Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In a Dark Corner of Denise Barone aka Denise Gwen

My guest blogger today is Denise Barone, writing as Denise Gwen--HOUSE OF WACKS and her latest release JUDGE NOT published by The Wild Rose Press.

Big grin! No, that's not really Denise! But, since she sent me the snapshot, I just felt inclined to include it. Denise thank you for joining me on my blog today. And, now I'll turn this over to Denise.

Whenever he has a day off, my husband likes to accompany me to our local Starbucks. It’s where I like to write, especially on a Saturday morning, and there is a certain table there that reminds me of the desks that my husband and I used to sit at when we were dating in college, and studying together at the library. I know, so cute. But it is. The table is located in a dark section of the store, but there’s a nifty lamp there that illuminates the table beautifully. So we were seated at opposite ends of the table from one another, typing away on our laptops like a pair of nerds. It was mid August and the release date for Judge Not was present in my mind (slated for Friday, September 17), and I felt, perhaps correctly, that I needed to think about promotion.

I noticed the line. It was long, long, long. This Starbucks is certainly not hurting during these tough economic times. I approached the store manager, a lovely lady by the name of Jen. She was receptive to the idea of letting me have a booksigning. She told me that they host all kinds of musical events, and a booksigning sounded just fine. We picked a date and a time. I showed her some of my bookmarks, assured her that it was not a booksigning for an erotica novel (as if!), and then gave her a courtesy copy of House of Wacks.

I asked my editor, Tori Spence, for a finer-definition copy of the book cover, and she sent one to me, which my husband then turned into a poster. He incorporated red letters onto the book cover, advertising the booksigning for Saturday, September 18, from 9 to 12 at the Eastgate Starbucks. We went to Office Max and got eight posters printed. I only managed to put up three, one at Starbucks, one at my local Y (at the way back of the Y, on the media board), and at the Clermont County Law Library. Yes, I am a lawyer.

My books arrived on Thursday, September 16. I’d waited a tiny bit too long to place my order, and there were a few anxious moments as I followed the tracking. For some peculiar reason, my books arrived promptly in Lexington at 7:14 a.m. on Wednesday morning, but apparently didn’t feel like leaving Lexington in a big awful hurry, and so they didn’t get around to shipping themselves to Cincinnati until 3:14 p.m. All the same, I was pleased as punch to see the box left on my back porch by the UPS man. I literally spent the next hour simply admiring my books.

The morning of my book signing arrived. I awoke at 7:00 a.m. Showered. Shaved my right leg. (I always make a point of shaving at least one body part; the left leg got shaved the following day.) In order to guarantee a smooth silhouette, I put on a black body-slimmers (Nancy Ganz) corset-type thing that I bought at the Goodwill in Montgomery (yes, I washed it before wearing). It had the tags still on it when I bought it! With the foundation set, I then put on my booksigning uniform, a fabulous black-and-white pencil skirt bought at Ann Taylor Loft on sale, a black silk top from The Limited, a pair of black sling back heels from Merona, and my crisp white parachute-style jacket (again, from Ann Taylor Loft, again on sale). My loins properly girded, I then directed my attention to hair and makeup.

Poor hubby had to work that day, but he’d kindly hauled my boxes of books out to the Bug the night before, so all I had to grab was my handbag, a camera, and my bag of promotional items.

I left the house at eight-thirty sharp and drove very carefully to the Starbucks. Hauled everything in. Set it up. Took a photo. A good friend of mine came shortly after nine and took the photo of me seated at the table. The next three hours passed unbelievably fast. Over the past few years, I’ve made a point of opening myself up to other people. I used to be very reserved, but it made for a lonely existence. Becoming more open and friendly and kind is part of the work I’ve been doing on myself through the help of my church and through therapy. A lot of dear friends came to show their support, and they comprised ninety-percent of sales, but I did manage to sell a book each to two ladies who didn’t even know me!

On Monday morning, I tucked a bunch of books into my handbag and went to the Clermont Inn—a local hangout for the lawyers—and sold four books to lawyer friends! Ha-ha! My technique was terribly subtle, you may employ it if you wish. I would push a book toward a lawyer friend, said, “Here, would you like me to sign this for you?”, to which, of course, the lawyer friend would ask, “How much?”, to which I would quote the price and the lawyer friend would then hand over cash! Ha-ha!

I love being a writer, I love being published, and I love my friends.

Learn more about Denise and her newest release by visiting her website.
Purchase JUDGE NOT from her publisher, The Wild Rose Press.


Clare Revell said...

Lovely story. You're a far braver woman than me...any I don't just mean only going out with one leg shaved lol.

Marcia James said...

Hi, Denise! Hand-selling a book takes a brave person. I'm very impressed! ;-)

The cover for JUDGE NOT is really pretty and eye-catching. I hope you have tons of sales!

-- Marcia ;-)

Jodelle Brohard said...

Loved your story. Really showed your sense of humor. And I will try your selling technique if I ever manage to sell a book.

Carol Ann said...

Denise, thanks for being on my blog today. For all those who are leaving comments, I'm sure Denise will be stopping by later to respond. I'm betting she's in, not as a defendant, but as a lawyer!