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Things to learn as a newbie author

The little pad in the back is acting as a place to note e-mails. Notice the pattern of the blanket.  The rest is...okay....

The little pad in the back is acting as a place to note e-mails. Notice the pattern of the blanket. The rest is…okay….

By Piper Huguley

My good friend, Vanessa Riley, invited me to participate in a self-publishing panel at her church a few weeks ago.  Before and after the panel, she explained, would be a book signing, where I could sell copies of my book.

Wonderful!  I’m an old pro at this now since I messed up in May down in New Orleans.  There, my roommate and I had no candy and only bookmarks to give away. In New Orleans, I had a little pink school supplies box to take business cards for my e-mail list. I would be ready this time.

I thought.

After a long busy day of meetings at work, I came back to my office certain that I was ready to go to the signing.

Then, I realized I had no table covering.  Things were at a hotel in New Orleans last time, so I didn’t have to worry about table coverings.  Now I did.  Well, a student had given me  one of those Walgreen’s blankets as an end of term kiss-up gift.  I could take that… better than a naked table….

I had candy.  But no vessel for the candy to go in.  Thankfully, earlier in the day, a summer student had given me a bag full of goodies encased in a “Thank You” glass with lots of festive strips of blue paper spilling out.  Surely I could do something with that.

Still, I forgot the pink school supply box! I had no way to collect e-mails, probably the biggest oops of all.  Those e-mail lists matter.  Ouch. No problem!  Harlequin had provided sticky note pad swag at RWA.  I could use that!

So the sum total?  I’m getting better at some things, and worse at others.

I’m going to be ready, whatever happens, for the Decatur Book Festival! I hope!

Any suggestions as to what I should bring to the Decatur Book Festival?  I’ll be at the Georgia Romance Writer’s Pavilion stage from 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. talking about #wereaddiversebooks with the awesome crew: Alicia McCalla, Seressia Glass, Vanessa Riley and Lauren H. Kelly.  I’ll be signing books before and after the panel and again on Sunday!


The Lawyer’s Luck is now available in  Kindle e-bookNookKobo and iTunes. Print copies are available on Amazon. The Preacher’s Promise is now available on Amazon,  Nook, Kobo, and iTunes.  Print copies are available on Amazon.


headshot bwBook one in Piper Huguley’s new 19th century historical series, The Preacher’s Promise, in the “Home to Milford College” series was published in July 2014. She is also the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a five-book series of inspirational historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters. Book one in the series, A Virtuous Ruby won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance in 2013 and is a Golden Heart finalist in 2014. Book four in the series, A Champion’s Heart, was a Golden Heart finalist in 2013.

She blogs about the history behind her novels at She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.



Twitter: @writerpiper

Facebook: Piper Huguley


Marilyn Baron - August 28, 2014 - 5:55 am

Good luck at The Decatur Book Festival. I’ll be on a panel from 10-10:45 Saturday morning. Maybe we’ll see each other there.

Piper - August 28, 2014 - 6:46 am

Hi Marilyn,

I’ll be there most of Saturday, so I may see you! Thanks for commenting!

Sandy Elzie - August 28, 2014 - 6:55 am

I’ll be out of town, so I won’t be able to visit you guys at the festival, but I know you’ll do a fantastic job. All the planning in the world is great, but there’s always SOMETHING that comes up that you didn’t think about. Pens…extra pens. Also I love the idea that Carol did one year at conference…little excerpts (I think it was a chapter) printed as a handout. For a crowd like Decatur, maybe a 5×7 with the first page or whatever with a copy of your great cover on it? Good luck!

Maxine Davis - August 28, 2014 - 9:14 am

Piper, wish I could be there. I know you will do great. The table looks nice. All it needs is you and your books. Best of luck.

Belle Calhoune - August 28, 2014 - 9:34 am

Sounds like fun, Piper. You are very organized and poised for a wonderful signing. Wish I lived closer so I could attend. You may have this already, but a nice picture of yourself or one of the book covers propped on a stand would be nice. Best of Luck.


Piper Huguley - August 28, 2014 - 10:05 am

I don’t have it already, Belle! See the things that need to be thought of?? Thank you for stopping by!

Piper Huguley - August 28, 2014 - 10:06 am

Thank you for your kind words and good wishes Maxine! I hope so! :)

Piper Huguley - August 28, 2014 - 10:07 am

I’ve seen those little books, Sandy from 9th moon and they are great to give out! Pens, I’m making a note…thank you for stopping by!

Connie Gillam - August 28, 2014 - 11:49 am

You’re years ahead of me in the signing department. See you on Saturday.

Sia Huff - August 28, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Piper, you’re great on the fly. Very creative solutions.
Bring water and mints for your throat. That way your voice is good to go when speaking. You’ll be fantastic. And have fun – it shows. :)

Piper Huguley - August 28, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Lol, Connie! If you say so! I’ll see you on Saturday! Thanks for commenting!

Carol Burnside - August 28, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Wish I could be there, but I know you’ll be great.

Piper - August 28, 2014 - 7:42 pm

Good suggestion Sia, thank you! And I guess I had to be creative… even if my solutions were a little silly…thank you for stopping by!

Piper - August 28, 2014 - 7:43 pm

Thank you for your kind words Carol. They are much appreciated!

Walt Mussell - August 28, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Piper, wish I could be there. My 12-y.o.’s football game kicks off at 3:00.

Now, for the day I have a signing, how do I get a class to go about giving me presents? :-)

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