I’ve taken part in my fair share of book signings over the years, and have to admit that I often found them a little disappointing. It wasn’t because the store didn’t promote or I wasn’t bringing a positive attitude, but because I was an inexperienced introvert. I’ve slowly learned over time to bring things like bookmarks to hand out, and to engage with people, although this is still a challenge. I’ve also learned to quickly assess which shoppers might be interested in mysteries or not. It’s a gamble, but I’ve found that the more people I talk to, the greater the chance of sales.
I had the good fortune to take part in joint signings these last two Saturdays with mystery authors Allan J. Emerson and Cathy Ace. Both are extremely personable and Cathy excels at drawing potential customers to our table. Because Allan’s book is called Death of a Bride and Groom, he also created a faux wedding cake. What a great idea! As you can see from the photo, yesterday’s event took place on Halloween, so they got into the spirit and dressed in costume. (I still can’t find my old box of costumes…).
As you can imagine, all types of people dropped by our table, and we sold books! Cathy is also Vice-President of Crime Writers of Canada, so we handed out brochures that lists other Canadian crime writers whose work may interest readers.
A large part of any author’s success comes from collaborating with colleagues. It’s about working together and sharing expertise and experience. With book signings, it not only increases the chances of sales but can be a lot of fun. These last two signings have renewed my enthusiasm for bookstore events, and increases my belief that we’re all better off when we work together.