Monday, November 30, 2009

Reflections on a Booksigning

Saturday's book signing would have been a wasted day had I been the soul author.
I woke at 3:45 am and drove the three hours to Portland. Luckily the pass had only a few spots of ice and it was actually warmer on the mountain than it had been here in the high desert. I arrived at Minnette Meador's at 7:30. Hanna Rhys Barnes arrived around 8:00. We loaded into Minnette's van and her husband drove us the three hours to Bellevue, WA with a stop for lunch since our signing started at noon.

Lisa Hendrix met us there. I love the fact there are book stores out there who are willing to do these types of signings. But this is my second signing in a row where there wasn't a poster at the door that announced there were authors in the store signing and reading. I'm making a note to start bringing a large poster with me that I can set up at the front of stores when I am signing. I think that would attract more attention.

As stated before we talked about ourselves and books and then read from a book. We had six people listening and two were store employees. One gentleman and I started talking. He knew the area where I grew up, the foundry where my brother started out, and some people. It was that connection that made him buy a book. And the wonderful Lesa Dragon who we'd all met at the Emerald City conference came by and bought one of each of our books. And that was all we sold in three hours. A weekend when we and the store thought they'd be booming there were more employees in the store than customers.

And the event was publicized because two people said they read about the event in the paper. But I am becoming a firm believer in the need for a poster at the door. Which will be one of my New Year's goals. To produce a foam board poster that I can change the day and time on for each event.

As an author what do you think helps your signings? As a reader what do you like about book signings? What don't you like?

I hope you all had a happy family filled Thanksgiving.


Gwyn Ramsey said...

I find making posters and handing them around the area before the signing is a great help. I also make a tri-folded brochure that I hand out at the signing, even if the person doesn't buy a book but is interested in the genre. Sometimes they come back or call later for a book to be mailed to them.

A poster 8 x 11 is a good tool.

Gwyn Ramsey

Paty Jager said...

Gwyn, I'm finding that you can't let the book store do the advertising, especially the day of the signing.

Linda Rader said...

Came here from Joanna Aislinn's blog where I really enjoyed your interview. Your journey to Eppy winning author is inspiring.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you Linda. It's been a long road but I wouldn't change a thing.

Susan Kelley said...

Good idea about the poster. I've been to booksignings and sold only a few books and one where I sold none! Having friends along helped. I think sometimes the lack of customers is a sad reflection on the struggle of the indie bookstores. Good luck on your next one.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Susan!

Minnette Meador said...

Well, even if we didn't sign a lot of books, we still had a great time. I, for one, was thrilled to get to know Paty up close and personal... I usually send posters ahead of time to signings, but just couldn't get to it on this one ~sigh~ Next time! Anyway, thanks so much for making the trip, Paty. You were a delight to spend the day with! Minnette :o)

Eunice Boeve said...

Hi Paty,
I just attended a Christmas Open house at a place called Kansas Originals where my books and others, art work, and crafts all made in Kansas are sold. The man doing the advertizing dropped dead of a heart attack just before he had the work done, so it wasn't well advertized and few people came by even though it was a beautiful 70 degree sunny Sunday. I sold 3 books, my friend (we met and rode together) sold two. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the day. I've had posters and had both good sales and poor sales. I've not had posters and have had the same results, some good, some not so good. But they sure can't hurt.