Saturday, February 14, 2009

With Change Authors Must Grow More Creative

Today, several members of the Virginia Romance Writers (including me) had a Valentine's Day book signing at a Barnes and Noble in Richmond, VA. Soon after we arrived we learned that the CRM who set up the signing with us is no longer there. Her job has been eliminated and all the managers on duty are taking over those responsibilities. The manager who worked with us today was gracious, but it was obvious the staff is disappointed at this turn of events.

Yesterday, I stopped in at the Barnes and Noble in New Town, Williamsburg and was surprised to learn that the CRM with whom I have worked is not longer there. Her job was eliminated as well. I was told that this is not an "across the board" elimination of CRMs. Instead, the jobs have been eliminated at the "smaller" stores. Since I do not consider the Short Pump Barnes and Noble, with two escalators, a smaller store, I was very surprised to discover that loss.

Location means a lot when it comes to book signings. The five authors were seated at a table on the second floor facing the children's department. Although the store made an announcement every half hour about the VRW authors, we missed the first floor traffic.

While we all need to have book signings to promote our books, I like the idea Patricia Sheehy presented about creating flyers telling what topics we are available to make talks about. She suggested giving them to local organizations looking for programs. That is an excellent promo idea, especially when done in conjunction with book signings and blogs.

The elimination of the Barnes and Noble CRMs is another sign of the fallen economy. Change is certain. Writers need to grow ever more creative in the ways they promote their work.

Mary Montague Sikes
Secrets by the Sea
Eagle Rising
Stranger in My Heart - coming soon
www.marymontaguesikes.com

6 comments:

Bob Sanchez said...

Not a good sign that they're dropping CRMs. Makes my wonder about the CRM in my local B&N. It's all about their bottom line.

You're smart to look for creative solutions; I've begun to think that bookstore signings take up a lot of time relative to books sold. Your ideas sound good to me.

Bob Sanchez
http://bobsanchez1.blogspot.com

F. M. Meredith, author said...

Though I do booksignings I stick to independently owned bookstores, and really, I only have two favorites I do signings with. To be effective and sell books, you definitely need to be where the traffic is. Though I once did a signing at a big Barnes and Noble with other authors, but we each talked about our book and ourselves. Sales weren't huge, but I'd sent out promo on my own and did pretty well. Never expect the bookstore to do a whole lot and you won't be disappointed.

What works best for me is talks to women's groups, service organization, and libraries. If you offer to do a library talk be sure to find out if you'll be allowed to sell your books, usually if you don't charge a fee there's no problem.

Time to head off to a Valentine dinner with my hubby. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Marilyn

Morgan Mandel said...

Very true. We need to find niche markets and tackle them.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/morganmandel

BillieJohn said...

Change is the one constant...that's what one of my high school teachers told me years ago, and I've found it to be one of the truest things ever.

I think we are in a big shift right now, especially in the book business. Shops are struggling to stay afloat, even the big box chains, and so many wonderful indies have folded or at risk of it.

I think the book biz, like so many other businesses, will find new and better ways to connect books and readers. Adversity will spawn new ideas, new ways.

So much activity has shifted to the Internet. A vibrant community awaits!

Billie

BillieJohn said...

Change is the one constant...that's what one of my high school teachers told me years ago, and I've found it to be one of the truest things ever.

I think we are in a big shift right now, especially in the book business. Shops are struggling to stay afloat, even the big box chains, and so many wonderful indies have folded or at risk of it.

I think the book biz, like so many other businesses, will find new and better ways to connect books and readers. Adversity will spawn new ideas, new ways.

So much activity has shifted to the Internet. A vibrant community awaits!

Billie

Book Report said...

The effects of the current global economic crisis has been evident in different industries. I am a freelancer doing essay writing service to my clients and I can feel the great impact of the mentioned issue to my work. The total number of orders is dropping. I promote myself and my writing by maintaining blogs and doing blog marketing. I'm still waiting for the result if this is effective. You are right, we must be more creative to promote our work and that is what I've been doing.