Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Read Between the Lynes
A very great friend of mine has talked a bookstore owner she knows into letting me have a book signing. (Thank you, Eileen Millard!)
This is phenomenal for many reasons: 1) No one knows me from Adam. 2) I am not a NY Times best seller. 3) Because of the first two reasons, I am not necessarily going to draw a huge crowd or boost store sales.
On the other hand, because of my subject matter, having a book signing the weekend before Halloween probably makes sense. There is always the off chance that someone will buy a book, even if it's not one of mine. Also, the signing is dove-tailing with the town's Haunted House in the middle of the square, so people may come in looking for a scary story. That would be lovely.
I am excited about this because for the first time, I actually have more than one book to put on display. I actually have three, not even including the one that's out of print, so at least people have a choice. I'm also excited because both the book store owner and Eileen-who-facilitated-this are going to market this event! This is something amazing, because I am *clueless* when it comes to marketing. I don't think like marketing people do, which is unfortunate, since that is a good way to drive book sales. But it's a hard thing to learn.I saw the results of a personality inventory once that put "writer" and "marketer" at exact opposites of a spectrum of personality traits, and I believe it.
Have you ever been to an author fest? The kind where they have about twenty authors you probably have never heard of all together in one place for a mass book sale/signing? (Or in my case, mass hope/depression. If I sell one book at one of these events, it pretty much makes my day.) If you've ever gone to one of these things, you will see there are some authors who are very comfortable meeting and greeting passers-by. And there are other authors who will either have the heads stuck in books or will be writing something, basically ignoring anyone in the immediate vicinity. Obviously, the latter model is not the way to sell anything, but I assure you, it is also the comfort zone of the average writer. Think about it. We are people who like to hang out alone in a room and write. I mean, what normal person does that?
But I have been trying to get better about marketing, and about meeting and greeting the public, whether they want me to or not. To that end, I smile, engage in small talk, frequently put out a bowl of chocolate candy to entice people to drop by, AND, if someone buys a book, I do a freebie-quickie palm reading.This may not be the most efficient or successful way to close a sale, but hey, shy, reserved, writer/hermit me can live with it.
If you're in the vicinity, Read Between The Lynes book store in  Woodstock, Illinois, owned by Arlene Lynes, is hosting me for the signing on Friday, October 25, starting at 7 pm. Drop by! And I'll remember to bring the picture of Michael Penfield...

1 comment:

  1. I can relate. I read all these things to do at a signing, but I just sit there and smile. Wish I were braver and could approach people.