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Two Struggling Memoirists at BEA

I think I'm through with author book signings and readings at bookstores. The idea sounds great, but the reality is somewhere between depressing and horrifying. I've done my share of both, but would much rather speak to a small group which has actually read my book.

Unless you're famous or infamous, or both, there doesn't seem to be much point. I'll admit it's a thrill to see your book featured multiple times in the front window of Barnes and Noble, but if you are small, independent publishers and authors, I think I'd suggest trying to interest local book clubs, and work out from there. That works best for me.

Any comments or experiences to share?

Ciao,

Mary Lynn

 

Comments
8 Comment count
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You're right, Mary Lynn,

 book clubs are the best. The members have already invested in you, and really want to talk about your book. The party atmosphere is nice when it happens, as well. Once or twice, I brought ingredients for my characters' favorite dishes, and we all discussed the book while making dosas. 

Cheryl Snell www.shivasarms.blogspot.com

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Book Clubs vs. Bookstores

Mary Lynn Archibald

Right on, Cheryl. The first book club I spoke at, we had hamburgers, in honor of our first sacrificial steer, "Hamburger." It was a wonderful party, and everyone had great questions.

At the second, Carl and I were the honored guests at a swanky Christmas dinner party, and some of the husbands also got involved and had read my book.

I loved it!

ML

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My experiences have been

My experiences have been similar to yours -- and I've already blogged about them here.  My basic rule is:  If I think it's going to be fun, I do it.  I rarely turn down an invitation (because they usually are fun), but I don't pursue them, and I think, unless you're a far bigger name author than I, you can make more money flipping burgers.

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Book Clubs vs. Bookstores

Mary Lynn Archibald

Bob,

Now where did I put that spatula!

ML

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I agree

and I do very much agree, and I say yes infrequently.  Sometimes, I am surprised--at BEA just a couple of weeks ago, it looked very, very dicey, but it was wonderful.  But after my first couple of novels and after my friends got sick of my readings, I slowed way down.  Maybe once a year.

As Bob said, though, if it seems fun, I'll do it.  If I get an inkling of not fun, I say no.

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Book Clubs vs. Bookstores

Mary Lynn Archibald

Jessica,

Thanks for the tip. I suspected that. Is marketing the hard part, or what?

ML

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Oh-oh, one more thing to

Oh-oh, one more thing to worry about!  My first book is coming out in January (and one bookstore event is already being set up, through the publisher.)  I imagine it as such a thrill, but I know the reality could so easily be different.  So thanks for the reminder.

 One thing may help--we do plan to provide live Cajun music.

(And I have plenty of experience playing for dissappointingly small crowds...so maybe I'm already toughened up! )

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Book Clubs vs. Bookstores

Mary Lynn Archibald

Yep. You gotta roll with the punches, as they say, but music definitely helps. I rode into large audiences at some of the local libraries, mostly because the cowboy who was singing with me was very talented and had many fans who showed up more than once to hear him sing. And I sold a few books.

Good luck to you, Blair, and stay in touch. 

ML