If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Signings for Fun and Maybe Even Profit

Signings For Fun and Maybe Even Profit

Last week or so on this blog we got to talking about doing book signings. I had my first signing on Sunday and I had a good time. It didn’t matter that the program announcement was incorrect. I was there. People I know and like were there. I had a good time talking with people I had not seen for some time and incidentally I sold some books.

Commercial Break: Murder Manhattan Style is available at http://www.ninthmonthpublishing.com/books.html Please support the publisher who supported me.

Now back to the blog. I’ve had less successful signings before I have some ideas about what helps to make a signing work.

Make it an event. I like to dress in period costume and to invite people I know to attend. If people are already chatting to me, it is easier for strangers to approach and get into a conversation. I’ve known some authors who write about cooking to wear chef’s hats, some historical writers to display amazingly quilts. At her events, Suzanne Arruda has games, prizes and participants get to pretend they are her wonderfully brave heroine, Jade Cameron.

Bring food. This may even attract men. It will attract children who often have parents somewhere in the general vicinity.

Let ‘em know why you’re there. A nametag with “Writer” helps. Offer to sell books. People may have no idea why you are there. The might think you like to sit in bookstores and people-watch. A surprisingly large number of signings I’ve seen consisted of a glum, bored person sitting at a table with books on it for no reason apparent to passersby. They gave off strong “stay away” vibrations and believe me I did.

I had intended to do a brief reading last week but people came in and started buying books. For once, I had the presence of mind not to trip over my own feet and I started selling books immediately.

Check the spelling and endorsement both before and as you sign, no matter how apparently simple the spelling sounds. I have failed to do so with unfortunate consequences. Sorry, Kaythi.

Arrive early, be friendly to staff and be prepared to negotiate sweetly, “I wonder if there might possibly be another place for my mysteries besides in the college astrophysics section?”

Thank the people who let you put on the event. Who knows? Maybe someday they’ll let you do it again.


Gail Baugniet said...

Warren, you gave your book signing event a festive touch and I enjoyed reading the details in your blog post. You've given me reason to look forward to the day I become published and can arrange such an event.

Also, I've finally read your book title often enough (here and at the Guppy site)to remember to include it on my list of book purchases! I recently visited New York City for the first time and look forward to a bit of Manhattan intrigue.

Ramona said...

Warren, I wish I could have attended your signing! Sounds like you did indeed make it an event.

On the flip side, I recently went to a bookstore where a retired state trooper was signing his book, a history of the state police. At the table were a couple of troopers, in uniform, buying his book. I was semi-interested in buying the book, so I hung around for a little bit. Nobody went near that table--in fact, most patrons gave him a very wide berth. So you might want to think carefully about the type of "costume" you wear.

James Montgomery Jackson said...


I think you've touched on a secret that applies to many things in life. If you look like you are having fun, people gravitate toward you to find out what be happenin'.

If you look like you are doing something under duress, people will treat you like you have the plague.

I'm glad your signing went so well.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I feel a lot of trepidation when I think of book signing. Coming from a very conservative area where humility is golden, being the center of attention and putting on a show, doesn't come easily to me. Promotion will be my dilemma. So glad your signing went well and was fun! Kudos to you.

jennymilch said...

This is great advice, Warren, which I dearly hope to follow some day. I've had the food idea myself--at the writing series I run, we always serve light snacks and homemade desserts and it is a real crowd pleaser--but I wonder how this can be done if you're signing far from home, and doing a long succession of events in a row?

Sue said...

I like to hold signings in small, cozy independent bookstores, maybe because I write cozies, maybe because the people--owner included--seem less rushed and more comfortable chatting.
I've repeated signings at Booked for Murder both signings (I only have 2 published) and though it changed hands between the 2, both owners were warm and welcoming and provided goodies. Good for me since I was hauling in the books.

Dee Hendershot Gatrell said...

I think you're right, Warren. People enjoy joining others who have fun. If you look like a sour puss, who would bother with you? And food always attracts people.

Glad you had a good signing.

Anne K. Albert said...

Thanks for the great tips, Warren. Having a friendly gang there with you is a terrific idea.

Warren Bull said...

Thanks for the kind remarks. If you feel uneasy promoting yourself. You might borrow a strategy from Joel Goldman and ask your mother to promote for you. By talking up my first novel, my mom made me the best-selling author in Green Valley, AZ for one day. It was only best selling experience. I've also been on a panel of authors and watched people stagger up with arms full of books to well-known authors while I and other unknown sold one book at a time.

Gwen Mayo said...

Great advice. Keeping it festive, and giving something other than a pitch for sales is a wonderful way to make friends of your readers. The people who buy your book and like it will remember you and make a point to turn out for your next event.

Pauline Alldred said...

Good advice, Warren. Food and let others know you're having a good time. I once attended a signing at a small library that was really grim and I wished I hadn't put in an appearance. There was a co-author who couldn't be bothered to answer questions and a threatening heckler. Chairs were set up in front of the authors' desk as though we were all back in school.

Warren Bull said...


Ouch! The worst I've seen was in an airport. Nobody had time to stop at the tables. Passengers were frantic and the authors all looked like they were somewhere else.

Marja said...

All great tips, Warren! I would add that I always take cookies or something for the staff so they know how much I appreciate what they're doing.

And I like that you added the part about showing some enthusiasm at your signing. People won't gravitate toward a lump sitting behind a table and snoozing.