I am adding new dates to the TIARA TROUBLE book signing tour.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 12, when I will be at the Lewisville, TX Barnes & Noble from 1–2pm. BARNES & NOBLE, y’all! That’s like a real bookstore and stuff!
I just got official word back on it yesterday, but I spent most of last night daydreaming about what I would wear, how I would do my hair, wondering if I should try to match my outfit to my book cover, or just go all black so that the book cover stood out against me when photographed. I don’t want to clash with my book! But I don’t want to look like a ninja either. Destinee isn’t an all black kind of character, and since I am her envoy to the real world, I need to represent her style as best I can.
I finally decided on wearing a sweater that picks up the color Destinee is wearing on the book cover and black trousers. So, when photographed, the light background of the cover will pop against me, but will still tie together nicely. I haven’t decided on my hair, or my shoes, yet.
Leslieann knows me well enough that her first email this morning was to ask me what I planned to wear to the B&N event. Ha!
I am especially excited for this one because a B&N signing is a hard get for a new author out of a small press. Most small presses use Print on Demand publishing, rather than offset publishing. With offset printing, a camera ready copy of the manuscript is printed from plates. Offset, or Traditional Printing happens in bulk for a much lower cost, and allows presses to make better sales deals with buyers.
Say you are an author on Biggest Publishing House Ever’s list. When you sell YOUR NOVEL, they will use marketing tools to determine how many of your books they should print, and will do it all at once with offset printing. Then, they sell those books to bookstores in batches. Maybe Your Local Bookstore buys 20 of them.
If the book sells well, Your Local Bookstore will keep ordering more to put on the shelves. If the book does not perform, Your Local Bookstore may do a couple of things. 1. They might put your book on sale and hope the new, lower price makes it move. 2. Send it back to the vendor who sold it to them for a credit.
If you are an author with Independent Press House, when you sell YOUR NOVEL, it will likely be printed on demand. Instead of plates being made, etc, etc, a digital copy goes to the press, and they print each book as it is ordered. It is a much more expensive way to publish, and that cost is passed along to the buyer.
YOUR NOVEL will be available to everyone on every major retailer’s website, but might not make it into a store because a) A small press is less likely to work with a distributor whose job it is to talk national chains into carrying your books in stores, b) a store is less likely to purchase a POD because they cost more AND they are non-returnable.
Whereas books they buy from offset presses can be returned for credit if they don’t move, POD books cannot. Your Local Bookstore is just stuck with your books if they can’t sell them.
When bookstores do a signing, they need to sell about 30 books in order to offset the cost of the event. If your book is a POD, the risk on an unknown author is not worth the work of setting up the event.
That’s not to say a bookstore won’t let you come in and do an event if your book is POD, it just means that your sales pitch when asking to hold or be part of an event needs to be that much better.
Some bookstores are sensitive to the plight of the indie press, and they hold semi-annual events allowing a certain number of authors to come in and do signings. With the larger group, the cost of holding/promoting the event does not really change, but the likelihood of selling 30 books increases. That doesn’t mean they will order 30 of your books, but it does mean that whatever of yours they have on hand, you’ll be there to sign. And, in these events, bookstores will often let you bring your own books in to sell on consignment.
The better prepared you are to pitch your novel, the likelier you are to be invited to do an event.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what to do to get prepared. Maybe I’ll know what I’m doing with my hair by then.