Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Signings, Sales, & Expectations

© Marta Stephens 2009 all rights reserved

Since my first novel, "Silenced Cry" was published in 2007, I’ve done several book signings at bookstores, libraries, book clubs, writers conferences, and various other local and regional events. Sales at these venues have ranged from zero to several hundred dollars in sales. I never know what to expect and for me, not having high expectations works because I’m rarely disappointed and usually walk away with a few surprise encounters.

The not so big news is that book signings are not all about making a sales. Last weekend, I participated in a local holiday event that included an author showcase. I sold a handful of books, talked with countless number of people, and passed out tons of bookmarks. One of the people I spoke with was a school librarian who is now interested in placing my novels in several school libraries within her system. I also did an on-the-spot interview with a reporter from our university’s newspaper.

I walked away from this event with a few dollars in my pocket and I look forward to hearing from the librarian. And that article? It will be published this week in a newspaper that is available to 3,500 university employees and approximately 20,000 students. Okay, so these two encounters didn’t provide me with immediate sales, but I know they will have an impact in future sales. So my advice is to not stress over book signings or feel defeated if you don’t sell many books. You never know who you’ll meet or where that connection will lead and that's what's important.

About the author:
Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery),

Personal site:
Character Blog:


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi Marta,

You are right, you never know. I'll be spending two days at our local art gallery with my books. Did the same last year and it poured both days. We did have some walk-ins who bought books and some of the others' crafts on display--but it wasn't very profitable. Guess what, rain is predicted again.


s.w. vaughn said...

Book signings frighten me... *weeps*

You are a brave, brave woman. :)

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

It's funny how some events sell only a handful of books and others will sell you out. You never know. I've found a few venues that seem perfect - wineries are a good place because I'm the only author, and folks are happy and flush!!! LOL.