Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book signing results, becoming a salesman and DefCon 19.

First I would like to thank Rachna's Scriptorium for giving me The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  This was a nice surprise and set the tone for my whole book signing weekend.  Thank you again Rachna.

The book signing went very well.  The local paper did a nice write up in their community events page that came out Friday.  But the bigger surprise was the Sunday paper.  It wasn't big, but my book signing was printed on the front page of the paper!  How cool is that!  First my blog wins an award and two days later I'm front page news.

Once the signing started, I was a little nervous.  It's been almost two years since I last did any public speaking of any sorts.  It didn't take very long before the nerves settled and I had a lot of fun.  The part that stood out the most was a couple of ladies came in and one of them gave me a fresh cut rose.

In all I sold and signed 12 books.  For three hours on Saturday and three on Sunday it lands as a success in my book.  There have been several questions people have asked me over the last few days so I will repeat them here.

What kind of marketing did you or the cafe do?
It was setup about 2 weeks in advance, I sent a press release to the local news paper, I tweeted, set up an event on Facebook and plugged it about 4 times.  I told a lot of people in person, and I posted it on the events for our towns craigslist.

Would you be able to give us an idea of the overhead costs, revenue, and profits?
Right now I am still in the red overall for out of pocket expenses to what has come in.  However the book sold for $15 and it costs me $6.30 or so to have it made,  So each one made me about $8.  I made money doing this event, but not when you factor in all of the costs to produce a book.  This is my first book and it has only been on sale since June 20 and I only had paperbacks now for a couple of weeks.

Any weird/awkward/memorable moments?
The fresh cut rose bit stood out.

Any idea if you'll be doing more in the future?
I am working on getting one at the local Barnes and Nobles.  My sister works there but they have changed a lot of things lately.  The big thing is they won't order in POD/Non returnable books anymore w/o headquarter approval.  But what they will do is let you bring in your own books, run them through the register and they end up with a negative inventory.  The store then orders that many copies and gives them back to you and you get paid through your print distributor.

This upcoming weekend I will be attending DefCon19 in Las Vegas.  This will be my 6th year attending the conference.  They moved it from the Riviera to the Rio so it will be a new experience.  One of the ideas that I have is to get a custom tee shirt made that advertises my book.  I am going to take half a dozen copies with me and see if any of them sell.  Also I have some small cards made up that have the necessary information if they want to pick it up from Amazon or B&N.

Looking back, the book signing was everything I expected and hoped it would be.  If I could do anything different, it would have been to practice with friends or family.  Write out a script so when people ask, "What is the book about," or "How did you get it published," and other general questions, I would have had an easy answer for them instead of stopping and having to think of something on the spot.  Also if I had ten or more one liners to use other than "Thank You" or "Enjoy The Read" to write to people.  After the 4th book or so, I didn't know what to write down anymore.

I would like to hear about anyone else's experiences with book signings or if you haven't done one yet any experience that stands out with your book.


  1. I'm glad it was a success, well done.

    And I love the rose :)

  2. SB, Congrats on the book signing. Sounds like it was a lot of fun :) With the advent of online promoting it's easy to forget that personal interaction with fans/readers is still one of the most effective ways to connect with an audience. Most important, it sounds like you had a lot of fun and that's what counts. I look foward to hearing more about your adventures :)

  3. I haven't done a signing, but I'm glad yours went well. One piece of advice I heard somewhere that I hope to implement when I do go to signings is that they got up and walked around and talked to people, and that got them a lot more attention, obviously.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. Yea, I did not sit at the table for six hours. I was up and moving about and sat at the counter and talked to customers. I have been told about moving around before and engaging people helps sell. I think with being in a cafe instead of a book store that helped a lot because everyone who walked in noticed what was going on.

  5. Sounds like your book signing went pretty well - that woman must have been impressed to give you a rose! :)

  6. Congrats....I am thrilled for you. Hope you have many more book signings in the future. Would love to meet the woman who gave you the rose...its the first time I have heard of authors getting roses from fans :)