Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Fairs and Signings: How To Make Them Work for About Anyone

As many of you know, I love the Q&A format. I was first introduced to it when I was a staff writer for The Salt Lake Tribune and edited Ann Landers and Heloise's columns to make them fit the column inches we had available on any given day. So, naturally I use them in my newsletter. Here's a reprint of one on book signings, a favorite subject in spring when book fairs sprout around the country (and world) like tulips. (-:


Hi Carolyn….I just wanted you to know that your chapter on book signings, in The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo ), struck a chord. I'm doing well with book signings in my home town, surrounding towns, and even surrounding counties, where my name is known, but I've been hesitant to schedule book signings up and down the East Coast, because not that many out-of-staters are familiar with my work. It was nice to have my hesitant feelings about scheduling signings outside my state confirmed, because they could, potentially, be a waste of time in places where my syndicated columns don't appear. I might be wiser to wait a reasonable period of time before scheduling those book signings. What do you think?

Hugs,

Laverne H. Bardy
Author and syndicated humor columnist
Author of How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old, at Amazon and www.Createspace.com/3640610 .
www.LaverneBardy.com  
www.AfterFiftyLiving.com
www.Shrewsbury.net  

ANSWER:

You can wait until you're better known or you can use some of those value-added promotions I talk about for book fairs in The Frugal Book Promoter (and all those ideas for selecting the right out of town venue and using the media in those areas) as a trial balloon. I do think it's wise to wait until you've built somewhat of a national following on the Web, though. (-:

Oh! And thank you for letting me know. It's always wonderful to hear from someone who is using my book for ideas and guidance. (-:

BTW, did I mention that I've had some miserable signing outside my pond. (-:  And that's why I developed promotions and publicity techniqes that make out-of-town booksignings work for authors even when attendance is low.

LAVERNE'S ANSWER

Hi again Carolyn….I will continue to read that section about value-added promotions, etc. My column is syndicated, but only in about 23 papers, and for some reason most of those papers are in the middle and western USA, and I sure don't feel like traipsing that distance in hopes of selling a few more books. Yes, you did mention that you have had some dreadful book signings. The more I ask around the more I hear that from authors. One woman told me she had a book signing outside, in a beautiful grassy area, near a lovely lake. Unfortunately, the weather turned and it was 104 degrees. Only one person showed up, so she read to that person. How brave. I would have probably taken that person by the elbow and treated her to something cold and creamy, at Friendly's or Dairy Queen.

ANSWER:

I think your way of handling the problem is wonderful. And both paths are brave and exactly what a professional would do. Two different paths to taking care of our readers.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second ediction of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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