11 August, 2011

And the Saga Continues - Publishing Journeys

Well, it's Thursday again, and today I made some progress on Publishing in general. 

I decided with two books coming out in January (See Claire Ashgrove for the second one) that I should do a book signing locally.  Now, I'd done one previously, gosh... two years ago?  With fellow author, Alicia Dean.  We didn't put too much into promoting it, but neither did the bookstore.  It was one of those days where we each sold a copy, then bought each other's books.  Lessons learned though -- a) book signings can go well, or they can be a non-event.  b) The next time put a little more effort and planning in.

Taking that last lesson, the most important one, I phoned Barnes and Noble to get in well in advance and met with them today.  However, I want to point out one thing that occured during the phone conversation.  He asked me about my promotions packet and told me to bring it in.  Now, I covered my dumbstruck, momentary jaw on floor moment, rather well, but for a moment I about had heart failure.  I didn't have a promotions packet, and my ARCs weren't here.  And I was on my way to work with no way to send off emails requesting them.

I happened to have my Tor editor's number programmed into my phone, and left a message, and ended up with an ARC overnighted.  Shew!  At least I wasn't going into the meeting today totally empty-handed.  And I'm certain that if I'd had the means of reaching my Berkley editor, the same would have happened, but it was a time-crunch thing and that's how it played out.

So last night I did a little investigating on what I should take along and stumbled onto a "Bookseller's Flyer"... Ah-Ha!

And I made one today for each book.

And I went to this meeting with one ARC, 2 flyers, and a business card.

It went WONDERFULLY!  I'm sharing this story because, for those of you authors who will face this situation, he said one thing to me that I want to share:  "You're more prepared than the vast majority of authors who meet with me."

(Little did he know.  Haha.)

What I learned is that we'll be signing late January, and he volunteered to craft a press release for me, put it in the local papers, contact readers groups, romance book clubs, and all that totally blew my socks away.  I'd been schooled that those were things I would have to do.  When he mentioned this I seriously wanted to kiss his feet.

I also learned another important fact for those of you interested in the "New" publishing world trends:  When I told him that I had digital short stories available through the B & N bookstore (will have by January, but have full length books available), he was very excited to hear this.  He told me it gave him an additional angle to promo the event with -- "Bring your Nook."

So, reading between the lines - if you can play up your digital stuff, do so.  Booksellers like this!

On another note, I finished the second book in the Black Opal series.  It's now in my editor's hands, and I am gearing up for the proposal for the next books in line.  I have characters screaming at me -- they better hope they all play nice in my head, because I get to choose who goes first.

I'd be interested to hear any of your promotions stories, or things you've learned along the way!



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