I was very fortunate to have my novel, Secrets of the Heart, Book One of the Ravensmoore Chronicles picked for this awesome event. This year was the 5th year for BBTB and I would have missed the deadline if my librarian friend Betty hadn’t encouraged me to apply earlier this spring.
It started off with an author reception on Friday evening. Interesting enough there weren’t many authors in attendance. But I did have an agenda for this evening and that was to see if one of my favorite authors showed up. So I put my copy of Shutter Island in my purse and met my hubby downtown after work. Sure enough, Dennis Lehane was one of the few authors that attended the reception. We were able to meet with him and talk about the next day’s signing and he very graciously signed the book I’d brought with me.
I asked Dennis what to expect the next day since this was a huge event and he’s been to so many book signings Here’s what he said: 1) Don’t expect to sell a lot of books. He told us stories about signing with other authors in the past where the competition had long lines and he didn’t. That was not the case this weekend. 🙂 2) Don’t sit there with a big grin on your face. In other words, and these are my words, don’t sit there, do something! And I did. I talked and asked questions to as many people as I could, browsers, buyers and other authors that were participating. I did catch myself with a big grin on my face more than once. 3) Have something to do in case it gets slow. It didn’t slow down too much, but I did take a break for lunch and I did take a couple breaks to get a chance to browse. Of course during one of those breaks I had to go buy another Lehane novel, The Given Day.
The points I’m trying to convey here are that you need to make the most of your marketing opportunities and have fun at the same time. 1) Make friends and talk to your librarians if you don’t do that all ready. 2) Look for big events near you that you may have an opportunity to participate in. 3) Don’t be afraid to approach experienced writers like Dennis Lehane and ask questions. That’s how we learn and make friends along the way.
I sold books. Not as many as Dennis but hey I’m just getting warmed up. Joseph-Beth Booksellers were the ones who provided our books for the signing. When we were done for the day they had us sign five more books for the store.
I also talked with the woman who helps organize the future signings for the store and the good news is that Joseph-Beth Booksellers is opening, yes I said OPENING another new store in Northern Kentucky. This is huge with all the closings of Borders and other Independent stores. So some time in the New Year I will be signing again at their store in Cincinnati or the new one in Kentucky.
In addition to all of this I was interviewed by Linda McMaken for an article that will run in RT Book Reviews and she’s also doing a more extensive interview later for Reader’s Entertainment.
I hope this gives you a few marketing ideas and a little nudge that will help you to step out of your comfort zone. You just never know what good things might happen.
So when was the last time you did something to market your current book? What was it? Or have you thought of something you can do that might help you and the rest of us? What kind of book signing experiences have you had?
Post Author: Jillian Kent
Jillian Kent is more than enthusiastic about the release of her first novel, Secrets of the Heart, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One. She’s a full-time counselor for nursing students and holds a masters degree in social work. She’s fascinated with human behavior and thought it would be interesting to explore what might have happened in a lunatic asylum during England’s Regency era, her favorite time period. Jillian hopes you will escape into the past with her and find faith for the future.