Thursday, May 14, 2009

Here, there, everywhere ...

Although this title could refer to my state of mind these days, I intend it to refer to signing and event venues.

This topic is on my mind because of
1) the cold calls I've been doing
2) Jane Kennedy Sutton's recent blog on book signing venues
3) a library event I did just the other day with a panel of mystery authors (that's Dana Fredsti sitting next to me in the photo below. The other panelists were Mark Coggins and Margaret Grace)

Libraries and bookstores are, of course, the obvious venues. Sometimes it's difficult (at least for me) to think outside the box on all this, particularly when there's a new release approaching like a freight train. But I do believe it's good to be open to the possibilities that come one's way and check out what other venues folks find. In addition to Jane's excellent blog post about this, check out Susan Wittig Alberts' post on "Finding Your Niche and Filling It: Tips for Marketing Your Mystery."

I'm also going to recommend the book Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel by Jeffrey Marks. He has a chapter on "Finding Your Niche" that has some great suggestions. In addition, Marks' Murder Must Advertise website also has a page called Fresh Ideas where authors offer marketing suggestions from booksigning tips to podcasting and an entire little subsection on Twittering.

So, cozy "craft" mystery authors frequent craft shows. Authors of mysteries featuring canines "dog" specialty magazines and dog shows. Historical authors might consider historical societies and genealogy groups. Personally, I've often thought I should check out the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), what with the "Old West" aspects of my mystery series.

Others thoughts? Anything that you've tried that's worked well for you? Venues are only limited by your imagination!


Karen Walker said...

It's almost my favorite Beatle song.
Thanks for the tips in this post about venues. Hopefully I can adapt some of the ideas for memoirs. Kendra Bonnett spoke in a teleseminar yesterday for National Association of Memoir Writers. I asked her how important it was to do booksignings. She said that when compared to book sales resulting from other marketing techniques, book signings were not that useful. Most of the time, very few people show up. Hmmm.


Galen Kindley--Author said...

Another nice post, Ann. I tweeted this, Highlighting the Marks, fresh ideas site. Thanks for sharing this info.


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Thanks for the mention, Ann. Also thanks for the links. The sites had helpful information that I think applies to all genres, not just mysteries.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Ann Parker said...

Hello Karen, Galen, Jane ... TGIF, right?? :-)

Karen, it's true that sometimes the book signings can just be you, the bookstore owner, and the cat. :-) But it provides a great opportunity to get to know the booksellers who will remember you and your book after you've moved on down the road. I think getting to know the booksellers and store owners is a biggie.
I'd be curious to know what venues are recommended for memoir writers.

N A Sharpe said...

Great information and helpful links in this post. I think a lot of this information applies to other genres as well.

NA Sharpe

Enid Wilson said...

How about pubs? Here in Sydney, pubs organised quiz nights so I guess some clients will like a murder mystery event.

Fantasy stories by Enid Wilson

Morgan Mandel said...

If I had one niche, life would be simpler for me, but not as much fun. I have too many interests to stick to one genre, so I go with the flow.

Morgan Mandel

KK Brees said...

Even if it's just you, the cat, and the bookseller, customers will come in after you're gone. The bookseller will be your ally and you'll find this is an important asset.