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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)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
hey David, I think you should do a signing in Figtree mall. We miss you!
Jan. 10th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
I'd love it, Cat. I miss you guys, too. Can't say that I miss Figtree, though....
Jan. 11th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC)
True. That mall is a dump. Except for the donut shop. I'm on holidays and I have had way too much donut input!!!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 10th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've had a couple of good signings, one in particular at a Waldenbooks in Huntsville that I just KNEW would suck and it turned out great. But those signings are the exceptions. The ones that go poorly are so disappointing that they can actually set me back a bit, make me question my writing ability, my future, etc. Yuck.
Jan. 10th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
As a book buyer, I prefer the event style reading and Q&A to just going to get a book signed.

Anyway, dude, you should roll your own book tour. You've got friends all over the place. The flagship Joseph-Beth (what bought out Davis-Kidd down your way) is up here in Sexy Lexy and they're a big league stop on the sf/fantasy standard tour, frequently standing in as both the token "southern" _and_ the token "midwestern" stop on ten city type tours. All the big guys I don't like always stop here, and some of the ones I do, as well. You know who I mean, the NYT Bestseller bunch.

So call 'em up, or have your agent or publicist call 'em up, and then you can stay at our house. Make a long weekend of it, and do the same thing for stores in other cities where you know people. From up on the mountain, you could come here, then maybe do a Columbus or Pittsburgh stop, then Cleveland or Ann Arbor, then Chicago, then one of the central Illinois college towns in urban axes like Champagne-Urbana or maybe St. Louis, then back home.
Jan. 10th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
That's a great offer, my friend. Thanks. I'll consider it. I hate to be away from the family too much, but I suppose I could make a couple of trips. Thanks for the input.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Australia, Ghost Gum
David B. Coe

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