One could wail about the demise of and closing of bookstores. In the realm of the business, AKA: “brick and mortar” stores, as opposed to online stores. In our area of a population of 500,000, there are only two stores remaining. By “store,” it was pointed out to me, means “new books” store and not meaning “used book store.” These two stores are the Barnes & Noble and Petunia’s Place. The causes and reasons have been argued, and I’m fairly sure there is no single cause. I noticed B. Daltons closing in our indoor mall before the digital age, and yet the last two B. Daltons here, and one forty-five minutes south, were only closed within last five years.
The main problem for local authors is that there are no longer places to have book signing events. There are hundreds of authors around here. Maybe there are a thousand others writing but who are not in print. So, while the theories about why and how online sales have their part in this, authors still want to have locations and venues for “book signing events.” It is not as bleak as many feared, but there are still problems.
I have at my fingertips a 2003 publication about author’s guide to promotions. There is more than one reference to authors creating their own book venues. These examples ranged from backyard barbecue book signings to local restaurants. Included here could be events being done by local arts councils. Another standard is always the local library branches. So, these are not exactly new ideas. I don’t believe there can be any bad idea.
I recently did a signing event with three other authors, this at a used book store. One of these had announced that he received permission to set up in stores of a grocery chain. We all congratulated him. I mentioned that I had tried to make a similar agreement with Starbucks, but their regional manager would not allow it. I thought it was a perfect idea, and I had visions of the past “Upstart Crow” coffee/bookstore …. that, oh well, it had closed also. Maybe coffee sellers know something we don’t know.
Last week, I tried to get an event with a local gourmet chocolate store. The business owner was all for it, but alas, I was told that the mall property owner would not allow it. This chocolate store was also told NOT to sell or offer coffee because there were three restaurants in the mall. This owner was apologetic in explaining the policy and said that the restaurants have no coffee on their menus.
One might argue that one could sell a thousand books at your own events, and not get any credibility with the book industry. And that is probably true, as books the author buys are not counted into royalty statements. But, I did learn that one local library event garnered a front page newspaper article, interview, and photo. So, one never knows where things may lead.
This is the latest for THE DOC novel signing events. Saturday November 15, I will be at an outdoor mall at:
POSTAL ANNEX store
6083 N. Figarden Drive, Fresno, California. Time: 8:00 AM.
Yes. Two doors north is a place for tacos. Next door south is a donut shop.
This event is called: A BOOK and a DONUT
If it is chocolate you want, get a book from me, then a chocolate donut and cocoa in the shop.
If you have more questions, contact me.
Timothy J. Desmond
THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
All cover art copyright © 2014
All Rights Reserved
Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1