Posts Tagged With: chapters

Pictures From My Assorted Book Events (OMG)

It just occurred to me that I haven’t shared any pictures from either the Chapters book signing or the Gathering on the Green festival from last weekend. Shame!

First of all, we have some choice photos from the Chapters book signing …


Me at the signing with my shiny book.

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Mother and I chilling at the table near the end of the signing.


Just chattin’ up some peeps. No biggy.

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My friends stopped by to say hi.


Dramatic shot of the table.

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Mother is amused. I am not.

Next up, select photos from the Gathering on the Green folk festival …


The Wheel of Imminent Danger! (And my friend Peter, who helped set up the booth.)


Me, myself, and I.


Jesse (my brother) setting up the tent.


Dramatic shot of the table, including the legend for the Wheel of Imminent Danger!


Jesse and I at the booth. Note our classy set-up, tablecloth included.


Close-up of our classy book display.

There you have it, folks! Two events down, two to go! Well, two that are scheduled, at least. I’m sure I’ll accidentally sign up for a few more before the summer ends. Thanks again to the lovely Rhiannon for photographing the above pictures. To see even more photos from these events, click here.

Unrelated media of the day:

I think we’ve had quite enough pictures for one day, don’t you? Here’s a cute video of a dog attempting to sing and play the piano.

Categories: My Works | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Chapter Book Signing = Great Success! (Plus 7 Lessons Learned)

I am happy to announce that not only did I survive my first book signing, it in fact went fairly well — huzzah! Pictures/video will come sometime in the next week as my photographer/videographer/hair stylist Rhiannon assembles the footage, so we’ll have to stick to text for this post. I now present …

A basic run down of what happened yesterday (aka My First Book Signing!):

8:00 AM — Woke up. Ate Cheerios. Surfed the internet.

10:00 AM — Took a shower. Got dressed. Remembered to put on deodorant.

10:30 AM — Rhiannon arrived. Sat in uncomfortable wicker chair whilst she styled my hair. Shouted at brother to hurry up in shower so I could retrieve my make-up.

11:30 AM — Applied make-up. Asked mother what time it was. Heard “11:45 AM”. Had minor panic attack.

11:32 AM — Discovered it was only 11:32 AM. Calmed down.

11:40 AM — Got in car. Drove to Chapters.

11:45 AM — Met Chapters store manager and assorted friendly employees. Was directed to wooden table where they set up approx 30 copies of my book, along with sign proclaiming “Meet Michelle Proulx!” Family brought water to prevent dehydration.

12:00 PM — Stood beside table, attempting to look non-threatening and inviting. Rhiannon set up tripod and video camera to film footage.

12:05 PM — Realized tripod and video camera were scaring people off. Rhiannon took down tripod and video camera and joined mother/brother in attached Starbucks.

12:oo-1:00 PM — Stood a bit more, having little success with attracting customers. Sat down behind table. Was rewarded by a stream of interested parties (some of whom I didn’t actually know!). Several books sold.

1:05 PM — Lull in customers. Noticed my hands were shaking and it was hard to breathe. Realized I was having a mild panic attack. Realized I was nervous about my book signing (better late than never, I guess). Realized it was stupid to have a mild panic attack, as I’d already been sitting at the table for an hour and had done just fine. Stopped having a mild panic attack.

1:30 PM — Met random woman who claimed to have read my book and loved it. Was confused, as did not recognize her. Discovered she was a Chapters employee, who had decided to read my book when she heard about the upcoming book signing. Was no longer confused. Chatted happily for several minutes.

2:00 PM — Friends arrived (several from out of town) to purchase books for themselves/friends/relatives. Sales boom. Was very excited. Handed stacks of bookmarks to friends and instructed them to wander around the store giving them out.

3:00 PM — Sales slow but steady(ish). Gave sales spiel to a woman who listened for about 10 seconds, then asked, “Wait. Is this fiction? I don’t like fairy tales”. Felt it was best not to point out the difference between fairy tales and other types of fiction.

3:15 PM — Gave sales spiel to father of two boys. Father was interested. Boys were not. When spiel concluded, younger son (5 years old) stared me direct in the eye and said “Yeah, whatever” and walked off. Father amused but embarrassed.

3:30 PM — Foot traffic and interest waned. Valiantly gave out more bookmarks. Bottom began to hurt from sitting on wooden chair for so long. Water supply dangerously low.

4:00 PM — Tentative end time of book signing. Was not told to leave, so stayed.

