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
Stranger in My Heart - coming soon