"All books are either dreams or swords,
You can cut, or you can drug, with words." ~Amy Lowell
So...the signing at Borders...
There were 13 authors, some big name, some (like moi) not. Varying genres. Most of us brought gift baskets to give away, which we did every half-hour to customers who filled out entry cards and hung around to hear some of us read from our books. We had probably 6-8 people who stayed a couple of hours, and then probably 15-20 more browsers.
I sold 2 books, certainly not great, but average for most who were there, with the exception of Kristan Higgins, who's a pretty big new name. But even she sold maybe 10 at the most.
Better than the sales, though, was the chance to network with other authors. Kristan, especially, was great fun to chat with (really, she's hilarious - I can't wait to read her books). She also gave me a lot of good advice and said the #1 reason that manuscripts get rejected is because of length. If you're pitching a single title, it has to be 90K words. 100K is better.
She's also the president of the CTRWA and presenting a workshop at the Fiction Fest 2009 Conference (I'll be there too - more on this tomorrow), and spending 3+ hours sitting next to her at a signing, I gotta believe, might be a nice connection at some point down the road. At the very least, we had fun:
Hubby and I also stayed over at a local B&B afterwards, and when the owner found out I'd been in town for a book signing, she gushed and pulled out her checkbook so that she could buy a signed copy of both of mine, for their library! (Another reason to always carry a few extra in the trunk of your car) She also took bookmarks and excerpt booklets to put in every guest room, because "Guests love when they hear that an author stayed here!"
So, as I've said here many times before, if you have the chance to do any kind of public appearance with your books, or even have the chance to talk about them with someone new, DO SO! You never know who you'll meet and what doors it might open for you down the road.