Reading Festival

We had our first ever library on Saturday in Cathays Library. Yes, we should have blogged about this on Sunday, but we’ve been busy formatting and this is the first chance we’ve had to blog about it. We were incredibly nervous and part of us hoped the rain that day would cause a freak flash flood and the reading would be cancelled. Even though the library isn’t by the Taff, so that wouldn’t have happened. This was one day we wished we were back on the Propranolol.

Disenchanted Soul Asylum C L RavenAs it was our first reading, we had no idea what to expect. We’d only started rehearsing the week before. We were memorising our bits between the readings because we didn’t want to read from a script. It never sounds natural doing it that way. Our sister, Sarah, made a lovely display of our books (the postcards were arranged neatly, but our niece had got to them by the time this photo was taken).

Luckily nobody noticed our shaking hands or the shaking Red Bull can whenever we took a drink. Ryan filmed the whole thing so as soon as it’s edited, we’ll put the link up so you can watch it for yourselves.

The reading itself seemed to go down well. Soul Asylum, C L RavenPeople laughed when they were supposed to, nobody fell asleep and our grampy even put his hearing aid in so he could hear it. He never gets to see us in a professional capacity, so it was nice for him to see what we actually do all day. As we’re the only unemployed ones in the family, he’s got to see the rest of our family be successful with jobs, families etc., but we’re the ones who don’t have ‘a proper job’ and still live with our mum, so we were pleased he came and that he enjoyed it.

We read chapter 1 of Soul Asylum then a short extracts from chapters 2 and 26. After that, we read a short extract from all 10 stories in Disenchanted. We even played their trailers, though the lack of whiteboard & TV meant we had to hold our laptop up. We probably wouldn’t do this in the future, but we had an hour to fill.

So the reading was fine. There was only one problem – only our family and friends showed up. We are massively grateful for their support and know we can count on them to be our rent-a-crowd, but the whole point of this was to promote ourselves and our books, and possibly sell some if we’re lucky. But if the only people who come have already bought our books and know who we are, it defeats the object. We have another reading in June and part of us is tempted to cancel it. Not because we didn’t enjoy it, because we did, but because it’s a lot of effort and stress to go through if the only people who will turn up are our own people. We might as well hold a reading in our living room.P1040770

There was plenty of publicity surrounding the reading – Cathays Library made posters and flyers, the Cardiff Libraries Twitter and Facebook accounts were publicising it, we were publicising it, but still, nothing. This does seem to be a problem for us – it doesn’t matter how many blogs we guest on, or act on marketing advice, we still can’t sell books. Even winning the Get More Exposure book trailer competition only sold 4 copies and that was promoted to 30,000 people.

But there was definite highlight for us (apart from having our wonderful friends and family there) – we got to meet our Twitter friend, Cheyenne and her husband, Dugald, who travelled from Bristol to come to our reading.  We took them to a pub afterwards and hung out for a couple of hours, which we really enjoyed.

So would we do it again? Probably. But maybe we should wait until people actually know who we are. Or we could go to Plan B. Kidnapping people for a reading isn’t illegal, is it? Oh. Only if we let them go…