Signings

January 10, 2008

With a couple of new books out, it’s time for me to start thinking about book signings.  I’m a midlist author for a big publisher, so I’m not fortunate enough to get a book tour.  I have to set up signings on my own, and I have to admit that I’m ambivalent about the whole process.  I’ve set up a signing at my local bookstore, because I do every time I have a new book out.  These local signings are always fun.  They’re well attended, and I usually sell lots of books.

But when it comes to doing signings in larger cities at one or more of the chain bookstores — Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders — I’m having trouble mustering any enthusiasm.  I feel like I SHOULD do them, that they provide a way for me to get my name out there a bit more and let people know about the book.  The fact is though, they rarely pay off in any meaningful way.  I’ll sell a few books, but mostly I sit there waiting for someone to come talk to me, watching as people slip by the table, afraid to make eye contact, as if they’re afraid that I’ll lure them over to me and magically force them to spend all their money.

I’d be interested in knowing from other writers out there how they feel about signings.  In your opinion, are they worth the time and effort?

Today’s music:  Bryan Sutton (Bluegrass Guitar)

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7 Responses to “Signings”

  1. Brian said

    Im not an author, but I would love to meet some of my favorite authors if they came to where I live. The only downside for me is that I dont like to buy so many hardcovers, I usually wait for the paperbacks, and I would feel guilty for meeting an author and not buy the hardcover.

  2. davidbcoe said

    As an author I can assure you, Brian, that we are happy for ANY sale and will sign ANY book (provided we wrote it!).

  3. Mark Wise said

    I found a good article (in my uneducated opinion) about how to make the most of booksignings on Backspace. It looks pretty knowledgable. Maybe it could give some help?

    It’s titled: How to Make a Disastrous Booksigning Event a Success by J.A. Konrath

    http://www.bksp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=2

  4. Brian said

    Great, why not come out to Manhattan, Kansas sometime! I’ll bring my copy of Children of Amarid.

  5. davidbcoe said

    Thanks for the link, Mark. I’ll be sure to check out the article. And Brian, if I’m in the area, I’ll make certain to set up a signing there. But I might try to get you to buy another book or two…:)

  6. Noah said

    Having just finished and loved Sorcerer’s Plague, I can say with enthusiasm that if you wound up within 100 miles of Northwest Ohio, I’d definitely make every effort to hit up the signing. Can’t wait for the next one.

  7. davidbcoe said

    Thanks, Noah. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. If you’d be willing to post a review to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, I’d be most grateful.

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