By Deborah Sharp
Hear that big rush of wind? That's me, breathing a sigh of relief after a job pretty well done. Ditch-diggers and asphalt workers may scoff, but book signings can actually be hard work. Especially for those of us who are introverts at heart. Plaster on a big smile, look approachable but not pushy, and sell sell sell your series (and yourself). Hard work.
I just finished a round of meet-and-greet signings in the Fort Myers, Fla., area over the Thanksgiving weekend. I talked to more people in three days than I used to talk to in three months, BB (that's ''Before Booksignings''). After five books, I still get a flutter in my stomach each time I set up my things on that little table the bookstores provide: bookmarks and business cards, a red bowl of candy, my special signing pen. My talismans. Meet-and-greets, where it's just the author and a table near the door versus an author and a seated audience, can be a challenge. You have the opportunity to be rejected over and over by individual members of the shopping crowd, instead of in one fell swoop by an audience. I use the word audience loosely.
The point is, selling and smiling can be exhausting. I always need an energy injection afterwards. For me, that usually comes in the form of getting outside into nature. Luckily, my husband and I were in one of my favorite spots. We met in Fort Myers, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Both of us worked in the news business -- I was a print reporter with my first job at the News-Press, and he was on camera at WINK-TV. We spent many happy hours walking the white sands of Fort Myers Beach back then. What better place to celebrate a job pretty well done?
That's me below, in my Rocky pose (Youngsters, that's a reference to a movie starring Sylvester Stallone, before the plastic surgery):
Then, sunset-watching at Fort Myers Beach Pier is always a nice way to close the day:
Finally, a little liquid relaxation.... Ahhhhh:
How do you like to unwind after a job pretty well done?