." Caprice lifted an eyebrow. "What do you think?"
            "What do I think about what?"
            Caprice let out a loud sigh. "What do you think about 'The Exit?' Is this a cool place or what?"
            What could I tell her? That The Exit felt like a journey to an alien world to me? That my parents, instead of asking me the usual twenty questions, would've grilled me with thirty questions if I'd told them my plans to drive into New Haven at night. It was only a few miles, but to my parents it was another galaxy. I told them I was going over to Caprice's. Since she'd moved across town a couple years ago, it made sense that I'd drive. I just didn't mention that we were not staying at Caprice's. "Yeah... It'"
            "Maybe we'll meet some guys."
            "Me? Meet a guy? Yeah, right." I crossed and re-crossed my feet. What if I did meet a guy? Then what! Caprice talked about trying to meet "men from Yale." Yale! Guys from our own school made me nervous enough. But of course I couldn't tell Caprice any of that. When she'd been convincing me to drive into New Haven and spend the first Friday night of summer vacation at The Exit, she made me think I'd be a failure for life if I didn't.
            Caprice just shook her head. With her naturally flirtatious manner, she couldn't possibly understand what it was like to be drab in every conceivable way. Besides, I wasn't interested in just any guy. I wanted to wait for someone special. Of course, back in junior high when I told Caprice that, she laughed and said I was afraid of life. Maybe she was right.
            "Cast an eyeball on him." Caprice gestured toward a lanky, dark-haired guy in a far corner. "He's a cool cat."
            "Um. Yeah." He looked kind of gloomy to me.
            The lights blinked and the room's discordant chatter turned to a soft murmur.
            "Here comes Nolan Shar." Caprice nodded toward the stage. "I've heard he even plays gigs in Hartford."
            "Yeah, I know. You've told me." A hundred times. As if Hartford was the center of the music world. Of course, what did I know? Caprice said this guy was a folk singer. I loved rock n' roll, especially Buddy Holly's music. He was killed in that awful plane crash a few months ago, and I still mourned him.
            Nolan Shar stepped out of the shadows, up onto the platform, carrying a guitar. It was rumored that he'd attended Yale for a semester, then dropped out of school to sing. He was the kind of guy Caprice would set her sights on. I saw him only from the back, and took in the sandals, striped shirt, and chinos. A Kingston Trio look. As the lights dimmed, except for one casting its gentle, muted light on him, he turned. He looked out toward the audience--and smiled directly at me.
            A swath of golden curls fell casually on his forehead. He moved with nonchalant grace as he placed himself on the tall wooden stool in the center of the stage. His hands gently cradled the guitar. He spoke two words. "Aura Lee." Then his long, slender fingers caressed the strings, and he started to sing in a quiet, yet almost gravely voice. "As the blackbird in the spring, beneath the willow tree..."
            The music, I realized, had been used for Elvis's "Love Me Tender." But these original lyrics had a haunting quality, and filled me with a sense of peace and satisfaction.
            "...Yet if thine eyes I see, gloom will soon depart..."
            Every word pulled at me. Or maybe it was Nolan's voice.
            "...Love and light return with thee and swallows with the spring."
            I applauded, too enthusiastically apparently for Caprice, as her mouth was tight with displeasure. I realized then that steady, rhythmic clapping was the approved method of The Exit crowd. Still, in the dim, smoky atmosphere, I allowed myself an intense smile.
            Through his set Nolan sprinkled in a couple of lively songs with high humor. But the general tone of the music was soft and yearning. After his last song, he simply acknowledged the final applause with a nod, and put his guitar its case. As the lights came back on, he stepped down from the stage.
            My throat closed as he started toward the door.
"Nolan, wait." Caprice's voice shot across the table. She arched an eyebrow. "Join us?"
            Nolan stopped. He looked at Caprice, then me, then at Caprice again. He shrugged, grabbed a chair from another table, and sat down.
            I stared into his peacock-blue eyes. I could not open my mouth. Fortunately, Caprice never had that problem. She launched into a monologue about Chatfield, folk music, and, of course, herself. Word after word tumbled off her lips, effortlessly, like rain off a roof.
            Nolan sat, apparently fascinated, staring at Caprice, nodding occasionally, tossing out an "mm, hmm," now and then. Finally, the flow of words stopped. Caprice reached out and placed her hand over Nolan's in a possessive gesture. "Can I get you a coffee?"
            Nolan shook his head. "Sorry. Gotta split." He pulled out a pen, tore off a corner of my napkin, scribbled a phone number on it, and shoved the piece paper at me. "In case you'd like to talk some time."
            Then he left.
            For a second Caprice gawked in stunned silence. Then she sat bolt upright. "I can't believe he asked you out!"
"He...he didn't ask me out."
            Caprice rolled her eyes. "He gave you his number. Same thing."
            "Yeah, right. As if I'd ever call him. Girls don't call guys."
            "Maybe prissy little girls don't. But some of us do."
            I looked down at the piece of paper and traced my finger over the number. I folded the paper in half, and in half again, then tucked it in my pocket.
            From the moment Nolan strummed the guitar I knew he was someone special. I suddenly realized what I'd been waiting for. I'd always wanted to fall in love with a folk singer.

