I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and probably again, if you hang around long enough): networking is crucial, and attending author events can give you contacts you'll never get if you sit at home in front of your keyboard. Case in point:
I had a book signing at my local Borders over the weekend. I didn't have any new releases, so I wasn't planning on big sales. I sold 3 books total, but better than that, I had a chance to chat with my local author friends, whom I rarely see, confirm that I'll be sitting on a couple of panels at at the Authors After Dark conference in September, and meet a new author, Leanna Renee Hieber.
Leanna is lovely, gracious - and the author of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, published by Dorchester. She was accompained by a self-confessed "groupie" named Biz, who turns out to be a professional photographer from NYC who offers huge discounts for authors. If I ever get important enough to need a new/professional head shot, guess I know where to go!
Even better, though, Leanna is the founder of Lady Jane's Salon - a romance readers' group that meets monthly at a swanky bar in Manhattan where romance authors read from their works and mingle with a friendly crowd. She invited all of us to contact her for spots in the upcoming year and I'll admit, I'm thrilled. How much fun would that be???
Bottom line: you never know who you're going to meet at a signing, conference or other kind of author event. Keep your mind and your options open - every person you talk to about your book is one more potential reader. And who knows how many readers that person has the power of reaching?
I'll let you know when I'm "appearing" at Lady Jane's Salon. Ooh, I get goosebumps just thinking about it!