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Can someone please point us in the right direction

Hello, yesterday Hugh My Husband had his first book signing. What a complete wast of our time. I felt like screaming out in the shop . We went self publishing and have lost so much money . I know that we have to try things out but we are learning. The sad thing is that Hugh has got another childrens book in the pipeline, but we cant afford to self publish again.If anyone lives in the uk and has gone self publishing I would like to hear your views on this. This wednesday Hugh will be on southern counties radio at 16.45 pm and they have got a guest speaker, from Random house. so we are keeping things crossed that this will help us even more.Regards AmandaHarrison

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Okay, what I'm about to tell you may not make you very happy but it is the truth. One of the worst things that a brand new writer can do is to do a book signing. Unless you are famous no one is going to come out to see you. You must have a following. This is a mistake that every new author makes. My advice to you would be to gain a following online. If you gain a following online you have a much better chance of gaining book sales. Self-publishing is fine but you must know how to properly market your book. Since your husband is on one radio station he should try to get on more. My advice would also be to check out blog radio. There is a bigger radio listening pool than people think it is. They have blog radio for genres related to what your husband is writing about. The internet is a beautifu, beautiful thing!
I am sorry that I have to disagree with the statement that new authors should not do book signings. I found, as a new author, that it helped me a great deal to get the book out to other avenues. It even ended up giving me speaking engagements and opening two other avenues for me.

Just because it may be local should not be a problem. If handled correctly, advertised correctly, and a persistence on the author's and publisher's part, even a small crowd at a booksigning can make it successful.

From those meager beginnings I have spread my wings. Without those beginnings I may never have gotten as far as I did.

On a side note: It all comes down to patience. Seems authors, from what I have encountered, want it all yesterday. They get upset if they send in a mss and don't hear back in two weeks. Or don't get a call from their agent when they think they should. And... if book signings don't go perfect from the very beginning. Try some patience. It works wonders!
Amanda:

Not every book signing goes well. I'm wondering how much preparation you did before hand? Did you have a press release, or list the event on your local community calendar, or Cragislist or BookTour.com? Did you have bookmarks and posters? Were you placed in a high traffic area of the store? More importantly, did you actively engage customers in conversation of just wait until you were spoken to? Was it a general bookstore or one that specializes in children's books?

You might want to read my article "The Do It Yourself Booktour". It's on Self Publishing Review (selfpublishingreview.com) which has many other resources.

I did 22 book events last year, most of them in book stores. I generally had a great time. You can to0, if you do it right.
Self publishing is a tough route, no doubt. My agent has just published an eBook you may find helpful for the future as it relates to agents, editors, and publishers. I finished reading Pitch and Promote Like a Pro, by Terry W. Burns. I can’t possibly over recommend it, especially for new writers. Go to my blog for more details. http://booksandboys.blogspot.com

Max Elliot Anderson
Have you considered a virtual book tour? You can visit us at i-Virtual Assist Book Tours. You will save so much on cost, this will cut your costs down by 3/4.

The benefits and opportunities are limitless. Hope to see you there!
To Your Success
Alba
I've held several book signings in the past; believe me you never know how many people will stop by. A lot of people focus on getting their book published; few realize this is only a small part of the battle they face. Any book published right now is one in a group of literally millions. It is up to the writer often to find a way to reach those who might be interested in what they have written. I admit this is a lot of work and still there is no guarantee that when people find your book they will actually by it. I write poetry. It is a lesson all those who choose to write in this area learn VERY quickly.
I'm from the US. I published my first book with PublishAmerica. June 19th, my second memoir came out and I went with Infinity Publishing. This time it cost me.

I'm just getting out there with getting the book introduced. I'm going on a radio and cable TV show a second time, and getting the book into bookstores. A lot left to do.

I've been lucky getting money with some sales and put it back into the promoting. You're right, it is expensive.

I've been told it takes 5 years to "maybe" break even.

Alberta
Great Covers!

Hugh and Amanda, I want to offer encouragement and some suggestions. Most importantly, do not lose faith; perseverance is vital.

While it is normal to have lofty expectations for your first signing, the reality is that much depends upon creating a successful event: pre-event publicity (print, radio/tv if possible), having visuals on hand at the venue, days or weeks before your appearance; a few signed copies available before the event, and much more.

You may also invite friends and family who will appear, even if they already have purchased the book. They tout the book to those who have not yet made a purchase.

I have four published novels, have appeared on Oprah (with my first novel), and absolutely love personal and media appearances. Still, I recognize that one event does not a career make. You believe in your work, and soon others will do so as well.

Do you have a well-designed web site?
Do you have a well-written media kit?
Do you have Press Releases?

There are many questions to ask, tips to digest from so many experienced authors.
You may read one of blog posts and other info that offer some insights: http://bookmarket.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=10w3zyzeljx2p

Regarding P.O.D. publishers: there is a lot to be desired. There are other options I will directly share, if you like. I won't burden you with more, just now. Examine the foregoing link, and I invite any inquiry you may have.

Gene
Amen! I feel your frustration but self-publishing takes time. You may or may not see increase not just monetary but recognition for 2-4 years. I have self-published as well and it takes time and much effort to self promote and many bookstores and other book signing options are not very welcoming to self-publishers. I encourage you not to give up and pray for your window of opportunity. Don't stop keep on going because if it was given to you then it was met to be.

Tonya Jones
www.encouragepress.com
08/17/09
Skeeze Whitlow
4317 N. 16th Street
Arl. VA 22207
240 – 271 - 7569 www.NewFiction.com


Dear Amannda,
As a former U.S. Capitol attendant, I offer you Senate Parking. A 90 K word novel about a multicultural crew of parking lot attendants who operate an escort service from the Senate lots. A good look at the underbelly of our law making process. Senate Parking can be listened to at www.NewFiction.com
“Hill Intros” is the brainstorm of attendants unable to obtain employment within the confines of the Capitol. Senate Parking is the story of power structures, on a personal and national level. Done from the perspective of workers who see themselves without much chance of ‘making it’ in a culture of power drivers, Washington’s backdrop provides a tension all its own.
This book concerns every kind of shady deal for which the political arena is famous. Senate Parking is full of anecdotes which let freedom ring. I can provide you with a synopsis or with the complete manuscript – whatever you like. Either way, I’ll be in touch.
Sincerely,

Skeeze Whitlow
The21writer@alumni.marymount.edu

My second novel is now audio – like old time radio. All you have to do is listen. It’ll make you laff. Go to www.NewFiction,com

Choose ‘Senate Parking’

Skeeze Whitlow

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