Last Friday I had a book signing with a new bookstore owner in a town where I lived for thirty years.
I have a little person who sits on my shoulder and tells me to get things done in a timely fashion and don’t make anyone have to work too hard for an event I’m the center of.
My first contact with the bookstore owner was to walk in and introduce myself, give her a card, and let her know I had a new mystery book releasing in March. She thanked me for coming in and said she would contact me. She didn’t. So I followed up with her via email when I had several other events happening in her area. I reminded her who I was, that I had a new release and that I would be in her area on several days and would one of them work for a book signing.
She replied with two dates that would work for her. I jumped on the first date she had available. Then I followed up with sending press releases to the local newspapers and using Vista Print to make posters. On another trip in that area, I dropped off posters and discussed the evening a bit more with her.
A couple weeks before the event, I checked back in and asked if I needed to bring any refreshments. She said she would have wine, water, lemonade, and cheese and crackers. I offered to bring cookies. I had a great idea and went on a hunt for cookie cutters and made weapon cookies.
The day/night of the signing. I hauled my books, cookies, and giveaways into the store two hours before the presentation/signing time. The owner looked at me with wonder. “You’re early!” I explained I was having dinner with some friends before the signing and wanted to make sure everything was here and ready in case we got to talking and I lost track of time.
She thanked me and said I am the first author she’d worked with since buying the store who she hadn’t had to prod for bios and news release information and hope they showed up on time.
I replied, “I like to make a good impression on bookstore owners so they have me back and feel good selling my books.”
You can write a good book, and get reviews but if you don’t have a good rapport with the people who hand sell your books, they are less likely to recommend you to their readers.
The event turned out fun. I talked about writing mystery and my journey to the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series I write.
After the event, the bookstore owner was happy with the results and in my opinion, that’s all that matters with an event like this!
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. All Paty’s work have Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her Shandra Higheagle Mystery series, set in a fictional ski resort in Idaho, is full of quirky characters, twists, turns, and a bit of mysticism.
5 thoughts on “Be Professional at all Times by Paty Jager”
Good post. Apparently, not all authors are that professional–and we are the ones who need bookstores!
I agree Carole!
Thanks, Sally! The cookies were fun to make! My husband, mother-in-law and his aunt all said I was going to a lot of work for someone to gobble up the cookie. But I had so much fun being creative with the cookies it didn’t matter to me.
Good advice for any author doing a book signing! Kukos for your hard work and professionalism.
PS love the cookies!
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