Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indie Bookstore Signings

 As an author, you know you’re in trouble when:

  1. The bookseller forgets you’re coming.
  2. The store doesn’t have any of your books, or
  3. They dig around in the storage room and produce some. This means they haven’t done squat before you walked in.
  4. The posters and bag flyers you sent aren’t anywhere in sight.
  5. There isn’t a table set up or a chair and there aren’t any available. You’ll be standing with your books in your arms for two hours.
  6. They put another author by the door and set you up in the back room with the used stock.
  7. They want to know if you brought all your friends to buy books.
  8. You arrive for a Sunday signing in a downtown bookstore and everything else in town is closed for the day.
  9. The only employee in the store is a college kid who leaves you in charge while he goes out for pizza.
Yup. It’s all happened to me in the past.

But this time around with Buzz Off, the booksellers have been excited to meet me, they have my books displayed in the window and around the counter, they’ve sold them for several weeks before I arrived and will continue to promote them after I leave, they appreciate the promo I sent and even added their own touch, they talk me up.

Of course, even in the past I had really great signings with smart, savvy booksellers. But this time, every single one has been great. And it has nothing to do with me or my book. It's them.
I really think the remaining indies are stepping up to the plate. The survivors, at this point, are going to make it the whole nine yards. You know the good ones when you meet them. They love books, readers, writers. Let's remember to help them out by buying books from them. Let's continue to support our indies!


Dru said...

Some of the best book signing events that I've attended have been at indie book stores or specialty shops (quilt stores).

Tonya Kappes said...

I love indie booksellers! They are super fun to attend.

Booklady said...

I love signings at small stores, especially if they are well planned. It's like an evening with a good friend rather than some mega event. I've been to those too. I'm an elementary librarian and like to give autographed books to my students as prizes. So I've done the stand in line for hours with a bunch of hyped up kids. Those can be fun too. But I much prefer the intimate settings at the indie stores. I didn't get to make it to any of your signings but a friend went to the one in Round Rock, Tx for me and picked up a signed copy of Buzz Off. I promptly put it on my collector's shelf and got a copy from the library to read. I loved it. Can't wait to read more.

Linda Leszczuk said...

My favorite indie was bought out by a mega-chain. They left the original name but took away everything that made the store special. Long live the real indies.

Aurian said...

As I don't live in America, I have no idea what an Indie is. But I sure wish a bunch of authors would go on a book signing tour through the main capitals of Europe. You might be surprised with the amount of fans ;).

Maggie Sefton said...

Absolutely, Deb. This Saturday I'm signing at our largest local indie in Fort Collins, Old Firehouse Books in Old Town. Go, indies!.

Rob said...

The bad experience an author can have at book signings happens to us working in college admissions too. It's always nice when the host is prepared and makes you feel welcomed.

Peacecat said...

Oh my, I was chuckling as I read the list, thinking it was a bit of a spoof, until I got to your last line and saw it all happened! I'm so glad to hear this round went well. Thanks for posting the Indie store site. I didn't think there were any independent bookstores in my area. With their search tool I was able to find one close enough for a day trip.

Nanc said...

This is such a timely post, Deb! Last evening my daughter and I went to a signing by Lauren Willig at Nicola's Book Store in Ann Arbor MI. It was absolutely lovely. I had the opportunity to chat with Nicola and she was lamenting that she has a hard time getting publicists to send authors here...this broke my heart when she said that...we are avid readers here in MI!! So...come on home Deb I'll be there with bells on!!!

Miki Willa said...

My husband and I found a wonderful indie in Sun River, OR over the weekend, and attended a wonderful signing for a new memoir by Saralee Lawrence. It was such a treat to find a great indie book store so far from home, and to see how much the author was welcomed by the store and the audience. Hooray for indies!

Vickie said...

Each time I visit a new town, I find the botanic gardens and the indie bookshops. My two favorites are High Crimes Mystery Bookshop in Boulder, CO, though Cynthia had to take it all online only and I like Mystery Lovers Bookshop thanks you all.