Sunday, March 12, 2017

Midnight Sisters Shops Local!

I know you've heard it. Print books are dying out.

It's not encouraging to those of us who want to sell books to hear that buyers aren't buying. Or if they are buying, they're buying eBooks for under $1.
My crazy family. I can't take them anywhere...
Well, my dears, here's the truth. My author events in bookstores have always been successful. I don't make enough to move out of my two-bedroom condo or quit my day job, but I do make enough to keep writing. 

And occasionally pay for a pedicure. Or a green polka dot dress.
When your book launch is at a retro dress shop...
I've had a blast promoting my books in local shops this year. Friends, family, and perfect strangers strolled in and snatched up copies of my newest release, Midnight Sisters. And many of them snagged Becoming Beauty as well.
Crazy friends. Oh how I love them.
How does that happen if print books are a dying breed? Here's what I've seen:
  • Local shops run by individuals who understand local culture and stock their shelves accordingly will be successful.
  • Authors who carefully plan public events, put in the leg work (i.e. traditional and online promotion), and genuinely connect with potential readers will also be successful.
Trust me, simply showing up with a smile and 900 copies of your newest novel will not be enough. There needs to be a solid plan in place. Chat with shop owners and librarians, build good rapport, borrow tips and techniques from other writers, and get busy promoting on your end.

And yes, please take your smile and pile of books. You're going to need those.

Like any author, I've had several nominally successful author events too. Instead of becoming discouraged, I choose to learn from those experiences.
  • Did I fail to promoted the event sufficiently? 
  • Did I fail to include effective strategies that have worked before?
  • Is my sales pitch (i.e. book blurb) enough to hook potential readers?
  • Did I make some valuable connections that I can use later on?
  • Did I leave a good impression with my host?
As a second-time author, I've been much better at playing to my strengths this time around. For me, that includes playing to the local crowd and being warm, friendly, and visible. Let me tell you, it's exhausting, but so much fun!

That's what we do, isn't it? Take the awesome, learn from the not-so-awesome, and keep on improving. So writerly and non-writerly friends, go forth and conquer!

Then come back and tell me how it went.

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