4:15 PM — Friends began to congregate around table, waiting for me to finish so we could leave. Sent friend to look for manager.

4:30 PM — Manager on phone, so spoke with different manager. Thanked them for their hospitality, packed up things, left some bookmarks, and exited Chapters.

Total books sold = 17

Mission = Great Success!

7 lessons learned from my first book signing:

  1. Make sure your signage indicates that you are the author. Otherwise you’ll get people walking up to the table, staring at you, then at your book, and then tentatively asking, “Did you … um … write this?”
  2. Make sure your signage indicates that you are local (if appropriate). As soon as people hear you’re local, they’ll be much more interested in hearing what you have to say.
  3. Make sure you have something to hand out, other than books. And also make sure your handouts (bookmarks, stickers, etc.) have your info on it — i.e., the name of your book, your name, your website — so that even if the person doesn’t buy your book at the signing, they still have the necessary information to purchase it at a later date.
  4. Look professional and approachable. (Note: Big thanks to my mother, who financed my official “author signing” outfit.)
  5. Bring/acquire water. Talking makes you thirsty.
  6. Have your sales pitch somewhat worked out beforehand. I didn’t. That made talking about my book an … interesting exercise.
  7. Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t want to buy your book. Thank them for their time, and send them off with a smile. There’s always next time!

Unrelated media of the day:

This image needs no explanation. It simply is.

Categories: Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Chapters Book Signing Tomorrow!

With our three-week guest post experiment now over (I think it went pretty well, don’t you?), it’s time to get back on topic — namely, ME!

Ha! Kidding. Except not actually. I think I vaguely mentioned this a month or so ago, but I have in fact scored a book signing at my local Chapters (big Canadian bookstore). In case you’re wondering how such a thing is possible, I shall give you a brief history of how it happened:

A brief history of how it happened …

So the iUniverse package I bought puts 8 copies of my book in a local Chapters store for 8 weeks (I think the 8 weeks will be ending at the start of June). I went into the store on April 1st (first day the books were supposed to be on the shelves), only to discover they weren’t on the shelves. After a half-hour-long search involving several wonderful Chapters employees, we located my book on the shelving manager’s desk — apparently she didn’t know what genre to file the book under, as the back of the book says Young Adult (as it’s supposed to), but it’s listed in their system as Children’s Lit (thank you, iUniverse!). Anyway, it all got figured out, and the book was placed in the teen section. But during this search, I came into contact with one of the floor managers, who was just amazing — when he found out I’d written the book, he asked, without even being prompted, “Well, have you set up a book signing here yet?” And of course I was like, “… um, no. Is that even possible?” And he was all, “Sure! Let me give you the store manager’s email!”

And the rest is history.

So the moral of the story, I guess is either:

  • Ask and you shall receive, or
  • My local Chapters is unbelievably awesome

Anyway …

So the book signing is happening tomorrow, from 12-4 in the afternoon. My best friend and accomplished photographer Rhiannon Barlow will be on-site to manhandle people over to my table, and also to take pictures and video record the event so that all you lovely people can experience the (hopefully) joys of my book signing. Here’s a picture of the aforementioned BFF/photographer:

rhia_2So sassy! That’s my new favourite word. I apply it to many things — awesome people, tangy foods, snazzy convertibles, etc. Anyway, she’ll be prepping all sorts of excellent media for me to conglomerate together and share with you next week. Woo!

Back to the signing …

Chapters ordered in an extra 30 copies for the signing, so fingers crossed I manage to convince people to buy at least half of those. One of the big problems is that iUniverse fails at pricing books cheaply, so the book retails in Chapters at $24. For a softcover. Stupid, right? I asked them to lower their prices to a level that actual humans might pay, but no dice. I’m hoping people will be able to overlook that price in favour of supporting a local author, but … only time will tell, I guess.

I expected to be really nervous about the signing, but for some reason I’m cool as a cucumber. Could be because it hasn’t sunk in yet. Perhaps tomorrow morning I will have a mental breakdown. I should schedule that in, just in case. Does 10:13 AM work for everyone?

Anyway, you’ll be hearing all about how the signing went next week, so there’s no point in me blathering on about it now.  Have a fantabulous weekend, stay cool, and wish me luck!


Unrelated media of the day:

Today’s unrelated media features a blast from the past.

Categories: iUniverse, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Musings on inscribing a book to someone

Today’s post was prompted by my recent Goodreads Giveway, which netted me … (drum roll) … 945 participants! Woo!

