Hank Quense's Book Signing Horror Story
Two years ago, I had a new novel released and I was determined that I was going to sell a pile of paperback copies locally. I contacted a few libraries and two of them agreed to let me have a book signing appearance. The libraries did a great job and produced flyers to hang around the library.
At the first one, i sat behind a table with a pile of books and waited while the library’s patrons ignored me. Finally, an elderly man approached and looked over the books. I sensed a sale. I gave the guy a description of the book and he picked one up and sat down. He browsed through the book and read several scenes over the next ten or fifteen minutes. Then he stood up, said, “I didn’t bring any money,” put the book down and left. He was the first and last potential buyer at that signing.
A few weeks later, I had the second signing at a bigger library in a bigger town. Only one guy showed up, a member of a write group I belong to. We spent an hour chatting after which I decided to give up and go home. The other writer did graciously buy a copy of the book.
I think the biggest hurdle an unknown writer has to face is his unknown status. A flashy flyer in a library announcing appearance by an author no one ever heard of simply does not attract a crowd. A writer needs more than the flyer and best good wishes of the library staff. The writer needs to get a message out through the community because a lot of people don’t go to the library, or if they use the library, they may not stop to read the flyer. The flyer should be in local stores and other public places.
I haven’t had a book signing since then, but I’m willing to try one more time with Moxie’s Problem. This time, in addition to the flyers the library makes up, I’ll produce my own flyers and announcements and then make the rounds of the local shops and venues to spread the word. I’m hoping more than one guy shows up this time around.
I’m also exploring a different situation in which I join forces with one or two other authors and make it a joint signing.
Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outside her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
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