Last weekend I attended Books By The Bridge Sydney 2022, the final BBTB book signing event to be hosted by the amazing Kat T. Masen who founded the author event. It was my very first book signing as an attending author (a literal dream come true) and was extra special to me as BBTB Sydney 2019 was my very first book signing as a reader.
I feel so privileged to have got to the BBTB experience it as both a reader and an author. The amazing community it brings together inspired me to take the leap and publish my debut novel, "Once We Were". The unyielding support of these authors is incredible, and I am incredibly grateful for the expertise with which they kindly share with me as an emerging author. Undoubtedly, my favourite part of this event is just how much it highlights and showcases how amazing our local reading and writing community is here in Australia.
If I could offer any advice for first-time attending authors myself, it'd be to arrive the day before, stay the night of, and take a couple of rest days after! I have seen so many other authors commenting how they are resting up after the event, and honestly, I didn't realise just how much energy this would take from me, and I am still recovering from it myself.
It'd been a big week for me balancing a high workload between my day job, freelance work, festival and contract jobs, plus of course, my writing career. I'd had an early rise on Saturday morning (5:30am) in order to pack and drive to Sydney, allowing extra time to pick up my assistant, grab a coffee and launch before the event, as well as prepare for any unexpected traffic changes along the way. Despite my early rise, I was somehow still running late, which only added to my stress. I then had to rush to set up before sneaking off to find some lunch and running back before doors opened for VIP entry. It was then a full-on day chatting to both readers and authors, before packing up at the end of the day. As there was no break in between VIP and GA admissions, I was feeling pretty hungry (as expected, hence the sneaky lunch break) and knew I was going to need to grab dinner before I left the city, which meant an extra late night due to the signing being a twilight event. Thankfully my amazing assistant and friend for the day, Mia, let me crash at her house so that I didn't have to drive back that night, however as I had work the next day I did have an early rise to make my way back to Newcastle. Overall though, everything (aside from running late) went smoothly thankfully, but, I would still recommend making a little 'trip' out of it by going down early and staying the night.
I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who came along. Without readers who want to attend, we couldn't be able to have events like these. It was pleasure meeting you all, and I hope you had as much fun as I did.
Lastly, I'd also like to add a big THANK YOU to @authorkattmasen for founding such a beautiful event and hosting them for so many years. While we will undoubtedly miss the splendid events you pulled off year after year, we will always cherish the moments we’ve had at BBTB thanks to you.
And of course, I hope that this is just the first of many amazing book signing events that I will have the privilege of attending.