Saturday, January 21, 2012
Writers are looking at venues other than big-box stores for signings. Small, independent bookstores are increasingly attractive, with their (sometimes) lower commission, and their strong connection to an active reading community.
Conventions and writing workshops have long been valuable ways to meet the public, meet and make fans, and promote and sell your work.
But, more and more, writers are looking beyond these obvious spots.
The "occupation cozies" probably led the way. A woman who decorates cakes for a living stumbles into a mystery and ends up solving it. So the author sells books at small bakeries and pastry shops. A zookeeper solves mysteries and the author does signings at zoos. I recently heard of a group of writers who feature horses in their books who banded together to sell at tack shops and other places horses and their owners are known to gather.
I have an out-of-the-bookstore experience coming up today: The Southern Indiana Writers Group, of which I am a member, have been accepted into an art exhibit. The exhibit is Arts Council of Southern Indiana's "The Animals In Us", and our entry is our anthology about animals, BEASTLY TALES. Our anthology will be for sale, along with prints, sculptures, and other pieces of original and reproduced art.
It pleases me more than I can say to see literature going out and finding readers, and it pleases me even more to see people responding to that availability.
We did a reading in an art gallery/restaurant once, and one of the patrons (who didn't buy a book, alas) came up and thanked us, saying that she never liked to read, but she had discovered from us that she loved being read to. If we had had our books on tape or disc, she would have bought one. The fact that we had opened somebody up to reading in any media was very, very satisfying.
How have you seen writers promoting or selling books outside of big-box bookstores? How could you do it?
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes