Monday, February 09, 2009

Take That Step out the Door and Network!

"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.


Marianne Arkins said...

"Guests love when they hear that an author stayed here!"

That's SO CUTE!!! And a great sales opp... awesome.

Rita said...

I'm jealous...Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite authors! Her Catch of the Day is quirky and fun -- probably a reflection of her personality. I haven't purchased her new release yet, but it is on my must have list.

Devon Gray said...

It sounds like you had a blast! The b&b owner must have made you feel great. I have a Kristan Higgins book near the top of my TBR pile...I hear she's awesome.

Diane Craver said...

Glad you got some networking in plus had a blast.

I better get busy and read Kristan Higgins - I haven't read her books. I like quirky and fun reads.

Liz said...

Glad you had a good time. That is so cool about the B&B.

kristan higgins said...

Nice to meet you, too, Allie! And you're right...even though we writers would probably choose to stay in our cellars, alone with only our laptops (and dogs) for company, it's great to get out once in a while!

See you at the Connecticut Fiction Fest! Glad you and the hubby had fun.

Mary Ricksen said...

I understand that most book signings are more for networking then selling. Just keep thinking, someday.

And you did have some fierce competition!

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