I’ve been a published author since 2010 and the market has become increasingly competitive. Writers are always looking for new and different ways to connect with readers and thanks to the Internet and social media, it has become easier to reach a large audience. However, since everyone is online the question then becomes; How do you rise above the noise?
Face to face events at book stores can be a fantastic way to connect with readers on a more personal level. But book signings can be hit or miss. Sometimes you sell out and have a huge crowd of people and other times, you’re lucky if your mom shows up. Unless you’re JR Ward, Nora Roberts, JK Rowling or insert-big-name-author-here, there probably isn’t a throng of fans waiting.
It’s always fun, and usually memorable, to connect with readers face to face and in many cases, hand-selling books can result in a devoted life-long reader. However, tackling these live events isn’t always easy. Sitting at a table in a bookstore, waiting and hoping that customers will want to chat with you about your books can be a challenging, pride-swallowing situation. I’ve found that sitting quietly and playing the waiting game is not the most effective way to have a successful signing. Most people won’t come up and ask a perfect stranger what they’re doing at the table. Perhaps they find it intimidating or they don’t realize that the person sitting there is selling and signing books that they wrote.
You’d think the sign next to me with my picture on it would be dead giveaway. Sadly, it’s not.
I’m going to have to sharpen my book signing skills because from August 16-20, Samantha Chase and I are heading out on the road for our Road Tripping with Romance Book Tour. We’ll be signing books and chatting about all things romance, including our latest releases Trouble Walks In and Always My Girl. We have several stops on our trip throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. I’m ready to meet lots of romance readers but while preparing for this trip, I started thinking about some of the more memorable things people have asked me at signings.
- Where’s the bathroom? (Every. Single. Signing. Seriously, it never fails.)
- Do you work here?
- Customer: You’re the author?
Customer: So…you wrote it?
- Can I borrow your pen?
- Do you know the guy on the cover? Is he real? Can I have his phone number?
- Customer: Oh. (Looks at the cover) so you write schlock? Y’know. This is that crap they sell at the airport.
Me: (Blank stare)…..
- Me: Do you like romance novels?
Customer: No. I don’t read. I’m only here for the coffee.
- You wrote this? I wrote a book too. Can you tell me how to get it published?
- Customer: What’s it about?
Me: Shape shifters. It’s a paranormal romance.
Customer: Oh…so it’s fiction, right?
- I love your books and I can’t wait for the next one!
If you’re in or near any of our signing stops, Samantha and I hope you’ll come out and see us!
She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook.