Getting that IN STORE BOOK SIGNING Event
At one time in my publishing career, getting out there, signing books and being in a bookstore was all I wanted. It was so important that we spent months doing face to face promo and promotions. It paid off with book sales, signings and exposure.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
Now in a year where most all of our book sales are in the ebook market, the push to be in bookstores doesn't seem as urgent. Not to mention the fact that many stores are closing. It comes down to the cost and benefits of the endeavor. Sometimes the benefit isn't in dollars and cents. I really enjoyed being around readers. I didn't enjoy the face to face, hand selling that sometimes came with book signings. It was exhausting and sometimes disappointing, yet rewarding all at once.
WHAT IS THE COST?
It cost time, money and resources to do a book signing. Some stores want you to give them the books on loan and if it sells they will pay. Other stores are alright with buying at least 5 books at a discount of course. Then other venues for signing, the author takes the books and hand sells them. At the very least it will cost gas money, a day of potential writing time, books that have to be printed but may not make the profit until sold. Most times, the book store signing doesn't pay or cover the expenses.
GETTING BOOKS in THE STORES
This is now even more of a challenge with the limited bookstores around. Most of them want your book to be able to get ordered from IngramSpark or Lightening Souce. Uploading your book to KDP Print won't get them in bookstores. For small presses with less than 30 titles, the cheapest option is IngramSpark. Planning to upload your Print-On-Demand (POD) books should include both KDP Print and Ingram Spark. However, doing so won't get the books in the store. Face to face time and sending the book through the distribution channels for the large retailers is the way and that's not always guaranteed either.
COMPARING TO EBOOK store sales
When you consider the money, time, and efforts to get in a bookstore to do a signing or to sell a book, it is much more expensive than ebook sales. Now you can even sign your ebook using Authograph. The last few years, we decided to focus the extra money on ebook sales and it really paid off.
DOING SIGNINGS GIVES FACE TIME TO READERS
Now we are in a place where we are planning to pursue signings in the coming year since there will be a few consecutive releases that the hope is to focus on libraries, schools, and what independent stores are left.