Moving on. So two people won, and now I need to send them their copies of Imminent Danger, complete with the dreaded BOOK INSCRIPTION!!!

Why dreaded, you ask? Is your book rastafarian? Does every copy come with an adorable origami set of miniature dreadlocks?

No, of course not. Don’t be silly. I’ve been dreading the BOOK INSCRIPTION!!! for some time now, because I have absolutely no idea what to write as an inscription. First of all, there’s the debate between “To” versus “For”. Examples:

To Juarhala, prettiest gal this side o’ tha Pecos


For Juarhala, my dearest and most loyal sycophant

“For” strikes me as more personal, whereas “To” is more when you’re writing a letter to someone. Hmmmm. Thoughts?


And then, of course, there’s the dodgy matter of what to actually write in the inscription itself. Just “For/To + Name” is kind of boring. You need to personalize that shizzle to really make it … erm … fizzle. So, what to write?

For my close friends, nothing short of an epic, full-page letter will suffice. I’ve known them for a long time, they helped with the book, and they expect The Iliad in return. Fair enough. God knows what I’ll actually write in said epic letter — I think it will have to be an on-the-spot inspiration type of deal — but that doesn’t stop me from worrying that, when I’m on the spot, I’ll have absolutely no idea what to write, or write something so stupid they’ll quietly hide my book in a corner and never mention it again.

But now that I’ve got a book signing at Chapters on May 25th (huzzah!), I need to figure out what to write for people I’ve met only casually, or for the first time. Do I try to personalize the message to each person? Do I ask them what they want me to write? Or do I come up with a witty, generic phrase? Here are some possible generic phrases of questionable wittiness:

For XXX. Reach for the stars! Michelle

To XXX. Follow your dreams! Michelle

For XXX. Pew pew pew! Michelle

To XXX. SHWOOP! Michelle

To XXX. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! Michelle

For XXX. Enjoy the book, and thank you so much for your support! Michelle

To XXX. Best wishes, Michelle

For XXX. Dangerously yours, Michelle.

Bah. As you can see, I clearly have no idea what I’m doing. Any and all suggestions, as always, are welcome!!!


Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Camp NaNo + assorted updates

In a somewhat suspicious turn of events, my Camp NaNoWriMo attempts are going extremely well this year. As of thirty seconds ago, I am officially at 8,666 words — 43% of my goal for the month. And it’s only the 6th! Huzzah! I suppose it helps that I actually have a plan for what I’m writing — not an outline, of course, but more of a general “This happens, then this, then this.” I’m really excited, guys. Chasing Nonconformity is going to be epic. Well, as soon as I finish writing the darn thing, that is.

And I have new pictures for you! But first, let’s do a brief iUniverse update …


iUniverse update

Remember the pricing issue I was talking about? According to iUniverse, it is impossible to solve it. iUniverse sent out their recommended sales price, and now apparently the online retailers (Amazon, Kobo, etc.) have complete freedom over how much they want to sell the books for. Grrrr. So I said, “Dear iUniverse, if you can’t control the eBook price, can you at least make the physical books less expensive?” To which iUniverse responded that they used a base print-on-demand algorithm to determine the price, blah blah blah, and that the softcover price is fixed at $21.95, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Like heck they can’t.


Chapters update

On the other hand, my book is now in Chapters! Check it out:

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The Chapters people have been absolutely awesome, as you can see from the above image! The only thing they were obligated to do as part of my publishing package was put the book on the shelf, so the fact that they stuck it at the front of the store, on the top shelf, is beyond fantastic. Huge shout-out to the staff up at Chapters North, London!

I’ve also contacted their general manager about doing a book signing — no word back yet, but I have high hopes!


Other update

The lovely and talented Ms. Tania L Ramos is currently rocking Las Vegas on a writer’s getaway. She brought along Imminent Danger, and took this adorable, alien-themed photo:



Okay, enough bragging for one day. Off to work! But before I go, I shall leave you with your favourite part of my posts, the …


Unrelated media of the day

Categories: iUniverse, Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Help! How should I title my chapters?

Jedi Armen, my teddy bear protector, bearer of the One Ring of Power. He’s very fierce.

Since I’m apparently incapable of making up my own mind, I pose this question to you: how should I title my chapters?

Here are the options:

Option #1

Chapter 27

Option #2


Option #3

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Recall that Imminent Danger is a YA sci-fi/romance book. I don’t know if that’s relevant. I’m personally leaning towards Option #2 (just the number), because I spend most of my life these days shortening my manuscript so I’m going through a minimalist phase.

