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Selling books at Q&A/panels

Of all the WIPs I have going, I think the one I'm most proud of is The New Jersey Authors' Network.  The idea of a statewide network of authors came to me last year, when I was trying to think of ways to help sell the GSHW's latest anthology.  The way I see it, lesser known - and by that I mean, not yet a household name - authors get little or no help from their publishers on the promotion front, so they have to do most of it themselves.  Of course, some people are natural self-promoters, like those d-list celebrities who'd attend the opening of a cookie jar if they thought a camera crew would be present, but most of us mere mortals find it a painful experience.  I haven't even got an agent yet, but I already have nightmares about being the only one who attends my own book-signing. 

So I figured, why not dilute that pain?  If a bunch of writers do a panel/Q&A signing together, it makes for a bigger event, which makes it a more attractive proposition for Joe (and Joanne), public, a safer bet for the host venue, and a far less terrifying prospect for the authors.  So far, so what?  Multi-author signings are nothing new.  True enough, but where do you go to find other authors in your county with books to promote?  

That's where the  The New Jersey Authors' Network comes in.  It's a free to join, free to use, online database for any New Jersey author with a book to sell.  Writers in the Garden State now have a place to find each other so they can organize these things.  One such event takes place tonight at Ringwood Library, Pasaic County, New Jersey.

How Authors Keep You Turning Those Pages
A free panel by The New Jersey Authors’ Network
Tuesday, June 16, 7-9 p.m.
Ringwood Public Library, 30 Cannici Drive, Ringwood, N.J.
Seven novelists share their secrets:
Lee Barwood (environmental thrillers)
Peggy Ehrhart, Steven Rigolosi and Cheryl Solimini (mysteries)
John Grant (fantasy & political satire)
Gary Frank and E. F. Watkins (paranormal thrillers)

I plan to attend.  If you can spot me in the crowd, come over and say hi, I'm the bald, ugly one with the funny accent.

Hope to see you there.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Smart idea! Let us know how it goes!
Jun. 16th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I hosted the first one back in March. We had over fifty people attend, many of them bought books :)

Jun. 16th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Cooperative promotion and publicity is a terrific idea especially for new authors and small press authors who usually get short shrift. That's basically where the Team Seattle group started: a bunch of locals helping each other.

You can hook up with local authors through local conventions and conferences and local independent bookstores. Indie booksellers usually know who all the locals are in their specialty and attending signings there, chatting up the booksellers, and being a friendly helpful person will help you hook up.

Also any local chapters of organizations like the Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Horror Writers of America and so on will have a few indie, new, or small-press authors who have the same needs and sometimes have nifty ideas or connections. Mine those sources too

Really, there is no substitute for attending signings and cons in person and saying "hi" to other writers.

Good luck Jon--it's a great idea!
Jun. 16th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Some day I hope to make use of it my own self :)
Jun. 16th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Best of luck with that, sounds like a really good idea.
Jun. 16th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 17th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
You and me both :(

On the plus side, if you're in an anthology that'll work too.
Jun. 17th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Were you there? I was!
Jun. 17th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
My wife got stuck in a meeting in New York and didn't get back until after 7:30pm :(

Ringwood's about an hour and forty minutes from me (I live in Monmouth County), so I couldn't attend. I hear it went well though. Did you enjoy it?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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