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Old 05-18-2008, 00:54   #1
trover
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Are Book Signings Worthwhile?

This debate seems to always come up with writers, when talking about how to break through. Book festivals, signings, ads, any thoughts as to what works and what doesn't? So far, I've had the best success using a publicist, but I'm far from breaking even. And with all the turmoil in the industry, especially the deep discounting return policies that are becoming so prevalent, one wonders if book signings are a good idea.

What do you think?
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:29   #2
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I consider them a benificial element of being a writer. They will provide you existing fans with some entertainment and will help expose you to those who have yet to encounter your work. If you consider doing this, I would first look for highly trafficed areas that would include the demographic you are trying to target. For instance, you may try a popular coffee shop or book store to reach a wider range of readers.
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Old 05-18-2008, 17:53   #3
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I consider them a benificial element of being a writer. They will provide you existing fans with some entertainment and will help expose you to those who have yet to encounter your work. If you consider doing this, I would first look for highly trafficed areas that would include the demographic you are trying to target. For instance, you may try a popular coffee shop or book store to reach a wider range of readers.
I agree. I call it "Developing a base." Still, it's not always fun.
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Old 05-19-2008, 17:38   #4
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It may not always be fun, but I'd consider it an interesting and encouraging experience to meet a few of your current or potential fans.
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Old 05-19-2008, 20:37   #5
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Yeah, I've got a schedule, but I'm not really looking forward to it. Agree, it's something one must do, although I'm not sure it swings positive under cost/benefit analysis.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:28   #6
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Embrace it...

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Yeah, I've got a schedule, but I'm not really looking forward to it. Agree, it's something one must do, although I'm not sure it swings positive under cost/benefit analysis.

I've had three so far and two coming up in June. Embrace it...for several reasons...1. people are coming to see YOU!!! (how cool is that. Humbling for me) 2. Its meeting people and its all about resouces. I appreciate you guys on this page but I've had some GTers come to my book signing and it was great meeting with them. 3. Gets the word about your book out.

I agree with the cost/benefit but how many people in the world can do what you/we do. Let us know when and where and I'll try to get there!!
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Old 05-20-2008, 22:03   #7
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I've had three so far and two coming up in June. Embrace it...for several reasons...1. people are coming to see YOU!!! (how cool is that. Humbling for me) 2. Its meeting people and its all about resouces. I appreciate you guys on this page but I've had some GTers come to my book signing and it was great meeting with them. 3. Gets the word about your book out.

I agree with the cost/benefit but how many people in the world can do what you/we do. Let us know when and where and I'll try to get there!!
I know you're right, and I do enjoy meeting people. But I enjoy doing writer's workshops more. Maybe a side effect of my old college teaching days.

Here's my current schedule, with more dates being added.

Booked For Murder, Madison, WI, May 27, 3-5 P.M.
Creekside Books, Cedarburg, WI, May 31, Noon-2 P.M.
Borders Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN, June 14, 1-3 P.M. (7565 US 31 South)
The Mystery Company, Carmel, IN, June 15, 2:00-3:30 P.M.
Cyrano’s Bookstore, Highlands, N.C. June 28, 4:30-6:00 P.M.
Cheesecake and Crime, Henderson, NV, August 9, 4-6 P.M.
Killer Nashville Book Festival, August 15-17, Nashville, TN
Men of Mystery Book Festival, November 1, Irvine, CA

Hope to see you on the road.

Last edited by trover; 05-20-2008 at 22:04.. Reason: Addendum
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Old 05-21-2008, 18:06   #8
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All right... now you're just showing off...LOL NOW I understand why you may not be so fond of them....LOL Be glad you have that problem Trover...LOL That is great and congrats. Let me know when you're in the Philly/NJ area.
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Old 05-21-2008, 22:27   #9
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Yeah, but I screwed up. Had a book signing set for May 17, but sent out postcards saying May 27, so four people showed up. And can't blame the bookstore; the error was mine.

Did a circuit of the Pacific Northwest with my first book two years ago. Three Borders stores (out of the fifteen set up) claimed they couldn't get books in time, so they asked me to bring my own. Then they took my invoice after I sold a bunch of books, and they never paid. I've been told by a couple other writers that they had similar experiences with Borders. Apparently, the invoices are sent to corporate, and when some handwritten invoice comes in, they're just ignored. Needless to say, I'm no longer fronting books to Borders stores.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:33   #10
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Two upcoming

I have one this Saturday at a Local event that is expecting thousands and another one next Saturday in Hagerstown MD.... Had that scheduled long before the gas price rise, not sure if its a wise choice now. Will be on the motorcycle so that may just be a good excuse to ride!! I'll keep you posted!
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:09   #11
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I have one this Saturday at a Local event that is expecting thousands and another one next Saturday in Hagerstown MD.... Had that scheduled long before the gas price rise, not sure if its a wise choice now. Will be on the motorcycle so that may just be a good excuse to ride!! I'll keep you posted!
Very cool! It can't be too easy for writers to be organizing tours and book signings when considering the gasoline prices.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:23   #12
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Book Signings = a Good Idea

I kind of look at book signings for authors as being analogous to being 'on tour' for a rock star. Is it necessary for your art to be proliferated? Maybe, maybe not if you've got great promotion. But there's something to be said for showing your public that you 'care about them' enough to pay them a visit and waste some ink signing copies of your work that they've spent their hard earned money for.

Also, don't discount the power of 'word of mouth' since, in this day and age, it has been modified and intensified by the power of the internet. Just look at us, for example. We could just as easily be discussing what an a** John B. Good is for refusing to ever visit the people who've actually paid for him to be where he is. The converse is, we could be talking about 'what a nice guy he is' for having visited our local Barnes & Noble and taken the time to not only tell us what inspired him to write, but also give us aspiring writers helpful insight into our own work.

IMHO, what book signings translate to is a push toward staying power for an author's work in the long run and, thus, more income to continue doing what we love to do - write.

Also, IMO, one good side effect is the ego boost of having the reminder that there are real, flesh-&-blood people who like your work. If that won't get you through a bout of writer's block, then I don't know what will.
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