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Hello, I love you – can you tell me your name?

by on July 22, 2012

During a conversation this week with some of my internet writing friends, a comment was made that many authors look on book signings as a form of ritual slaughter.  The general indifference towards the purchase of their books by the online book buying community is brought up front and personal, the fact that book buyers might look at their work, for which the author has paid in blood, sweat, tears, tantrums, and has often cost them much heartache(and alcohol, of course – to drown their sorrows) – all these negative emotions are thrust in an author’s face as possible customers look at the book(s) and turn away.

Yet I enjoy it.  Does this make me bizarre?  Or a Masochist? (Get back, Caro and Gingerlily,, I’m not!)  Maybe a hopeful fool, for I get my fair share of uninterested customers, believe me.  Occasionally, I feel a vague envy for the girls doing this – it’s a lot easier for you girls to approach a potential customer with a winning smile and a book concealed behind your back.  Me, I have to hide behind the book in case one look makes them run away…and it has…

Maybe it’s the thrill of the chase. Stalking the isles, concealed as a staff member.  Lurking low behind a stand full of Spiderman Comic books, watching the prey walk innocently into the Sci Fi/Fantasy section…stealthily moving round the stand to block their escape…then the pounce: leaping into action like a demented…well, doormouse in my case.  I couldn’t manage a hard seeling technique to save my life if I’m really truthful.  No doubt if I could, I’d sell a lot more books.  I’m pinning my hopes on the concept that a gentle sales technique will bring the reader back to buy more.  That’s my only chance, really.  To depend on a long term sales strategy.  Luckily, I’ve got more than one or two books to come out, so it isn’t an unrealistic way of going about it.

Sorry, I was rambling again, then.  Bit like a shaggy dog story,a lot of these blogs, aren’t they?  Although without the fleas, of course.  And the disfigureing skin complaint.

Anyway, why I like book signings.  Yesterday, I was in Birkenhead.  Bravery beyond the call of duty, that.  especially for someone like me, who hasn’t lost the traces of their Manchester accent, yet.  Deserves a medal, I reckon.  Or failing that, chocolate.  Still.  I approached this middle aged lady who was considering the fantasy books with an avaricious expression, and  launched into my spiel.  After a couple of minutes of chat, I produced a copy of The Amulet Of Kings, to sell to her.  “No thanks,” she said.  <Inward sigh, maintain smile, I thought.>  She continued: “I bought that a couple of mnths ago.  It was alright, have you got another out yet?”  She was rather taken aback when I hugged her, there in the shop…a real life customer, whom I’d never heard of, who had actually bought a paperback copy of my book! And yes, she did buy a Copy of Mystic Accountants as well.

Selling your ebook online can be fun.  It’s a challenge, although a different one.  But it’s never going to give you an experience like that.   And feedback, too!  (I love what you did with the fridge.  You have to write some more of that.)  Honestly, as an author, you can’t buy that sort of feeling anywhere.  So, if your book is out, get out there and brave the dragons den of the bookshops.  You might just love it as much as I do.

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6 Comments
  1. I’m sure I won’t, Will, but I’m more than willing to put the effort in and give it a damn good go…why did I want to say thrashing? 😀

  2. i think I would have hugged her, too. I’m actually working on a post that goes along similar lines and I’ve linked to this one…

    Cheers

    MTM

  3. I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day, ever since seeing the email that you’d posted again. I love this song. 😀

    Also, I hope that if I ever get The Lokana Chronicles published that I’ll have at least one experience like this one.

  4. kimatsafkhet permalink

    I wish I could have been there to take a picture of her and of you! Your look when she said she’d bought that already must’ve been priceless!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. I’ve got my mojo working baby and I’m gonna try it on you… | Hamgee University Press
  2. I’ve got my mojo working baby and I’m gonna try it on you… | M T McGuire Authorholic

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