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  1. #1
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    Book signings, blog tours and podcasting

    Hi, when I put my 3rd book out next year I want to utilize book signings, blog tours and podcasting, but I haven't researched it: I figure many of you have, so if you have any advice and links to share with me about doing an East Coast based tour, please do so.

    I'm looking to spend a week driving down from Canada along the East Coast and preempting that by doing a blog tour and possibly interviewing on podcasts.

    The problem is:
    1) I only just heard about the podcast thing so I have no info on how to go about it
    2) I don't know how to organize a blog tour (are there people who, I dunno, centralize this?)
    3) I don't know how long book signings usually take or how many it's recommended one does in a day or where to find a list bookstore that would be amenable to this.

    So if you've done this or you've looked into it and want to share what you've found, I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited by kongming; November 30th, 2012 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I can help a little on book signings. It's recommended that you don't do more than one a day, and likely you won't be able to arrange more than one a day. Bookstores don't necessarily want you running from bookstore to bookstore on them. An exception is if you are doing some sort of book festival or convention, obviously. Start with the bookstores in your home region, who will be the most interested in you as a local author. Start with independent stores or regional chains. They are the most likely to host authors who have self-published, small press published or bigger press published, especially if the author is local. Some chain branches do have some discretion to have non-centrally scheduled signings or events for their branch, especially for local authors or authors offering something thought to be particular interesting to their regular clientele, so you can try them, but it's harder sledding. Also look at specialty SFFH bookstores and see if there are any where you can get to. Banding together with several other authors in your ballpark, such as other SFFH writers to do a tour may make you more attractive to bookstores, especially if some of the other writers are somewhat more established than yourself, but presenting yourselves as a group is more attractive than one author. Bring food, promotional giveaways, have a raffle. Consider doing a reading or some kind of speech or event, rather than just a signing, unless the bookstore would prefer that you just do a signing. (But still bring food.) You don't have to be a charismatic entertainer, but you do need to make it worth the store and potential customers' while. Be polite with bookstores, ask them how they would like you to handle things, accept no as an answer but try to send them some promotional material for future reference. Expect to have maybe three people stop by your table for a signing at first and maybe no sales. But if people start seeing your name and booksellers get to know you and you're pleasant, then you may be able to draw an audience. Seeing what you can do with local bookstores and conventions you can get to is probably your best first bet.

  3. #3
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    Thanks Kat. All good advice. I'll probably pass on a group though just because, in my experience, I can get people to say "Hey that's a great idea/yeah I'll do that." but then they'll change their mind at the last minute. That and I don't have any connections to new writers who mesh with my writing. It would just overly burden the logistics at this point. But it might be something to consider for the future.

    Good point on the specialty shops. If anyone knows the best way of finding a listing on those, let me know. My best guess is google maps.

    You're right, I did mean more than just book signing as that part is not really that significant at my level of anonymity. I really would rather do a reading, maybe questions and answers and a meet and great. And you're quite certain even two a day is too much (one just after noon and one in the evening)?. I really don't know, but if you say so, I'll just stick with the one. More vacation for me :P

    That's sort of my expectations: no one shows up and no sales. But MAYBE the store will agree to place a few copies on a dusty shelf in a dark corner. You're right, I'm really just doing what I can to get my name out there so that maybe, if I have an audience, they'll hear about me.

    There must be at least one person who's into my brand of post-modern urban fantasy.

    I'm lucky that I am pretty charismatic, so there's that at least

  4. #4
    Where have I been? Moderator JRMurdock's Avatar
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    For podcasting you'll obviously need equipment first. Mainly a good mic. Software for editing is free (Audacity). Once you're past that, then you're open to expanding and upgrading as needed.

    The biggest thing you'll need that may end up costing is a place to host your files once recorded and edited. Podcasting has been around for a while so you want to make sure it sounds good.

