Nerd Party 2023!

Last year’s Nerd Party was my first-ever book signing event, so the annual mini-fair has a special place in my heart. It initially surprised me how many people showed up and wandered through the shops and displays. This year looked to be even bigger. There were more artists, more authors, added special guests, and still the same displays that were such a draw last time. Even with the pending inclement weather, it did not disappoint.

I did not get an opportunity to wander around the different stores, so I can only tell you about and share pictures from my little area. I was between two other local authors I have had the pleasure of booth-buddying with previously: J. P. Barnett and Maria Giakoumatos. We work well together as we are all in the fantasy realm, but fit into different sub-niches to suit any fantasy book tastes. The former has a series about two college girls hunting monsters instead of going to class. The latter has a spooky fantasy series involving vampires, demons, and other occult themes.

Mr. J. P. Barnett took to calling our area in the back of the comic shop the “author and artist cave” because, with the three of us, there were two artists as well (Maria has art in addition to her books too!). You can see their info in the picture here to check out their work.

Tori drew the frog (I love frogs!) while at the event.

How did I do? Well, I exceeded my goal for the evening. I think most people attended early, as it slowed down after the first couple of hours. The threat of snow kept some visitors away this year, but we heard they are shifting the Nerd Party to a warmer month in 2024. Hopefully, more people will be able to attend then. To anyone reading this who bought something from one of us in the author and artist cave, thank you for your support!

I’m now off to the Sounders’ season openers, so…until next year, fellow nerds!

Fall Festi-Con Fair

This afternoon, 9/24/22, I will be back in my Renaissance garb to chat about my books to anyone who will stop to listen. The idea fills me with both dread and anticipation. I always have to psyche myself up for a lot of human interaction. It is not where my energy comes from, and I continue to battle fits of shyness.

My excitement comes from all the people I have had the opportunity to chat with at other events this year. In February, I met my first fantasy fan excited to “meet the author.” Last month, people stopped by my tent to hear about my stories and ask about the world I created. The overwhelmingly positive and supportive response makes the next live event a little easier to approach.

The Fall Festi-Con Fair is hosted by the local independent bookstore, Page Turner Books, in Kent, Washington. More than a half-dozen authors across multiple genres and a local artist or two will be there. One of the authors will be giving a talk over at the bakery across the street. I will be there with a table at either the bookstore or comic shop right next door.

Deal of the Day

If you are in the area, stop by between 2- 7 pm. You can pick up both books together for a bundle discount. I will also be offering to honor the bundle pricing on the second book for anyone who picked up just the first at the Renaissance Faire. To get the Ren Faire deal, make sure to have your copy of the first book in hand! 

Call to Action

For readers who have already read through one or both books and enjoyed them, I ask that you consider going onto Amazon to leave a rating/review. Reviews are a critical factor in new authors gaining promotions, generating interest, and eventually being able to offer additional formats like audiobooks. Reviews are a simple, yet powerful way to support the authors of works you have enjoyed.

If you have the time and inclination, I’ve included the links below. You would go to the book’s page, scroll to the reviews, and click on “write a review.” It might be necessary to log in, so if you don’t have an Amazon account, Goodreads and Bookbub are additional review locations!

Final reminder: when I reach 40 total Amazon reviews, I will be adding a deleted chapter from Hidden Sanctuary to the website. I have a new webpage and some revisions in-work to get it out there. Fingers crossed that it functions as expected, but I need those ratings from you before I start the test!

As always, thank you for all your support!

Faire Booth Preparations

I mentioned recently that my application for a booth at the local Renaissance Faire was approved. This weekend, I planned to go shopping for additional items for an outdoor booth dressed in the necessary theme. I hoped to have ninety percent of the materials and do a test run in the backyard. I would take some pictures of how amazing it looked and share them with you to bask in the glory of my creative use of limited funds. 

As you can imagine, little of my shopping today went according to plan. The canopies we have are too big—my booth space is only 5×5—and none of the stores we stopped at had any options smaller than 8×8 or a 7.5-foot circle. Looking for decoration accents was also a bust. The craft stores were too DIY for my skill/time, while Party City’s merchandise was too modern. 

