Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fun reviews and book signings

I have still been getting some fun reviews. Last night my husband bumped into an unexpected review posted on an outdoor forum. He was surprised to see it there and called me in to read the post. The writer said he'd read my book, Tombs of Terror, then wrote, "Not since Louis Lamour's The Sackett series have I enjoyed a book more. I couldn't put it down!"

Wow! That made me smile in complete awe and delight.

I also went to my first book signing this weekend. Four other authors were there, too.

I would love to say my book emptied from the shelf and my table was swamped with adoring fans but that wasn't the case. I did sell several copies--as many as the other authors--but on a warm, spring day, traffic was light through the store.

What I enjoyed, though, was meeting with the other authors. There was a cookbook author, a fantasy author, and two authors who wrote a book on gardening. Mine, of course, was young adult fiction. We made a good blending of genres and it made for some fun conversations.

Before I went to the book signing a man I know (who has 15 books published) said that you don’t sell books at book signings. You sell yourself. At the start of his career he felt book signings were a waste of time and money because no one bought his books. Now, years later, he says it is still the same. He will often go to book signings and only sell one or two copies…even though he is now nationally known in his genre. People would rather stop and visit at his table than buy.

Then he realized that is because book purchases are a decision, not a splurge. When people walk into a bookstore they generally have a specific book or author in mind. At the very least, they have decided on a genre. The trick is to get people to think about deciding on your book, he said.

You do that by talking to people and telling them about your book. Later, when they are finally deciding on a new book to buy, they will remember you.

So, was the book signing a waste of time?

Not at all. I visited with the public, other authors and the bookstore owner. I received some great ideas for promoting my book, and even swapped a copy of my book with the cookbook author for a copy of her book. So now I have new recipes to try and new promotional ideas to pursue.

I told the bookstore owner I wanted to come back to her next book signing day.

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