Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

August 16, 2010

Day 63 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010, which is my first official month – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • Marketing Topic – Book signings, the best of times, the worst of times
  • Marketing Topic –  Another fantastic book marketing blog
  • Something funny – Elizabeth Warren Rap Video

Marketing Topic – Book signings, the best of times, the worst of times

Sorry about the lack of a Friday the 13th entry. It would have been great to muse on the influence of Jason Voorhees in our writings, but I had a signing that night at the Dallas Uptown Borders. Which brings us to a very good point about scheduling your signings, make absolutely sure your signing is scheduled during a time when the store has the most traffic. I scheduled my signing with one of the store managers and he said that Friday nights were busy. Their store is located in an urban, downtown setting, and he said that many people come in to browse before going out for the evening. But when I get there, it was a different story.

When I arrived I see my beautiful table already set up. I start arranging my own supplies I’ve brought: Sharpie markers, extra bookmarks, bookplates at the ready in case 1) I run out of books to sign or 2) the person wants to buy the book but needs to wait to get it online for whatever reason. (For those that don’t know, bookplates are basically stickers that authors sign and the customer can affix them to the inside of the book later.) The manager on duty comes over and, after introductions, says, “You know that Friday nights are our slowest nights of the week.” Oy vey! Not to fault the manager with whom I scheduled the signing, he doesn’t work Friday nights and thought they were hopping. And while I did manage to sell 8 books, the experience also taught me a valuable lesson: real estate might be about location, location, location, but book signings are all about timing, timing, timing.

I’m scheduling more signings this week and I’m sticking with the Saturday and Sunday afternoon slots until Thanksgiving hits. Then, it’s a free for all. I’ll take any weekday night that’s offered because Christmas is a different animal altogether. And the closer Dec 25 gets, the more likely I’ll sell 30 books on a Monday night.

And really, I think the Friday night signing was a success. I met some very nice people and, like Joe Girard, the Guinness Book of World’s Records World’s Greatest Salesman, says about his Rule of 250, “everyone, on average, knows 250 people.” So, if I sold 8 books, that means I had the potential to reach 2,000 on Friday night. Think about it, if a friend of yours says, “I just finished this book called The Brink. It’s this action packed thriller that I couldn’t put down. You’ve got to read it,” wouldn’t you?

Marketing Topic – Another fantastic book marketing blog

I wanted to pass along this little nugget about another blog that offers book marketing tips. It’s called, “The Savvy Book Marketer.” The author even offers a free eBook on book marketing and a book marketing plan. The tip I’ve enjoyed the most is the 24-hour Twitter World Tour. Great idea!

Something funny – Elizabeth Warren Rap Video

It’s Monday, so I thought I’d end with something for those who have a case of the Mondays. For those who don’t know who Elizabeth Warren is, her Wikipedia entry states, “is an American attorney and law professor. She is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School — where she teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law — and has devoted much of the past three decades to studying the economics of middle class families. In the wake of the 2008-9 financial crisis, she became the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to investigate the U.S. banking bailout (formally known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program). In that role, she has provided a critical check on the U.S. Department of the Treasury and has been a leading advocate for accountability and transparency in government. She is also reportedly being considered by President Obama to be the first Director of the new consumer agency.[16] On May 24, 2010, Time Magazine called Warren, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro the “New Sheriffs of Wall Street” in a cover story.”

As her lifelong fight has been to bring sanity and transparency to the American financial system, something that I hope The Brink does for those who read it, I thought I’d pass it along. Enjoy!

 The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

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