Fortunately, our most important stop of the day paid off and made the shopping headache worth it. Looking into suggestions for decorating a Ren Faire booth, there were many recommendations to use old sheets to wrap modern supports to make them look more like a medieval cloth tent. 

We went to Goodwill to search the linens, picking up a number of sheets to cover the tent, table, and chairs. I plan to use our twine to tie it all to the supports for that billowy tent feel. On a pass through the decorations, we also found another picture stand and a wood box to replace some of the more modern items we used at my first book signing in February. 

This was the table at my first signing. I will use most of this again in August.

The rest will need to wait for delivery, as it had to be ordered online instead. I should have most of it before the end of the month to do a trial run. In addition to the tent, I ordered more sealing wax for more wax seals, some cute butterfly hair clips for potential giveaways with books, and some bookmark charms shaped like swords and other old weapons. Along with the advertising flag I ordered, I think my booth is going to look marvelous, and most of the supplies can be used again in the future!

Books at the Faire

I have seen a lot of advice on how many books to bring to events like this, and it still feels like I am stumbling in the dark. Some say 20 per 1,000 attendees at the event (I’m not sure if this is for each book or total), which would mean about 600 for this event for me. Another person recommended 50-100 of each book for a two-day event, depending on size. This would put me at about 400 books for this two-weekend event. I have decided to order 250 more of my first book, which will give me around 280 available. I’m debating between 150-200 of the second book, which I hope will arrive before the first weekend. The books will not go bad, so hopefully, my guesses will not be a massive overspend. 

As for my second book, it has been with the editor for a couple of weeks now. This one is about 30k words longer than the first, so it is taking a bit more time. She expects to have it back to me by next weekend. Over this next week, I want to finalize the cover, frontmatter, and backmatter so it is all ready to upload to quickly order a proof copy. If that first proof looks good, then I will have about six weeks for a large order to be printed and shipped in advance of the event. 

This also means the book is likely to be released ahead of schedule! I need the paperback to be live to order author copies on KDP (yes, I know there are other options). Sign up to follow my blog here or for my newsletter on the homepage to hear when Hidden Sanctuary officially goes live. 

As a final note today, thank you to all the new readers leaving reviews for Hidden Memory. I am now up to 16 ratings/reviews! Reviews are amazingly important to new authors, and I appreciate all of you for taking the time. 

Have another great weekend!

My First Book Signing

One of my goals for 2022 was to do at least one book signing this year. Whether that was the Rennaisance Faire for which I applied, a local convention I somehow managed to get into, or partnering with a local bookstore for a spot for a couple of hours, I was going to make something happen. I thought it would take most of the year to reach this point. With a little luck and a lot of initiative, my first ever book signing event happened yesterday evening. 


Much of my preparation was researching what other authors’ booths have looked like and finding the stories they have shared about what works well and advice for other authors (like me!). I also had to adapt to my budget, which is minimal at the moment. Here are some of the key items along with some of my takeaways: 

  • Books: The general information I found was 50-100 of each book for one (day) event. 
    • This was a smaller event, and I am still unknown. I brought 50 and did not come close to selling out. 
  • Signage: Big, eyecatching, genre-specific. 
    • I got an 11×17 foam board of an image I created using my cover art and review quotes. It worked well for the space given to me. 
    • I might add a cloth banner to go on the table cloth and hang down in front. 
    • I will add a picture of me to the foam board when I upgrade to a larger version. Many people were surprised I was the author…which surprised me, so lesson learned. 
  • Giveaways: have some, and have something that includes your author info on it. 
    • Fairy wings are my logo, so I had butterfly stickers for the kids and some simple bookmarks with a cover image on one side and my logo and info on the back with a QR code for my ebook link. 
    • The wax seals were also a draw. I sold those 2 for $1 and gave one for free with each book sale. They are more supply- and labor-intensive, so I decided not to give them away for free. 
  • Booth buddy/transportation: recommend having a booth buddy and hand cart if possible. 
    • Books are heavy, so are tables and chairs and all the other stuff you will bring. I borrowed my dad’s collapsable hand cart.
    • My husband came with me as my buddy. He is better with people than I am, so he helped me get started with the whole “interaction” thing. He also covered for breaks and completed purchases while I signed the books. 
    • My niece also came as my cashier. Taking notes on my sales and helping make change. She stuck out the entire four hours too!

