How to Make Connections

                This is kinda my follow up to the entry I wrote about getting those desired book signings. I know that sometimes, even if you follow my little tips, it will feel like you’re hitting a wall. But you’re really not.
                So, you’ve emailed whomever the ontact was for signings, and you made yourself look like the next NY Times Bestseller in their minds, but they had to pass. That’s Okay! Always tell them how thankful you are for their time. I suppose because I’m a Texas girl, I have what everyone calls ‘Southern Charm,’ but I’m here to let you know that you can too.
                See, if I don’t get a reply to my email within 3-4 days, I call up the store and speak with the person in charge of event bookings. I’ll say something like, ‘Hey! I’m Belle Manuel, and I recently emailed you about a book signing. I just wanted to touch base.” For some locations, they’re so busy that emails can be overlooked, so the phone call makes them take pause and talk to you. This is also the time you use to seem more human! He/she may say they’re sorry about not responding, they’re just so swamped with work. Relate to them. Tell them you understand, that you've been so busy you can’t even see straight.
                I’m not saying lie to them – that’s disingenuous and everyone can see through that. I’m just saying find a way to relate to them and have a real conversation. Don’t even bring up the book in your little real life conversation. Trust me, they will segue back to the book signing. If they’re booked tight, oh well! You now have left an impression in their mind that you’re a great, easy person to work with. I recently got a ‘I’m sorry we are full’ email, and cordially thanked them for their time. Not two weeks later, they emailed me saying they  had put me in with a group, if I was still interested. That little ounce of politeness in today’s world goes so far!
                The manager, after the envent ended, told me they’d love to have me back whenever I want. Even though it wasn’t my most successful signing, they enjoyed the experience. I’ve seen so many authros with negative attitudes, demanding where they want to sit, or even complaining that they didn’t get enough free stuff. Don’t be that way. Nobody wants to work with a Negative Nancy.
                I always thank them just for letting me be in their store. The only things I ask for at my signings are ‘Autographed’ stickers and a little display thing for my book to sit on. I now have 5 locations where I know the manager by name, always get a personal email letting me know that they want me in an event, and can call up whenever I want (pretty much) and book a signing.
                Charm goes far, and I love connecting with my fellow writers. Saba Kapur, author of Lucky Me, has become a friend that I email with frequently. So please, feel free to email me. I really like swapping experiences and getting advice. Plus, I can always give you one on one pointers, and heck I’m sure another writer could give me some, too!