Monday, June 09, 2008

What it Takes to be a “Real” Writer?

When I was trying to get my first book published, I heard that receiving an editor rejection would be an important rite of passage to making me a “real” writer.

After I’d sold, I heard that an embarrassing low turn-out at a booksigning would elevate me to full status inside the published author ranks.

Of course, these statements and $1.69 will get you an iced tea with lemon at Burger King. But nonetheless, I have now officially achieved admission into both those elite clubs. My first editor rejection (from Harlequin) seems like a hundred years ago, but it was just last month, at a Borders about two hours from my house, that I sat (and sat and sat and sat), waiting in vain for the readers to arrive.

But I look happy enough in the picture, don’t I? I was! You see, several members of my family showed up to support me. My husband, my brother’s wife, my husband’s brother, and two nieces. We all bought books and drank coffee, and nodded with collective embarrassment at the people who walked on by me, while I kept telling my relatives out of the side of my perennially smiling mouth that this non-event was actually a good thing, was an important rung on my ladder to The Big Time.

Okay, maybe not. But it sounded good. And I signed every one of the books I didn’t sell in hopes the store manager went on to display them prominently, rather than return them. And hey, I’m still up for more booksignings whenever, wherever. I’m just going to keep bringing the crowd with me.

Anyone have any similar experiences?

What I'm Reading: WAKE by Lisa McMann


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award


C.R. Evers said...

If it wasn't for me living on the opposite side
of the North American Continent, I sooooo would have been there!

I love your positive outlook!

How does it feel being one more rung higher on that ladder?


And you are very blessed to have such a supportive family as well.


The Golfing Librarian said...

Sorry I missed this one. Like Cristy, distance is a wee bit of a problem, but I promise that I will be there with bells on (among other things) for your Savannah, GA book signing!!! (I'll bring my family and few others to act as you surragate support family!)

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Christy! And yeah, up here one rung higher, the world is looking awfully small. LOL.

And Chuck--wait, have you contracted me for a Savannah signing?!? :)

Janie Emaus said...

Hi Tina,
I would so rather have been to your signing than having spent that day driving! I was there with you in spirit and you're so lucky to have such a supportive family.

PS Any more rites of passage that you have to go through?

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Janie! Any more rites of passage? None that anyone else has told me about, but every road has its twists and turns, huh?

stephhale said...

I bet all those signed copies have already sold, Tina! I have only had one signing in my hometown and it went pretty well, but I didn't pursue a second one because I was pretty sure my family was burnt out and I'd be sitting alone the whole time. You are a brave soul! :)

Kelly McClymer said...

Tina! Why were you signing alone? I only sign in groups now. And I prefer to do an 'event' like a reading, or a writing talk, in conjunction with a signing.

You look very happy and the table is beautiful. I'm glad your family was there to support you (and maybe learn just a little bit more about the biz side of Mom's crazy profession :-).

I have weathered the first rejection (my first short story was rejected when my daughter was six months old...and she's 29 now) and the solo signing (*never* again, even if I become as famous as J.K.)

Congrats on the two milestones...and the graduation of your daughter, too!


Kelly McClymer said...

Oh -- other rites to go through:

1. being orphaned (editor leaves mid-book)

2. starred review in PW

3. hitting the lists

4. the best fan letter ever (didn't you already meet this one?!?)

(hey, not *all* rites of passage are *bad* :-)


TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Steph!

Kelly, I agree completely that group signings are the way to go! Like I said, I need to bring my own entourage, be it family or friends...

And good to know all rites of passages aren't bad!

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Tina, I think you are SO brave for setting up booksignings :) I am terrified of doing one by myself (except for my launch party where family & friends are obligated!)

I think we need to a Buzz Girls book signing one will be AWESOME!

ANd other rites of passage...I think getting the first lousy Amazon review as well as a fan letter are things all writers go through!

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Hey, I just did one of those at a local independent. The bookseller felt really bad, apologizing for the lack of traffic, but I kept telling her that I understood. I expect a no-show signing. If there had been a line I would have been scared.

It was worth it, though, for reasons I will probably blog about on Sunday--when I will be, thankfully, back home in Houston!!!

TinaFerraro said...

Dona, a Buzz Girl signing would be AWESOME!

And TLC, I'm looking forward to hearing about your latest...

Simone Elkeles said...

Book signings are definitely hit and miss...but you gotta love the family support!

Heather Davis said...

Aww... Tina! I just want to hug you right now. Sounds like you have a great family. And yes -- Dona is right -- we need a Buzz Girl Signing... or even a Buzz Girl Bus! We'd have to start at Tina's and end up at Marley's to collect us all. ;)


Lenore said...

I would have been there if I lived anywhere near!

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Lenore! I would have loved your company!