Where To Buy

e-book $2.99 (as of 10/13/13)
Paperback $10.40 (as of 10/13/13)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Supernatural Christianity

Title: The Dogs of Snoqualmie
By: Calvin Miller
Genre: Suspense/Thriller, Christian
Where I bought it: Lifeway
342pp B&H Publishing $6.40 (

I bought The Dogs of Snoqualmie at Lifeway, a Christian bookstore. The price was reduced to $3.25 and I can never resist a bargain. Plus, I’ve never really read a book where Christianity was the theme, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

In The Dogs of Snoqualmie, a killer is on the loose and is targeting executive women who are homosexuals. Each victim has had their throats torn out by what can only be a large dog or even a wolf.
In the midst of the investigation, several stories come together. There’s Paul and Rhonda Shapiro, the psychiatrist and his wife. All characters have a connection with Dr. Shapiro.

First, Rhonda comes across a wounded dog that she later discovers is actually a wolf. She keeps him as a pet even though all of Seattle is looking for a dog of his description. She is convinced that her pet, Kinta, is not the ravenous killer. 

Then there’s a priest, Father Peter, that is elderly and has begun suffering from dementia. Dr. Shapiro admits him to a psyche-ward and sees him periodically. Dr Shapiro doesn’t know it, but Father Peter’s visions are real and foretell the events about to occur.

Joanna Nickerson is the reverend at the Pathway of Light Cathedral. A vehicle hits her young daughter, Janie, when she darts out into the road. The driver of the vehicle is psychiatrist, Paul Shapiro.

President and CEO of the lumber company Pacific Woods, Levi Twist, sees Dr. Shapiro as a patient suffering from deep depression. He becomes furious when Dr. Shapiro tells him it’s time for him to move past the death of his wife. He cuts him off from anti-depressants to push Levi forward.

Levi’s girlfriend, Della, is Dr. Shapiro’s receptionist. When she becomes pregnant, she pressures Levi to marry her.

Isletta Borg is the owner of the last 10,000 acre tract of land Pacific Woods needs in order to start cutting down trees. However, no amount of money will convince her to part with it. Her Gaian beliefs lead her clear away from it.

Eric Compton is the successful lawyer at Pacific Woods who has been bulldozing any barriers lying in the way of the company goals. Inside, Eric adores the wilderness and his internal battle is soon relieved when he falls in love unexpectedly and to a degree he could never imagine possible.

There’s also Gary Jarvis, the investigator who has identified Dr. Shapiro (and possibly Rhonda) as the killer(s). He believes Dr. Shapiro has trained the wolf to do his dirty work. 

All roads and complications lead all characters to Isletta’s 10,000-acre tract of land for a demonstration sit-in to keep Pacific Woods from clearing the forested area. Everything comes to a head and the mystery of the serial killer is solved.

Calvin Miller
The suspense building in this book was very good. I must commend the author, editors, and publisher for their way of telling the story. It was definitely suspenseful and very well set up. 

There’s only one thing I felt was left out. Why did the antagonist target homosexual, executive women? The reason is not forwardly revealed. The only explanation I can cite is when the character says, “Now Dell, a lot of these women are sick with corporate power. Sick.” (Ch. 18, Pg. 131)

The reader could make the assumption the character was driven by his hate for the women that perhaps make him feel inadequate, women who have no sexual interest in him, or women who intimidate him. This would build on his character traits of arrogance and disregard for emotions and the human race.

