Mark Terry

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Book Tour, Day 2

October 10, 2006
Hit some more bookstores in the area today.

Borders Books & Music, Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, MI
They had 3 books. I brought them up to the info desk and they seemed glad to see me. Had me sign them and noted that they had already sold 5. They were putting the remaining books either at the front table or at the Of Local Interest section. I gave them some brochures, as well.

Barnes & Noble on Main Street, Royal Oak, MI.
The toughest thing here was finding parking. Finally made it to the store and they had no copies. I introduced myself at the information desk and he put in an order for them. I gave him a copy of PITCHFORK and although he wasn't interested in thrillers, said he would leave it for the next shift, who did.

Barnes & Noble, John R, Troy, MI.
Again, they didn't have any copies of PITCHFORK, although they had four copies of my last novel, DIRTY DEEDS, probably left over from a signing I did there a year ago. I introduced myself to the lady at the info desk. She pulled PITCHFORK up on the computer and said, "Nope, haven't ordered any." Nor did she offer to order any. I asked her if she liked thrillers and she said yes. So I gave her an autographed copy of PITCHFORK and said, "If you like it, maybe you'll consider ordering copies." Thanked her and left.

Borders Books & Music, 14 Mile Road (Oakland Mall), Troy, MI
Hunted around and found two copies on the shelf. Took them to the info desk and asked to sign them. She asked the manager who said sure and asked if there were any more in the store. I said I hadn't seen them, but I was going to ask them to check. They did. There were four more, but they didn't know where. So they hunted around and found them on one of the carts, getting ready to be put on the main table. So I signed all 6, they put stickers on and off we go.

So, 4 bookstores, 6 bookstore workers, gave away one book. Also, it seems apparent that B&N, although the book is in their system, isn't necessarily carrying it, so by showing up and asking they're ordering copies. This might require another run at those stores in the future.

On the THIS-IS-SO-COOL front, I got an e-mail from my editor at Midnight Ink with the mock-up of the cover art for THE SERPENT'S KISS, the 2nd Derek Stillwater novel. It's not at all what I expected it to be, but it's seriously cool anyway. I really like it. When I get time and permission, it'll go up on the website, but probably not for a while.

Mark Terry


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your experiences. It's so helpful to know how authors handle handle drop-in signings. (I'm agented but unpublished and gobbling up all the information I can so I'm ready if The Call ever comes--which I know won't be from the publisher whose logo features a flightless water fowl because the tipping point for them was that my novel was too similar to something that's already on their list.)

1:03 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Anomalous, er, anonymous,
Well, drive-bys seem to be the way to go. I've done book signings and they're not very time effective because, well, nobody shows up. This way at least I'm making contact with bookstore managers and making sure the books are actually out there and signing books, which increases the likelihood they'll sell, which increases the likelihood the store will order more, which increases the likelihood that my publisher will continue to like me.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Cherye Barta said...

Uh, hate to be a pest, but just when is SERPENT'S KISS coming out?
Remember, I read your book DEVIL'S PITCHFORK before it came out (ordered at Amazon) and it really was a great book. Am looking forward to the next.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm afraid it's about a year. I'll double-check. I should get that date in my head soon.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Rob Gregory Browne said...

I like this whole drive by thing. It seems like a much better idea than actually booking a signing and sitting there hoping people will show up.

This way you get to sign stock and, because you have, they actually give you the co-op space without having to pay for it.

Unfortunately, you'd have to be Joe Konrath to hit enough stores for it to make much of a difference. Then again, it would be impossible to do formal signings in that many stores.

Interestingly, I was perusing Janet Evanovich's book on writing over the weekend and under publicity, she seemed to think that it's mostly out of your hands and that you're better off concentrating on the next book than running around trying to publicize the first...

5:31 PM  
Blogger Ron Estrada said...

Well, at least the Borders closest to us had Devil's Pithcfork right up on one of the front tables. I wasn't even looking for it at the time. You may autograph my copy at the next OMS parent/teacher conference night.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

So far I think it makes a difference. And it's definitely more productive than formal book signings. My feeling is that if you're asked to do a formal book signing, go ahead and do it. But they're rarely successful unless you're John Grisham or Mitch Albom or Janet Evanovich.

As for Janet's comment, considering that she's practically the Poster Child for book promotion, I find that interesting. For unpublished authors, though, I don't think you should spend any time thinking about promotion until you sign a contract.

9:27 AM  
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