    If you're serious about dipping your toe into the podcasting arena, check out podiobooks.com and the forums over there. You'll find a wealth of information including some basic setups, hosting sites, and more information than you can possible use.

    For blog tours, check out the kdp boards. This will give you lots of information on blog tours, blogging advice, and advice on what works when marketing and what doesn't.

    Most of all just be sure that any advice you take, your mileage will vary. Not everything works the same for everyone.

    Best of luck!

  5. #5
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    Thanks JR. I meant people who do book podcasts having me as a guest. But some of that advice still applies. If anyone knows of a link/place where I can get info on podcasts that might be amenable to Indie writers I could use info.

    What are kdp boards?

  6. #6
    Where have I been? Moderator JRMurdock's Avatar
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    KDP are the Kindle Forums (http://www.kindleboards.com/) be sure to check them out. So much good information over there and lots of helpful people.

    For finding people that interview authors, I guess the best way is to start looking. Off the top of my head

    Get Published (with Mike Plested)
    Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing
    PMC with Chris Moody (I think it's Podio Media Chat)
    Dead Robot's Society
    Galley Table

    All of these have great people and I'm sure there's an abundance that I'm missing, these are just the ones that I know about without doing a search. Just do podcast author interview or something like that and see what happens. Google is your friend

  7. #7
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    JR, thanks! That's great!

  8. #8
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kongming View Post

    And you're quite certain even two a day is too much (one just after noon and one in the evening)?. I really don't know, but if you say so, I'll just stick with the one. More vacation for me :P
    Well you could try it. Authors on tour sometimes are doing more than one. But it's harder to set up and if you're not a bestseller, bookstores willing to have you might not want you running off to their competition on the same day, if they are interested at all. If you can get from one place to another -- say one event in one city/town and then you're able to do another one the same day in another place an hour or two away -- then that would probably work. But logistics tend to slow things down. An alternative is to try and get interviews. That's harder for fiction authors, especially if they don't have name recognition. But again, local and regional papers where you live will be more interested, especially if you can give them some sort of angle -- local camel rancher writes camel-centric fantasy novel! Stay at home mom uses her son's grade school class as test readers! Etc. And you try to build from there. There are lots of nice people on the Internet willing to include interviews and such on blogs and sites. The trick is finding them, getting them to take a look at your book and then letting people know the interview is there.

  9. #9
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    But again, local and regional papers where you live will be more interested, especially if you can give them some sort of angle -- local camel rancher writes camel-centric fantasy novel!
    I knew I should have paid attention in camel ranching class

  10. #10
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    I would say don't bother with book signings until you've established yourself as a name and people will be coming to see you. When I first started out my publisher (a small press) did a lot of signings for me and it was a huge waste of time. I could spend 2 - 4 hours and at the most sell 25 books and usually 5 - 10. That's not even enough royalty to pay for a bite to eat afterward.

    You might want to checkout my post on An Author's Guide to Self-promotion

  11. #11
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullivan_riyria View Post
    I would say don't bother with book signings until you've established yourself as a name and people will be coming to see you. When I first started out my publisher (a small press) did a lot of signings for me and it was a huge waste of time. I could spend 2 - 4 hours and at the most sell 25 books and usually 5 - 10. That's not even enough royalty to pay for a bite to eat afterward.

    You might want to checkout my post on An Author's Guide to Self-promotion
    I checked out before I saw this. It's very helpful. You don't think starting slow is worth to reach a small number of people who may start word-of-mouth? This assumes that people who find an unknown author in this way are likely to be a solid base

  12. #12
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kongming View Post
    I checked out before I saw this. It's very helpful. You don't think starting slow is worth to reach a small number of people who may start word-of-mouth? This assumes that people who find an unknown author in this way are likely to be a solid base
    I should have been more clear. Your 2-4 hours selling 5 - 10 books can be much better maximized through other activities - for instance connecting with people on goodreads. Yes word-of-mouth is everything - that's why you need to be where people who read your genre are talking to other people who read your genre.

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