“We would ask you to invite as least 100 friends and family members to come to your signing and purchase your book.”
Um, say what now?
I received the above response from a chain bookstore after inquiring about a book signing. I blinked—you know, just in case there was something in my eye—then read it again. And then I laughed.
- First of all, I don’t ask family members to pay for my book.
- Second of all, I’m an introvert. I don’t have 100 real-life friends. Acquaintances, maybe. Friends, not so much. Certainly few I’d feel comfortable asking to come buy my book.
- Third, those who know me and are interested in the book have probably already bought it.
- Fourth, if I sold 100 books to friends, I’d make a greater profit selling them directly than the $1.50 I get selling them through a bookstore.
But I don’t mean to be salty. I get it. Bookstores have a business to run, and they can’t offer every author a book signing, especially one published by a small press.
But it would be nice if they held a local author event or something along those lines. After all, the most they lose is a table and chair for two hours. The most the author loses is self-respect and dignity when no one stops by.
But good news exists!
Independent bookstores are much more receptive. They respond to emails. They see if your book is something they’d like to offer. They might even agree to a signing—no 100-friends-and-family strings attached.
So today I’m giving a huge thank you to:
The Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, New Hampshire, where I’ll be signing books December 23rd from 2-4 pm.
I’ll also be having a signing in Columbus after the New Year and am in the process of setting up more, so if you happen to be near any of these cities, I’d love to have you stop by. (Oh dear, did this introvert really just say that? Big girl pants, Carrie, big girl pants.)
Ah. Thank heavens for independent bookstores.
Anything make you salty lately? Authors, what are your book signing tales?
Addendum, 2-18-16: I thought it only right to mention I’ve recently been invited to attend a chain bookstore’s Local Author Exhibition, for which I am very grateful and appreciative. So I guess I owe a little mea culpa. Oops. 🙂
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