Fear and Frustration

May 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

I love everything about being an author, with the exception of one thing – trying to sell my books.

Not all of it is a chore. For example, I’ve found that I’m not bad at online marketing. For much of the first couple of months of this year I concentrated primarily on online marketing with some success, but once my son went back to school in term two, I knew it was time for some up-close-and-personal marketing. The main route we authors try for this is one that can be a source of delight if we succeed and much frustration if we don’t – a bookstore signing.

I had a couple of bookstores on my radar that I hadn’t previously tried. Both were within twenty minutes of home, so presented a good option if I could get a signing there. However, it was with much fear and the promise of chocolate afterwards that I approached both stores by going in to see them face to face. I used email bookstores about signings but emails are easily dismissed. I have found face to face works best, although they can still say no or give me an email address they say I have to use for things like this, only to send emails while never receiving any replies.

The first bookstore, I’m happy to say, said yes. I will be having a signing there in June. Watch this website for more details on where and when as the day draws closer!

The second bookstore, one of a franchise, said no. More disturbingly, the manager said there are new conditions in place for bookstores in this chain and they don’t encourage unknown authors. I haven’t seen the conditions yet but I have been told I will probably find them unacceptable. This has proved worrying for me as I have previously had several successful signings in another store in this chain so if there are new conditions it might be the end of my welcome there.

All these things are a frustration for me and many other authors. How do we reach the people around us? It’s no wonder many authors are doing more online marketing, sometimes only releasing their books as ebooks. It’s tempting to consider that route, as trying to sell paperback copies is becoming harder and harder, at least in my experience.

But I’ll keep plugging away and hope I can sell some more copies to those readers out there who love the feel of a paperback in their hands … if I can find them!

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