Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More On Marketing

(What's outside my window: one of the bluest skies I've seen in a long time.)

This post is not in any way to discourage writers from pursuing book signings. I have begun contacting book stores in the area, and so far an independent store in the little town of Brunswick, Maryland is more than happy to have me. We haven't set a date yet, but will come spring. One of the library book clubs is going to have me visit one night in the fall.
I have had book signings, the last one in 2003. So, it's been a while. The library system was the biggest supporter of my writing, and I was invited to book clubs and author events that were great fun.

However, a week ago I went to local chain bookstore and asked to speak with the manager. I was escorted to the desk and a formidable-looking woman standing behind it glared down at me when I introduced myself. You would have thought the word 'author' sounded like 'plague' to her. She reluctantly shook my hand and when I told her I was a local author, she huffed at me. Yes, huffed!

I was polite and professional, and inquired about book signings. She then handed me a piece of paper, told me to fill it out and send it to a person in Washington, D.C. I reviewed this paper later sitting in the car, and it read like a job application.

Of course this is one person, among a slue of bookstores managers. Most are very receptive to author events. Back in 2003 I helped the manager of a large chain store put together an Authorsfest. It was a blast. The store was located in the mall, but we had the event outside under white bigtop tents. About fifty authors were in attendance, all given a table to sign books from. I'd love to see this event again.

Have you scheduled book signings? If you have please share with me and my readers how you went about it and what your experience was.


Jessica said...

I'm surprised by that lady's response. I've heard that some chains are very helpful with local authors, and others are not. Maybe the lady was having a bad day? Sorry about that though. Erk. So you get to go sit with a book club? How exciting!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...


Not all Borders are like that. The Borders where I lived for 8 years in Winston-Salem, NC and now in Charlotte, NC are very encouraging. It was just that one lady, and certainly not Borders itself. Keep pressing on and don't be discouraged by that one attitude.


Rita Gerlach said...

You are right, about it being that one person. Maybe she's had a bad experience with an author. Who knows. Anyway, I'm going to check out other Borders in the area. I think I need to do a bit of rewriting in the blog post.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Since I don't have a book published YET, I haven't done any book signings. However, I have attended a couple of them.

At one, the authors (or manager, I'm not sure which) provided refreshments and book drawings. There were five authors in attendance, and I now count them among my friends.

As one blogger said, book signings are about establishing relationships.

Susan :)