Thursday, October 13, 2011

Disappointed with Book Store Signings?

This is a photo from a couple of years ago at Nipomo.

I seldom do a traditional bookstore signing anymore. For one thing we don't have any traditional bookstores anywhere near by. We do have a used bookstore and I've done and will continue to do bookstore signings there. For a couple of reasons, I really want the owners to make it and they are wonderful about furnishing refreshments, setting everything up for me, though I'm the one who does all the advertising. The last one I did wasn't all that great, only 4 books were sold. However, the owners have me leave books on consignment and the do sell them. Just received a nice little check today.

There's a bookstore up in the mountains above Fresno that I really like to go to and I usually give some kind of presentation on a subject the local writer's group has asked for. Unfortunately sales haven't been all that good lately, so I may scratch it off my list.

In my little town, I have books on consignment in our local thrift shop. Once a month I get a check from the organization that runs the shop.

Where I seem to do best selling books is craft fairs and book festivals. This weekend we have a big one in our town, The Apple Festival. It's work because we have to put up our own tent, I have some great banners that I hang, we haul in a table, the table decorations, two chairs, a cooler with water and snacks, and of course the books.

 I always attend the Central Coast Book Festival, another good one and they furnish the tables, table cover, and 2 chairs. I like to go to the craft fair put on by the Friends of the Library in Nipomo also. In fact, I'll do just about anything that involves going to the Central Coast.

I know that there are these sorts of events in every state because I see postings from other authors.

Any other ideas folks for selling your paper books?



marja said...

I'm doing a book festival in Las Vegas in November, so I'm glad you commented that you've done well at those. My favorite venue has been libraries. I enjoy doing a presentation and meeting the people who attend. Bookstores haven't done a lot for me. Most of them don't do any advertising, which can be a big problem.

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Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hey, Marja, I thought about that Las Vegas Festival, but I think this year it's the same time as my cruise.

Monti said...

I'm doing a tailgate booksigning tomorrow in an antique store's parking lot out in the country near Charlottesville. Have no idea what will happen but will probably post about it. There will be about a dozen authors.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Monti and Marja, good luck to all three of us.

Patricia Gligor said...

I've always dreamed of the day when I would do a book signing; visualizing myself sitting at a table in our local Borders, surrounded by stacks of my books and smiling up at all the happy customers standing in line.
My novels haven't been accepted for publication - yet - but I still eagerly anticipate the day that I can do a signing. Unfortunately, with so many bookstores closing or closed (including my Borders, of course), I'll have to alter my vision just a bit. There's a used book store nearby (please, God, let that stay in business), several book fairs and craft/art shows in the area every year and, of course, the library.

Radine said...

Marilyn, your area's used bookstore sounds exactly like the one I work with. The owner is a great supporter of local authors (the only new books she carries). I consign books to her, and have done many teaching/speaking events for her. She does excellent publicity along with my own. For about three years she has had a large featured display of all my books in her front window, and she always takes my books to show off at an annual antiquarian book festival in Little Rock. (No opening for signings there. Authors featured are usually long dead.)

Not many book festivals in my area. I have worked at the Southern Festival of Books (in Memphis. Huge, and great fun) Authors appear on panels. Have also worked in Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America booths at the Texas Festival of Books in Austin. I didn't sell more than 4-5 books at either of them. Hope to go back to the Southern Festival of Books in 2012.

I also hold signings in an area chain of grocery stores and always sell at least a dozen books at those. I have appeared in about a dozen of the stores so far, and will do more.

I wonder about some of the city-wise yard sales occasionally held in Northwest Arkansas. I live in the country, but maybe they'd accept someone outside city limits??? I loved the idea of Monti's tailgate signing. Such an event could potentially benefit the business who's parking lot you use, and also sell books. Hmmmmmmm

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, Radine, you always have great ideas for signings. Glad you posted.

Unless I give a talk at a bookstore, they are never as good as other places I do signings.

This year at the Apple Festival wasn't as good as past years, but I blame that on the economy more than anything. Plus I was asked in my book was on Kindle.

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