Thursdays with Amanda: Who Schedules a Book Signing?
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I’m at a young writers conference this week, so to make for a shorter blog post, I’m going to answer this question that came in response to my post on The Book Marketing Process.
“…does the author schedule bookstore signings and readings or is that something the agent/publisher does?” – Sara
First of all, signings and readings and in-store events aren’t what they once were. Authors who pursue these marketing options are many times lucky to see a dozen people show up. When you take into consideration the time it takes to plan and put on such an event, it’s clearly not a worthwhile strategy.
HOWEVER, some authors have the “in-store event” gene, and they can do it quite well. For these authors, the planning and scheduling falls on them. They can ask their publisher to create posters that they can use to advertise each event. (The posters shouldn’t have dates and times, but rather a space for the author to fill that info in on their own…this allows the publisher to send a large amount of posters that the author can use for all his/her events). They can also ask for other simple promotional materials, but other than that, the publisher doesn’t play a role in this kind of marketing.
The only time when this doesn’t ring true is when the publisher has decided to send an author out on tour. In this case, the publisher will schedule and pay for everything.
So there you have it!
Have you done in-store events? What was your experience like?
I have done more than 160 book talks. My biggest audience was 270, and my smallest was three. My average audience is 60 something. These have been at bookstores, libraries, colleges and universities, and conferences. So I have done extremely well with them. Though, I have to say that I have seen a marked difference in the willingness for people to host me, and in the media I can attract to help publicize the events presently compared to when I published my first book in 2011. Therefore, I am doing fewer of them.
Thanks for taking time to answer my question, Amanda. This is good to know. Have fun at the conference!