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Guest post by Eileen Goudge

by Nicole on July 31, 2014

The following is a guest post from bestselling author Eileen Goudge:

THE DAY I WAS THE FLASHING BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL

I laugh about it now. At the time it wasn’t so funny.

There I was, at the Big Box Store that was the next stop on my book tour, seated at a table piled with my newly released title in the jewelry aisle, smiling my brightest author smile while shoppers gave me odd looks while passing by with their grocery carts. No one stopped except the manager, to ask if I was okay (spoken in the tones of a doctor inquiring about a trauma patient’s pain level) and did I need anything. He looked nervous. Not as nervous as me, but I was better at hiding it.

I was veteran of book-signings after all.

Then came the sound of his voice blasting over the P.A. system, “Attention shoppers! We have a bestselling author on aisle six…” I would have crawled under the table had there been enough room.

This is why I no longer do book tours. Because that wasn’t the worst book-signing ever. Not even in the bottom three. Recently I read a blog post by an author who bemoaned the “demise” of regional writers conferences and book tours for all but the mega-bestselling authors. She missed the face-to-face with readers. I’d miss it, too, if my experience had been a happy, instead of wildly uneven, one.

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Book events are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Sometimes I’d get a decent turnout, occasionally a sizeable crowd, but most often it was the luck of the draw. Like my book-signing at a Waldenbooks in Fort Lee, Indiana, that happened to coincide with the basketball season playoff. They don’t call Indiana the “Hoosier” state for nothing. Only one person showed, a would-be sci-fi writer who regaled me with the plot of his novel, then walked away without buying a copy of my book. And, believe me, I was glad to have him.
I’ve heard other authors bitch about social media like it’s the downfall of civilization. Personally I think it’s the best thing ever. In the beginning I was among the unbelievers, moaning about the “extra work” and whining “my publisher makes me do it.” Now I see it as a wonderful way to interact with many more readers than I’d ever see at a book-signing (unless I changed my name to J.K. Rowling).

I also discovered an author community online and am part of a Twitter “coffee klatch,” wonderful ladies who are always ready to “favorite” and retweet. We all say nice things about one another’s books (which come out of genuine admiration). I do guest blog posts in addition to keeping up with my own blog at www.eileengoudge.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Do I tweet/post/ etc. faithfully multiple times per day? No, of course not. Who has the time? I’m a writer. I write. And tweeting/posting isn’t included in my daily word count. But I do dip and out of the various streams at every given opportunity. Noodling with one’s albums on Pinterest is a great way to kill time when one is in 1-800 hold hell.

Now, with the release of my newest title, Bones and Roses, the first book in my Cypress Bay mystery series, I’ll be making numerous author appearances, just not in person, and definitely not as “the flashing blue light special.” For one thing, the book is available in digital format only, which doesn’t lend itself to book-signings. That said, I’m really excited to talk about my experience launching a mystery series after publishing 15 women’s fiction titles, (several of which easily quality as romantic suspense, so it’s not as big a leap as you might imagine), and what it’s like to become a “hybrid” author, meaning I’m both self-published and traditionally published.

What is Bones and Roses about? It’s me on a page. Tish Ballard is the kind of sleuth I’d be if I were take up amateur sleuthing. Fearless, flawed, irreverent, and fiercely loyal. She laughs while groaning at the chocolate-covered cherries in life’s box of chocolates. Here’s a brief description:

From home invasions to cheating spouses, Rest Easy Property Management owner Leticia “Tish” Ballard thought she’d seen it all. Almost four years sober after flambéing her real estate career in an alcohol-fueled blowout, she’s finally in a good place in her life when the discovery of skeletal human remains rocks her world and plunges her headlong into solving a decades-old crime. Now she must delve into the darkness of her own past, including the one-night stand gone horribly wrong with Spence Breedlove, who happens to be the lead detective on the case. When the truth comes out at long last, Tish finds herself pitted against an enemy who will stop at nothing in a fight for her own life.

You can find it at all major e-tailers. You just won’t find me on aisle six.

Check out an excerpt from Eileen Goudge’s latest book, Bones and Roses on her Facebook page!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Helga July 31, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I agree there are book signings that are great and others not so much.

2 eileen goudge August 1, 2014 at 7:08 pm

You, too, Helga? I’ve talked to other authors who’ve had similar experiences to mine. Though I have to say, I’ve met some awesome people at book signings, so I give thanks for that :)

3 Samantha Stroh Bailey August 2, 2014 at 11:19 am

Oh, this made me laugh. I would show up at any one of your signings, Eileen. And having read and loved Bones and Roses, well, I’ll just have to go out for dinner with you to get you to sign my copy. The worst signing I ever did was with a couple of author friends of mine. We all had these gorgeous tables, our books beautifully displayed, and there happened to be a major snowstorm that day. Not only did we see maybe three people, but there was a small hole in the ceiling above where I was sitting and snow fell on my head for the entire day. Still, it was great just to see my books on a table.

4 Meredith Schorr August 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Well, at least I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not having in-person book signings! I, for one, am so glad that you discovered social media because otherwise I might not have discovered you! I can’t wait to read your newest book and you are welcome to stop by my blog anytime you want!

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