Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lessons from the Conference: Friday

First glimpse of my new book, Meet Me, last Friday; it was already being sold by St. Charles' Main Street Bookstore owner Vicki Erwin (yes, the writer) who ran the book sale at the Missouri Writers Guild conference, carrying 100 titles, all by conference presenters and workshop leaders. Amazing, the number and variety. Who had the most books? NYT bestselling novelist Bobbi Smith, "Queen of the Western Romance." If you like handsome, emotionally available cowboys, Bobbi's your author.

Authors were to be present from 3 to 4 p.m. for signings, and I had the pleasure of meeting my book's first buyer and second buyer.

My publisher, Winnie Sullivan of Penultimate Press, met me there Friday, bringing my authors' and contributor's copies, plus my order of 100 copies for my personal stock. This cost me $970 with tax, but I got that over with, and Winnie helped me shelve them in my personal rolling bookstore. I was destined to sell two copies from the trunk before the weekend was over. Winnie and Vicki talked business.

Lessons learned on Friday:
  • authors at "signing events" mostly stand there doing nothing.
  • at conferences, dress to look prosperous, not like the ink-stained wretches we all really are.
  • offer your business cards, if you leave them on a freebies table, in something that will hold them upright, or at least hold them.
  • don't be afraid to bring your books even if not asked. Don't be afraid to want to sell your books or -- very classy -- have them sold for you.
  • always carry copies of your books in your car.
  • it is nice to have a publisher who'll help you move heavy boxes of books and talk business and promotion with a bookstore owner.
  • have a good idea or two about how you will inscribe the books you sell.
  • it takes two or three weeks for a new book to get on

1 comment:

  1. Save one of that personal stock--and an inscription idea--for me. I'll buy it from you the next time I see you.