At the same time, it could be something entirely different. Dare I say it? Is it a subtle notion that the author believes Christianity is so against homosexuality that he offs them in his writing? Because of the supernatural occurrences toward the end of the book, I could also surmise the opposite. Is it possible the author believes God makes sure evil-doers meet their demise? The evil doers, of course, being this serial killer, leaving the homosexual women as purely innocent victims who are indeed protected by God. I guess only Mr. Miller knows the answer to that. For my own wellness, I’ll stick with the first explanation. Perhaps you should read it to weigh in on the situation. Please offer your opinions in the comment section.

Comments from An Editor:
Given that Mr. Miller has written a full series (granted, one I’ve never read), I am forced to make the assumption that this book didn’t start as the mess I imagine it to have been before editing. I say that because this book has many characters and many avenues that come together very nicely.

There were two misspellings that I identified, both occurring within the first few chapters of the book. The error was the use of the word “though” when “through” was needed. One last proofread would have caught it.

From what I could ascertain, the editors must have used the Associated Press stylebook for editing along with a few in-house rules. For example, there were sentences that started with conjunctions. There were also several participial phrases that lacked a comma. These errors were consistent through the book, so I gathered they must be from in-house rules.

Regardless, I can imagine how difficult it must have been to organize the telling of this story because of the many characters and lives that were brought together.

One Last Comment: 
There were several occurrences in this book that made me cock an eyebrow. What I mean by that is there were things that happened that were very unbelievable and very unrealistic. When I come across such things, I immediately think that the author has run out of creative juices and is desperate to tie things up and has done so generically. Aside from these unrealistic things, I believe the book was enjoyable. I’ve given it a rating of three (3) pages out of five (5).

Author Bio (from Amazon):
Calvin Miller has written over 40 books of popular theology and inspiration. A former pastor, he is professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, Joyce, have two grown children.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Essentials of a Book Signing

Whether it’s your first book signing or your one hundredth book signing, here are a few essential things to remember.
  1. Names. Memorize the name(s) of the person (people) who own(s) the store or is (are) representing the store. Everyone loves to be remembered.
  2. Order Books. Make sure you order enough books. Sometimes this takes experience. It isn’t always easy to guess how many people will come into your location. Try to get an estimate of foot traffic from the storeowners so you can estimate how many books to order. It’s always best to overestimate.
  3. Planning for Books. Talk with your publisher about ordering the books well in advance. If you self-publish with Createspace, then three weeks should be enough time to receive your order and make sure everything is correct when it arrives.
  4. Merchandise & Setup. Do you have t-shirts, bookmarks, posters? If not, you should consider getting some. Be sure to set up your table so that it looks nice. It’s all about presentation. Remember to ask if you’ll be supplied a table or if you need to bring your own. Make a list of all the items you’ll need for your space.
  5. Expectations. Make sure you understand exactly what the bookstore owners are expecting. Sometimes they want you to do a reading. If this is the case, get family, friends, and fans to help you decide which snippet to read. This is a great opportunity to engage your fans! Also, talk money up front and candidly. What percentage, if any, will the store receive from the books sold? Will you sell them using the store’s credit card machine? That might cost extra. Do you have your own credit card machine? Will that take away from the store’s profit? Make sure you and the store are on the same page about everything.
  6. Transportation. If you have to lug in your table and supplies, be sure to have a big enough vehicle on hand to tote them. This may sound like a no-brainer, but in all the chaos, you’d be surprised what people forget to do.
  7. Pens. Don’t forget your pens! Choose an ink color that looks good on the pages. Decide where in/on the book you’ll sign.
  8. Advertise. Put it in the newspaper and/or the radio. Better yet, try to get the newspaper and/or radio to interview you.
  9. Signature. Practice your signature! You want to make sure it’s unique. Also, you might want to consider coming up with a tagline. I’ve seen, “Happy Reading!” and “Read On, My Friend!”
  10. Clean Up. If you want to return to the bookstore for future signings, you better make a good impression and that includes cleaning up after yourself. If you’re not into it, hire someone else to do it. Sometimes family members will be willing to volunteer.