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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Book Signing - The Inside Story

The book signing - the first opportunity to engage with the public.

Well this was a learning experience, which was one of the reasons for choosing York, so I could see how it works before I start on Leeds, my target market for the AVER.

So how did it go?

Stood in the corner of the doorway was an excellent place to greet the arriving public as they walked through the entrance. It was also a prime position to see them walk on by, avoiding your glances at all costs. Now I remembered why I never wanted to do a sales job. Should I harass, should I stay quiet, or should I stand like a smiling geek until someone feels sorry for me?

Finally some friends arrived to rescue me and my wife and make us feel loved. In the end, the store informed that 5 books was good, and I suspect I sold more books than anyone else in WHSmiths that afternoon.

A good experience but what are the learnings.

1) People like to browse books, before they buy, so an opportunity to browse the book without having a desperate author breathe down your neck may have helped with interest.
2) Go for places where books are sold, sounds simple but the entrance to a store which sells many things other than books, means lots of people can easily ignore you, its not what they came for.
3) Don't park your signing table in front of Vampire books and kiddie books, it was a bit confusing at first why all the kids were trying to stare at us, when they were looking at the 3 for 2 offer on Vampires
4) in addition to point one, have some book information for people to see what the book is about. Also would greatly help if the store announced your presence over the tannoy, to give the public some idea of what you are here for and whether they might be interested.

Next time I see a poor author in a store trying to do a signing with a no-mans land empty space around his desk, I shall step inside and engage in conversation. Might even just buy a book in support of my fellow struggling author

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Book Signing

The first book signing is booked for 19th March 2011.

It will be in WHSmiths in York who were the first to take advantage of my availability. The manager chap could have turned me down as he had no obligation to allow a story not specifically about York to be promoted in his store, but given he didn't have writers knocking his door down, I think he saw a good opportunity for his store. Not because he believes I will bring the masses to the store but it still makes him look good.

Produced some posters today which I will drop in to the store tomorrow.

Also emailed the Yorkshire Post in an attempt to gain some publicity. This is the time when I will find out if the world outside my friends and family are interested in AVER, or whether it will remain in obscurity.

The worries over the typing errors in the book still remain, but decided to be upfront and honest about it. No point in pretending they don't exist, but I will promote the story and hope that people buy into that, knowing the production wasn't the same as a mass market paperback.

Looking forward to the opportunity to publicise the book now and really gauge the interest of the book buying public

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The First Week

The exciting news of the week has been all about people rolling up to buy the book on Amazon, and those that didn't know about it before congratulating me on the book and wishing me luck.

I am always grateful for the purchases and the wishes.

I pick the book up daily and try to imagine the endless of hours of work it took to put it together, and wonder how I kept up the effort to keep it all going. Hard to imagine now as I contemplate the same again in the next one. The truth of it is, because I'd never written a book before, I never knew what it would take to finish it. Now I know....

So I have picked it up and spot read pages, especially on the tube, shamelessly trying to show it off.

Nightmare is, I have found typing errors, small ones, but errors all the same, and I dare say any body who will get hold of it will comment on that. I have to take that on the chin, my book, my responsibility. Another round of proof-reading clearly would have tidied those bits and pieces up, but these are the problems with independent publishing without access to large support organisations to do this work. So my hope is that despite these glitches readers will enjoy the story enough that they will just ignore it. I never promised perfect literature, just a good story.

Everyone who has read this book has loved it and loved the characters, that is what I will take pride in more than anything else, and thats why I will keep on promoting it positively.

Getting on to Waterstone's this week with a view to arranging book signings and the next round of promotion.