Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Book Signing – I’m scared, maybe terrified – Barbara Baker


The book signing takes place January 14, 2023 at Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary, Alberta. Please come.

When my first novel, SUMMER OF LIES, was released, COVID was shaking up the world. People met on Zoom, Facetime or Messenger. No public gatherings allowed. I must admit, I was okay with that. Talking to real people in real time about my book scared me.

But now that WHAT ABOUT ME? has been released in a less restrictive COVID environment, I will be at my first book signing. In public. With those real people.

The logistics are taken care of. I have chocolates, a small poster, my favourite pen, a selection of colourful sticky notes and a bottle of hand-sanitizer. To be prepared, I Googled Everything I Need to Know about Book Signings. A few articles disagree with each other but spelling the person’s name correctly in the book, bringing your favourite pen and smiling were consistent throughout.

But here’s my problem. I’m an introvert. Stop laughing! I am. Honest. Yes, I can talk the ear off an elephant if need be and can converse with mammogram technicians like nothing is amiss, but when someone asks about my writing, I force my eyes not to dart around in search of an exit. And my mouth - well all the words it knows reaches the exit before I do.

I’m thankful that, in seconds, I can redirect the conversation - possibly mention grandkids. I have six of them and numerous tales of their antics. Or there’s my 90-year-old dad. He’s super interesting and I have a lifetime of stories to share about him.

When I attended my first writers’ retreat in 2009, I realized my hesitation to discuss my writing with strangers. At the introduction supper I sat at a large round table. There was constant chatter about agents and publishers and editing techniques. 

I was in awe of their writerly worldliness right up until someone asked me what I was working on. With my fork, I lifted a piece of lettuce from my plate and said, “do you think the dressing is raspberry vinaigrette?” Yes, I dodged that bullet! And I still deflect those conversations.


I wish I knew. Book reviews have been good. Emails and notes say readers enjoyed my novels. So why can’t I promote them? Do I have Imposter Syndrome? Maybe?

Today I blame the problem on my lack of sales skills. People say being good at sales is an art - just like writing. And it takes practice. Since I’m at the bottom of the ‘art of sales’ learning curve, I will take all suggestions on how to have a successful book signing.

In the meantime, I ask myself, what if no one shows up? Do I eat the chocolates? Do I cry? Do I cry first and then eat the chocolates?

You can contact me at: bbaker.write@gmail.com

Summer of Lies: Baker, Barbara:9780228615774: Books - Amazon.ca

What About Me?: Sequel to Summer of Lies : Baker, Barbara: Amazon.ca: Books


CONTEST ALERT!!! There is a $100 (CAD) Walmart gift card up for grabs from BWL Publishing! Please note this gift card is in CANADIAN DOLLARS so must be used in Canada or from the Walmart Canada site. To enter all you have to do is answer 6 questions about our Canadian Historical Brides Collection. Go to the Canadian Historical Brides webpage
where you will find all the answers in the blurbs listed beside each book. Then answer the questions by sending me an email at emilypikkasso AT gmail.com with JANUARY CONTEST in the subject line. PLEASE DO NOT POST COMMENTS OR ANSWERS IN THIS THREAD The winner will be announced on January 31, 2023. Ready? Here are your questions:
  1. What decade does Brides of Banff Springs take place in?
  2. What is the heroine's name in His Brother's Bride?
  3. Which province does Pillars of Avalon take place in?
  4. Left Behind Bride deals with what illegal activity?
  5. In Envy the Wind what is the name of the ship Grace come to Canada on?
  6. Which war is occurring during Where the River Narrows?
Good Luck!



  1. feel your pain. Just remember to take deep breaaths but not too many or you'll hyperventalate. Good luck with the signing.

    1. Thanks. Almost like giving birth - just breathe lol

  2. Love your honesty. Sending positive vibes from Ontario.

  3. There are so many different sales techniques, it gets confusing. Some say sell yourself. Others say separate yourself from the product and just sell the product on its own merits. For an author, it's even more complicated, since the product is so close to our hearts. Here is what works for me: make eye contact, smile, compliment the potential reader (on a piece of jewelry, clothes, hair, perfume etc...) ask what they like to read, listen, answer questions honestly, hand them the book, let them read the back cover blurb in peace. If they show interest, quote a few reviews, talk about what makes that book special or memorable... Closing is the most difficult part for me. Just ask "Would you like to buy it? I'll sign it for you." If they don't buy on the spot, give them a card, postcard, or other promotional item with your name, website, etc... Maybe they will buy the eBook version.

    1. Thank you for all your suggestions. Greatly appreciated and I will try them out šŸ˜

  4. Sounds terrifying! But it's oddly comforting to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  5. Love Vijaya's tips. Wishing success for your first signing.

  6. I feel your pain, Barbara. Many people mistake me for a 'Greeter' and then ask, "Where's the bathroom." In the end, welcoming people with a smile is usually all it takes. Smile, smile, and smile!

    1. A smile and a chocolate. I've got that part covered. Thank you.

  7. Barbara you did really well at the signing. Remember it's all about that elevator speech - you write emotional coming of age adventures set in and around Banff! That gets the conversation started and the rest takes care of itself. And you did sell quite a few books so congratulations! It was a joy sharing the table with you.


I have opened up comments once again. The comments are moderated so if you're a spammer you are wasting your time and mine. I will not approve you.

Popular Posts

Books We Love Insider Blog

Blog Archive