Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Book Signing

I recently had a book signing at Border's at Stonecrest Mall. It was a success. I sold out of books. I was so happy.

As a writer, I can tell you that not all book signings are successful or justify the time it takes to prepare. I'd have to say today's signing was the best I've had to date. The staff was professional and courteous. My table was nicely prepared, and my books were ordered in advance.

Since I've shared the good, let me tell you about the bad. I had a signing where I traveled to North Carolina and stayed at a hotel. When I arrived at the Black owned bookstore, I was so disappointed. The owners acted as if they didn't even know I was coming. I had to wait nearly an hour before they set up a card table. It was obvious they hadn't prepared for or advertised my arrival at all. On top of that, they only catered to Urban Street Lit. I felt totally out of place. To add insult to injury, the owner was hustling his upcoming release by handing out postcards to all the customers and passersby. He was too busy flirting with every lady that walked by than to be concerned about whether my book was selling. It was as if I wasn't even there. Truth be told, that was probably the worst experience. I pray it was, because I wouldn't want to go through that, again.

To my fellow authors, I'd love to hear your best and worst book signing experiences.

8 comments:

sydney molare said...

Best- Jackson MS Readers Club hosted signing. Wow, those ladies were ready! They buy in "sets," so whatever you've written, they want them all...at once. Hello!

Worse- Was doing a book tour in ATL set up by a former publicist. I'd followed up, called the stores, and when I arrived...they acted like they didn't know I was coming. Not that it mattered, this store was deep in teh "hood" and was located in a mall full of urban clothes. Also this store sold books for $3.99! Now who is gonna buy mine for $12 when she's selling everythang for $3.99. Shoot, I left with a big old bag of books! LOL. Got to see the humor through the tears...

PrincessBling said...

I can understand why you said, "former publicist." LOL! I've been to a book store in the 'hood, and it was definitely an experience. Not to sound stereotypical, but I had never heard so many, "Sorry, I don't read" and "Let me call..." before in my life.

relentless aaron said...

Sounds like a reality check that was necessary. Yes, you paid for it,but that will inevitably toughen your teflon. Wish I could've been there to console you. Now wouldn't THAT be a heck of a book!!!

Elissa Gabrielle said...

Wow Dwan, sorry to hear about your horrible experience with the bookstore. I think we all have our best and worst experiences with bookstores, and unfortunately in my case, my worst experiences have been dealing with bookstores where the owner or employee has a book coming out.

Best wishes to you on all that you do.

Elissa
www.elissagabrielle.com

mochasistah said...

My best book signing was at a small book store in chicago when i first released my first book, musings of a mocha sistah. everyone came to the booksigning, it was over flowing, books were sold, my family was there, and it was just a beautiful experience.

worse - a bookstore in ATL set up by me. I thought because they were a black owned store they would be ligit. i dumbly did the cosignment thing and even though i sold books i never got my money from these people. we brought people to the event (me and other writers) but this store didn't really advertise i was coming, and there wasnt that much of an audience besides who i asked and a few other ATL folks that came in. months later i never got my check even though me and the store signed a cosign agreement. i was very disappointed because i called and called and never got a response. i got the run around. eventually i decided cosign wasn't for me and now i've gotten a distributor so i learned a valuable lesson....

to protect my investment.

thanks for sharing your experiences here!

Shalya said...

Best-My first book signing was great it was at a black bookstore in Baltimore. The store employees knew who I was when I walked in the door and that made me feel really comfortable. My name was on the board and they were set up and ready.Even though it was hood they showed alot of love.

Worse-I had two signings in one day. The other store was totally foul and it was in the suburbs. The mall was under construction and there was hardly any traffic coming thru not to mention the timing for the signing was way off due to miscommunication.It was a real waste of time.

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