And this begat success

You know how in the bible there are all sorts of people begetting all sorts of people? Well, that’s how I look at the publishing business. One thing begets another and if enough begetting happens, it all leads to something wonderful.

At least, that’s the game plan.

I gave a “Ready, Set, Promote!” seminar at the Alaska Writer’s Con this past weekend and told my lovely audience that promotion is all about dropping seeds so that one thing leads to another. Begetting.

One of the biggest groans comes from bookstore events because there are so many unknown elements – the biggest being, will anyone show up? I talked about ways authors can help prevent scenarios whereby they can shoot a canon through the store and not hit anything. But my point is that one never knows what will be begotten. Begetted? Begat?

Case in point. One of our authors had a very successful book event, which was lovely, of course, even though I groused mightily at having to shell out an extortion fee to the bookstore – they referred to it as a “promotion fee.” Right. Whatever. It’s a profit center nothing more, nothing less, but I digress…

Our author met a lot of loverly people and sold a lot of books. However, since that time, we’ve had orders for more books from outside sources who attended that book event – to the tune of over 400 units. Cha-ching!

We’ve had other cases where the bookstore attendance was so-so, but because someone was sitting in the audience who was in a position to beget other events, the authors had some very successful sales.

The thing to tattoo on your forehead is that you never know who’s watching from afar, so it’s unwise to think that bookstore events aren’t worth the time and angst. The event may be a bust, but what you beget could be a cha-ching moment for you, so always be at your very best.

* Be charming.
* Be earnest.
You can’t fake this. Either you enjoy people or you don’t.
* Smile a lot.
* Have something to talk about that relates right back to your book.
* Advertise that you’ll have food and drinks
wine always works if the store will let you.
* Be prepared.

The seeds you drop today will have positive consequences tomorrow. Whew, all this begetting is making me hungry. Beagle, fetch me my Twinkies.

6 Responses to And this begat success

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    I’m pretty sure wine around here wouldn’t work, but…hrm.

    I do know that if I ever do a signing, there will SO be candy on the table. I’ve been to conventions…and candy gets people over faster than anything else.

  2. Avoid chocolate. I went to an event – thankfully not one of my authors – and they served chocolate. As you can guess, the choccie melted on little fingers and got all over the books. Totally wince-worthy.

  3. AstonWest says:

    Small wrapped chocolates (I prefer using York peppermint patties) definitely work for drawing people to the tables at conventions and signings…

  4. Webb says:

    I’m supposed to be charming? What else ya got?

  5. Yes, Bill, ya gotta be charming.

  6. fence picket says:

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic however you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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