Tuesday I had my first Los Angeles book signing event at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip. Book Soup is one of LA’s oldest independent book stores and they are great to host self published authors, and sell books on a consignment basis. For me, the event was not about selling books, but to promote my book publically, and the book store is only one block from Palm Avenue – the very street portrayed in the event. Unfortunately, nobody from the neighborhood showed up.
The date I chose for the event was probably not the best. I didn’t realize it, but September 8th is the day after Labor Day. Then the event was scheduled for 7pm and it seems that is not the greatest time, since many people in LA get off work and then have a hard time commuting in rush hour traffic. So many people that I had invited called and said they couldn’t make it. I was begging to worry that nobody would show up and my book signing would be a complete flop.
People started showing up at seven. Some of my oldest friends traveled up from the South Bay. Another guy that I went to college with drove all the way from Rancho Cucamonga with his fiancé. I had not seen him for probably 20 years. One of my ex girlfriends showed up and it was great to see her. She is happily married now, but she traveled from the San Fernando Valley for the signing. A very established producer that I know also showed up, who had invited at the last moment.
My nervousness subsided and my good friend and fellow author, Sonny Donato introduced me and read the back cover from the book. Sonny had the most successful book signing ever at Book soup with his book, “Poet’s Guide to the Bars.”
I explained how the book came about: a friend of mine who is always thinking of new ways to make money called me up one day and said,” Hey, I know how you can make millions of dollars. Write a book like “50 Shades of Grey.” So I bought that book and tried to read it. I couldn’t get past chapter four. I felt it was one of the most poorly written books I have ever read. Then I remembered that I had an outline for a script I was working on years ago that work for a story. So I started on the book, and I named it “Palm Avenue.”
I read a few excerpts from the novel, and answered a few questions. As I was reading more people started showing up, and even people who had canceled showed up. A few more people showed up late as I was signing books and they bought books and I signed them. Afterwards, a few of us went to the Rainbow Bar and Grill across the street for pizza.
It was a great experience, and I will not be nervous to do events in the future. They have author readings at the Hotel Café in Hollywood on Sunday nights, and I think I will try to get in on that. I will keep you posted.