Check out this cute frog my niece made for me!

Meeker Street Nerd Party

The event itself is still pretty new and growing. I think it started with only one or two businesses on Meeker Street in Kent, WA doing a “nerd party” for their patrons who love fantasy, sci-fi, retro, comics, and other great nerdy things. It has grown to include most businesses on the street with special guests, exhibits, and events. There was cosplay, legos, trivia, artists, authors, and a couple of power rangers (actresses) doing autographs and photos!

While my niece was with me at my table, my nephew checked it out and enjoyed himself. It had pretty good traffic for most of the evening, and people had fun dressing up and participating, as well as patronizing the various businesses. I hope I can attend again and build a partnership with the bookstore. 


Now you are asking, “If you didn’t get close to selling out, how did you do?”

“Pretty good, I think,” is my answer. 

My guess and target for sales were two, so my bar was relatively low for this first event. I exceeded my target by a fair percentage, selling two in about seventy minutes, with my best hour coming in the middle. I appreciate all the support for local artists from the people stopping by my booth and others!

I practiced my stump speech the two days leading up to the event, so I only stumbled over it a little instead of constantly and stayed out in front of my table nearly the entire time. I consider that a victory in itself with my people-nerves. 

Me with wings on and holding some of the little cakes from the participating bakery. Thanks for sharing them with me, family!

The experience and learnings were also invaluable. I’ve done it once; next time won’t be so scary. I also know what I need to work on: 

  1. Push for sales more. It is not “pushy” to tell them that I’m offering to sign any books they purchase at the event. That is, in fact, a great way to let them know they are talking to the author. 
  2. Push the newsletter sign-up. I forgot to do this too often, and those contacts are important. I need to offer this to every person who seems even remotely interested. 
  3. Put my card/bookmark in each book I sell. I started doing this later in the day. It is a great way to get my website and other such info into the hands of people who will hopefully be enjoying my book soon and might consider following me at a later date. 

My Favorite Part

It happened early into the evening with my first sale of the day. A young lady with her family stopped to talk with me, and my book was in her genre. She was interested in the book and got so excited to find out I was the author and would sign it for her. I ended up suggesting we get a picture together because this enthusiasm means so much to me. I wanted the picture as much as they did, if not more. I’m never sure about preferences for me using names; I will call her “B” here. 

Hi, B! I hope you enjoy the book!

And the Winner is…

Thank you to everyone who signed up for my newsletter and especially to everyone who entered the paperback giveaway! Please join me in congratulating the winner of my first-ever giveaway.

Congratulations Joni!

Photo by Tara Winstead on

There will be more opportunities to win in the future, so be sure to sign-up for my newsletter and follow me on Facebook to stay in the know!

Signing Preparations

Another great way to get your copy of Hidden Memory signed is to bring it to the Meeker Street Nerd Party. If you happen to be in the Kent, WA area, stop by and visit. I will have copies for sale, just in case yours does not arrive in time.

In the weeks since booking this signing gig, I have been planning like crazy. Books were only the first order on the agenda. I ordered fifty, just to be safe. Taking guesses on how many I will sell from my darkened corner of the store? I said two, while my brother guessed highest at thirteen. If I sell fifty, the fiftieth will only cost that person $5 in celebration!

In addition to paperbacks, I will have bookmarks and cool wax seal stickers as giveaways.

Look how great the seal stamp turned out!

I also designed a poster to display on my signing table. It will have my cover art along with some quotes from early reviews. (If you haven’t left a review on Amazon yet, it’s not too late! *Wink*) My only concern about the event is it goes through dinner time. I will have to remember to bring snacks along. I hope to see some of you locals there!