Saturday 14 August 2010

14 Books In An Hour

To many authors it might seem like nothing, but I was incredibly heartened to sell 14 copies of The Broken Token in an hour at a book signing at Waterstone’s in Leeds yesterday. For a first time, unknown crime writer that feels like an achievement (and certainly better than I’d managed at book signings for my non fiction).
The store had ordered in 12 copies, and then had two take the two they had on the shelves. While I was there the manager ordered another 20 copies and suggested that I come back and do a second signing. Needless to say, I agreed. To be fair, the book takes place in Leeds, so it’s local, but even so…there will be copies on the display of local interest books at the front of the store, which will help sales, and a staff recommended tag by it on the crime shelf.
When you’re with an independent publisher maybe this kind of gradual word of mouth groundswell is the only way to succeed, short of an incredible lucky break. Keep lugging away, doing the book signings, converting people one by one. Writing a book is only the start of things. Getting it published isn’t even where it ends. Once those hurdles have been jumped, there’s still the marketing, and that can be the trickiest, most time-consuming bit of all.

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