But my book stopped being a dictatorship a long time ago, so time for democracy to get its say:

Feeling multicultural? Check out this ridiculous K-Pop video:

That’s all she wrote. Have a kick-bottom Wednesday, amigos.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Shelf Space for your Self-Published Book + SpaceX

Publishing an eBook is awesome, no doubt about it. But for me, the ultimate goal of a self-published author is getting your book onto a bookshelf in an actual brick and mortar book store. Imagine walking into your favourite book store and watching as a complete stranger picks your book off the shelf. Heaven!

I’d love to just walk into my local Chapters (Canadian book store) and ask the manager to put my books on their shelves, but tragically it’s more complicated than that. Big book stores don’t want to deal with random little indie authors – they have international best sellers to push. So where can we get our shelf space fix?

Good news for Wichita, Denver, Louisville, and Chico!

First of all, check out this article. Basically, there are a handful of indie book stores in the USA that have started programs that enable local self-published authors to sell their books in the stores. These stores operate mainly on “consignment” – meaning that you give the book store copies of your book for free, and if the books sell, the book store pays you back an agreed-upon price. So, if I were to bring in my made-up-on-the-spot book, Tuna on a Cloudy Day, that retails at $20, the book store would give me a set consignment rate (let’s say 50/50). My book would then go on the shelf for a limited time, and whenever a book is sold, I would get $10.

Some of the book stores listed in the article also have programs where you can do book signings, or they will help you create promotional materials for your book campaign, etc. My personal favourite is Lyon Books in Chico, California, which holds an annual Local Author Holiday Open House. They run ads in the newspaper featuring thumbnails of the local authors’ books and short blurbs, then get all the local authors together in the store for a huge book-signing event. How amazing does that sound?

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Wichita, Denver, Louisville, or Chico. This somewhat limits my options. I’ve tried the obvious Google search for book stores near my house that offer such a program for local authors, but all I got was an eHow article on How to Get a Self-Published Book Into Bookstores. Not very helpful, internet.

My “solution”, such as it is.

There is a self-publishing company called iUniverse. I signed with them and sent them a boatload of money back in April. Now, I don’t want to recommend them to anyone just yet, because I haven’t even gotten as far as the submitting my manuscript stage. More updates on that as the publishing process progresses. Anyway, they have this really neat program called the Indigo Chapters Publishing Package that is only available in Canada. It’s your basic self-publishing service – they edit your book, design the cover, format the interior, create print and eBook versions, and distribute them on all the major book-selling sites. However, there is the added bonus that they will put 8 copies of your book into a Chapters book store of your choice for 8 weeks. The best part is that, if the books sell, Chapters is obligated to re-stock the book so long as the 8 week period is in effect. This means that if you can generate enough interest in your book, Chapters will keep re-ordering even past the end of the 8 week period. Exciting stuff! I’ll let you know if it works XD

Know any good indie book stores?

Obviously my “solution” only works if you live in Canada and have $2,999 to spare. Okay, I didn’t exactly have it to “spare”, but you get the point. Does anyone know of any local/indie book stores that offer programs like the ones I mentioned for self-published authors? It doesn’t have to be only for Canada – I’d love to know about any/all of them!

Also, does anyone know anything or have tips about getting your book into a physical book store? I’m sure at least one person in the big, wide world of WordPress has accomplished this feat!

And now for a change of pace – SpaceX!

Not technically on the topic of writing, but still noteworthy – SpaceX has successfully launched their first commercial spaceship. It’s unmanned, and is currently in orbit around Earth and preparing to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). Read about it here. Why am I so excited about this? Because NASA shut down the spaceshuttle program, and have been relying on Russian rockets (not the most reliable form of transportation) to get up to the ISS. SpaceX is the first private company in the world to launch their own rocket successfully. And they aren’t the only company doing it, either. I envision a future (hopefully within the next few decades), where space tourism will be a real thing. How awesome would it be to go up into space for a few hours and float around in zero G? If SpaceX succeeds, this could very well happen, hence my enthusiasm.

And for those of you who don’t want to read the article, here is my personal favourite tidbit from the very bottom:

“The rocket also blasted into orbit around the Earth the ashes of more than 300 people, including Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on Star Trek. The ashes were in a section of the rocket that was jettisoned during the climb into space.”

That’s right, you can now send your ashes up into space to orbit the Earth for eternity, in the company of astronauts and Star Trek actors. Anyone else intrigued by this concept?

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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