Retro Recap - EIU Book Signing

It had been over a decade since I'd set foot on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. I'd been excited about the trip, but I hadn't realized how good it would feel to be back there.  I spent less than ten percent of my earthly existence there, but somehow EIU still feels like home.
We re-visited several "scenes" from Three Daves, and I wonder---how is it that when I'm so forgetful in my everyday life (seriously, where are my car keys?), I'd somehow recalled all of those places in such vivid detail when recreating them in the story?  They were exactly as I'd remembered, right down to the loud and truly horrible punk band in the warehouse-like setting. It was awesome. :)  

And it's a good thing the nostalgia was well worth the trip in itself, because the book sales...not so much.  The demographic at the golf outing where I'd arranged my signing wasn't what I was expecting, and although we had fun and did what we could to chat people up about the book, at some point I had to accept that they just weren't that into me. But hey, a few people bought copies and everyone went home with a postcard, so more seeds sown, right?  And we found more than enough enthusiasm for Three Daves out at the bars later that night and on campus the next morning to make me happy.  We'll see where it leads.

A few quick ideas for anyone planning a signing 
(Some of these I did, some I wish I'd done):

  • If there's an opportunity to get informational postcards to your audience ahead of time, do it.
  • Have your book trailer playing on your laptop (thanks for the tip Alison).
  • Set up easily visible signage to explain why you and your book are relevant to the event.
  • Bring along a fun and encouraging posse. (Thanks guys!)   
  • Tell me about your event so I can put it on my side-bar!


      Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

      That's what I need - a posse!!

      Liz Fichera said...

      Looks like you also planted a lot of seeds from your pics! :-) I wonder if you could place ads on alumni web sites? How cool it would be to read a book where you went to college!

      Joanna St. James said...

      Yeah those Alumni Hounds have to be good for something they started calling me b4 I graduated.
      If you ever decide to go back especially for unis I would target the sorority houses they are amazing publicists if they set their minds to it.
      Glad you had fun

      Nicki Elson said...

      Alex -- posses rock!

      Liz -- Grow little seeds, grow! Haha. The alumni organization and EIU staff have been great - they've posted links on the newsletter and an article on Three Daves will be in the November issue of the Alumni magazine. SO excited about that!

      Joanna - I hadn't thought about sororities! Now that would be fun. Thanks for the tip. ;)

      Jennifer Lane said...

      Hey Nicki! Loved the photos--some very beautiful buildings at EIU. Great idea to go to the novel's setting for your book signing! That will be exciting when your book's in the Alumni magazine, too.