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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

To ensure a successful book signing event in 10 steps! @rararesources @schristodoulou2 #literature #historical

Book Signing in 10 steps!

Soulla Christodoulou

Thank you for inviting me to contribute to your theme of ‘how to and tips of the writing trade’. I thought since I’ve been planning my first ever book signing event for The Summer Will Come I would share with you my plans for ensuring its success in 10 simple steps.

1.     The first thing I did was set a realistic date for the launch and release of the book. I thought carefully about how long I would need to do any beta reader corrections, get the book formatted and ready for release. In my case I have chosen the 25th March as it is the start of British Summer time and the timing fits in with the title of my book because the summer is on its way and so The Summer Will Come is perfect in so many ways!

2.     Once I had set the date I had to choose the venue to hold the launch. I wanted to choose a venue that was local, had parking, was not too big and which would be able to meet my requirements for offering food and drink. I have chosen a lovely little coffee shop which is run by a local Greek Cypriot woman.

3.     I confirmed the venue and timings with her. I confirmed what she was able to provide and support me with and how many people the coffee shop- would hold comfortably – combination of sitting and standing.

4.     List of guests – I began putting a guest list together and started with my nearest and dearest and worked my way out – family, friends, work colleagues, authors I knew, other writers, local press. I have since added names to the list as they come to me, so the list is organic and growing.

5.     The invitation and spreading the word – I designed the invitation using a blank book cover to keep the theme of the book. I included all the basic information but added that only cash sales would be made so people buying the book do not arrive with no cash on them. I have asked for an RSVP so that I can judge how many guests to expect on the day – this will inform my food requirements and number of books needed on the day for sales. I have sent this out across a number of different platforms including social media, SMS, What’s App, etc.

6.     Plan for the day – If people are going to make the effort to come to my book launch I too would like to make it interesting and fun for them. I have organised a book reading, a time for book signing, a Q and A which will give my guests the opportunity to ask me something about my writing and the book and of course some Greek Cypriot hospitality by offering complimentary food and refreshments. I have also ordered a puzzle of the front cover with an idea for a game as guests arrive!

7.     My A team – I realised that trying to organise every aspect of the party would be too much for me. So I rallied a number of people to help me with advance planning and of course help on the day. My sister is baking a cake and topping it with a cake topper of my book cover, my mum is baking some Greek Cypriot savouries, an aunt is making some cookies, my mum is making bunting in colours to co-ordinate with the book cover… I have organised someone to take photographs, someone to do the books sales (and organised a float for them), my cousin who is a florist is making floral table arrangements for me.

8.     Props and timings – I’ve had posters of my book cover printed, bunting, cake with book cover cake topper, flowers, mini framed book covers to have around the coffee shop and of Greek finger nibbles and refreshments and Greek music! I’ve also got bits mentioned in the book like the ticking clock, the red eggs, the little Bible, the Lefkaritika (lace) and the tsestos (flat woven basket) to make a table display. It’s about making it ‘real’ for the guests and creating a little bit of The Summer Will Come at the party.

9.     Plan my engagement with my guests – I will welcome them all personally as they arrive, I have chosen my extracts, have drawn up a list of who to thank, I’ve printed the poem from which I chose the title of my book so I can read it out.

10.  Book supply and gifts – I have organised some giveaways too which link to scenes and characters in the book – and a supply paperback copies based on RSVPs received for signing!

I hope you have found this useful! All that’s left to be had now is to have some fun! Enjoy the day and celebrate with my friends and family around me and of course, thank you too for your wonderful support. I wish all of you, too, lots of luck in what you are doing.


The Summer Will Come

Set in 1950s Cyprus, EOKA, British rule, the fight for Enosis (unity) with Greece and two Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island, are coping with the unpredictability of this fractious time. 

Circumstances over a five year period push both families to emigrate to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing  their homeland's traditions and culture.

Both families' lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost?
A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery.

Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel and Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and is a mother of three boys.
She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes. She offers writing services too in support of businesses, authors and students.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters is featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’, released on Amazon in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection inspired by old phrases and sayings, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and is releasing her second novel, The Summer Will Come in March 2018.
She is currently working on a third novel, Trust is a Big Word, about an on-line friendship which evolves over time into an illicit cyber relationship.

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