The Draw of Book Signings

As writers we have dreams of having readers, fans, and a long line of folks waiting to meet us at book signings. Well, I have readers, a few loyal fans, and the reality is, unless you’re a household name, you the few that actually approach your author table at a signing have probably never even heard of you. 

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Me at our local Railroad Festival last June. Photo credit: Jan Rayl

After doing several book signings, I told myself I wouldn’t go through the trouble again. The majority of my sales are from ebooks, so why put in the extra effort and money into print signings? 

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Another book signing last July at the local coffee shop. I think my uncle was the only one who bought any books that day!

But then I got an email a few weeks ago asking if my husband and I would be interested in participating in the 15th annual Fall for the Book event. Now, for those unfamiliar with Fall for the Book, it is a week long book festival in Northern Virginia (DC area) that invites authors from around the country to participate in events and panels throughout the area. Their yearly literary awards has given us an opportunity to meet literary greats like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.

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So my answer? A resounding YES! 

Now, I got this invite by way of my husband. A man who never reads, much less writes. But one of the events this year is a food showcase that will highlight chefs to promote their cookbooks. Well, because my husband doesn’t have a cookbook, they asked if I would like to team up with the hubby and speak on how his culinary career impacts my books. And fortunately for me, I have a new book I’m working on that has a very strong food component, Darkly Beings

I’ve always incorporated food into my books. Whether it be Aunt Maggie (Travelers Series) cooking up mouth watering culinary creations and later becoming the host of her own cooking show in an alternate reality, or the DeLeon sisters who capitalized on their talent for cooking by opening up their own restaurant in the small fictional town of Caldero, Texas (Darkly Beings), food has always been a focal point in my writing. 

So now, I have to work double time to ensure my book is done this month, so I’ll have enough time to promote and prepare for the event in September. For the first time, I’ll have a built in audience to promote my books (they anticipate over 200 at this event) and my husband will draw them in with his spectacular gumbo! 

Now let’s just hope there are a few attendees interested in picking up a YA paranormal book amidst the sea of cookbooks!

What about you other authors out there? Book Signings… love them or hate them? 

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3 thoughts on “The Draw of Book Signings

  1. I have done book signings twice now, but never at a book store or a book fair. On the other hand, I joined the Artist Alley section of a Danish game/comic/j-pop convention, where I was pretty much the only one who sold actual novels.
    I was really surprised at the interest the first year(I had not brought that many books and I ended up with none left), and really happy this year when someone came looking for me because they had talked to me the year before.
    It’s very non-traditional to do a book stand at a convention that doesn’t really have much to do with books, but I had amazing feedback, talked to some great people and even sold some books. It might not be much in the line of marketing, but it’s still a great experience that I plan to repeat at a similar, but bigger convention in August!

    1. When I did the Railroad Festival last year, I was actually surprised at how many books I sold (I was at our local writers group booth) that were simply impulse buys! I generally don’t fair well at book signings, but since upcoming one is a big deal, I don’t really care if I sell any…it was just an honor to be asked!

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