The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that you’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that your book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes your book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that you become a part of your readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to try and sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year.

Day 6 and 7 of 365

In this Weekend Edition issue:

  • A record-breaking signing at Colleyville Borders!
  • Taking time off to celebrate with an awesome adult beverage recipe
  • Father’s Day video – All us dads have been here

A record-breaking signing at Colleyville Borders!

Many thanks to the staff at the Colleyville Borders, who helped me have the most successful book signing of the year at their store! “”Being a local author, Mark generated a lot of pre-signing interest,” said Lori Lortscher of the Colleyville Borders store. “He also interacted well with our customers during the signing, which boosted the sale of his book.  It was our most successful book signing of the year. I hope we are lucky enough to have him back again.” By “interacting well with our customers,” I walked through the store whenever there was a lull in the activity at my table, which was placed front and center at the front of the store, introduced myself to every customer in the store and handed them a bookmark. While several friends came in to the store to buy a copy of The Brink, it was that few minutes of extra work that helped move 24 books in two hours (Lori stated that at most signings, the author is lucky to sell 6 or 7 books).  While I did alot of work to promote the signing,  I sent press releases to the local paper and bloggers, and hung signs in the grocery store and Starbucks, it is still the bookmark that is the centerpiece of the marketing campaign. It’s an author’s business card. I mentioned it in the first blog post, but I’ll mention it again here: I got 5,000 bookmarks for around $160 at They have fantastic customer service and a quick turnaround. I highly recommend them. Now, it’s back to contacting other area bookstores to set up signings. You bet I will use Lori’s quote about how successful the signing was when I talk to them. While we are mainly using social media here, there is still nothing better than the face to face signing to talk to people and hopefully make them fans of our work. Plus, they’re a blast and a way to add to your work. The more people you meet, the more stories and personalities you can add to your list of inspiration and perhaps use them when you get ready to shape your next story or dream up your next character.    

 Taking time off to celebrate with an awesome adult beverage recipe

 After the successful signing, I celebrated with a beverage called “Summer Brew.” It is a very tasty, tangy beverage and we always have the ingredients handy during the hot months.  Here’s the recipe:

 3 Coronas (or Corona Light)

1 can of frozen limeade concentrate

Orange Liqueur

 In a pitcher of ice, mix the ingredients together (use the limeade can to measure the orange liqueur to taste) and Walla! a heck of a great way to celebrate your literary successes in the summer months.

 Father’s Day video – All us dads have been here

 When I saw this video on the attached link, I couldn’t stop laughing. We’ve all been here: it’s 3 am the baby’s crying and you’ll do anything to get some sleep. All us dads have also tried what this guy tries at the end, and just like him it usually fails:

Happy Father’s Day!