Friday, January 15, 2010
Let's Have A Party Together ; )
For those of you who haven't heard, Vows, Vendettas And A Little Black Dress is now available to pre-order on Amazon, Amazon.uk and Amazon.ca (Canada). As usual I'm excited, anxious and eager to see how this next Sophie story is received by readers. Judging from the overwhelming number of emails, tweets and Facebook messages I've been receiving asking for news of a book tour it would seem that you are also excited to talk to me (in person) about the upcoming novel.
But here's the horrible truth about book tours...they have fallen out of fashion with the publishing industry. Once upon a time if you were given any kind of publicity budget from your publisher there was a strong chance that some kind of tour or public appearance would be part of the plan. Now, in the face of a very tough economy and an ever-changing retail environment publishers are taking a good hard look at the numbers. They feel (perhaps understandably) that the people who go to an author's book signing would have bought that author's book no matter what. They also realize that most people who attend book signing events/reading buy the book WELL before the event so the sell through of books on the actual day of the event will be around half of the turnout. A strong turnout is about fifty people (with a sell-through of 25). An average turnout would be somewhere between ten and 15 (no joke) with a sell through of 5 to 7 books. It makes the individual book store happy and it frequently makes the author happy but it comes at the cost of airfare and a hotel room for the author along with a media escort to get her from her hotel to her signing event on time without getting lost, signage for the bookstore and hours spent by the publicity department setting up and coordinating the whole thing. As a result the people who are usually sent out on book tours these days are people who are celebrities in their own right. Hollywood and Washington types and a few A+-list authors. If you've seen an author speak recently who doesn't fit into one of those categories he probably funded the tour himself.
As someone with both a business degree and business experience I understand the reasoning of the publishers and I can't really tell them they're wrong. Economically book tours aren't good investments.
And yet I LIKE book tours. Book signings are my only opportunity to meet my readers face-to-face and I think that's important. After all, you are in a very real sense my boss. My publisher is more like a partner. They give me very helpful suggestions and they package and distribute my work for me but YOU pay my salary. Plus the publisher will only want me as a partner as long as YOU want to keep me on payroll (which you do when you buy my books).
I honestly wish I could come and see all of you but realistically I'm going to have to be rather selective about this. In the past my most successful events have been planned and hosted by readers rather than booksellers or my publishing house (although those two entities have been extremely helpful in the execution of some of the details of those events). So if you are one of the readers who has recently contacted me with the hopes of hosting a book event for Vows, Vendettas And A Little Black Dress or if that sounds like something you would like to do, email me with plans. I'll pick a total of three events based on projected attendance (again, the idea is to meet as many readers as possible) and the creativity of the event itself (if Deb from Virginia is reading this I want to give you props again for the ghostly theme of your Lust, Loathing And A Little Lip Gloss event). The event doesn't necessarily need to be held in your home; in fact if you can assure them a turnout of over thirty people most larger bookstores will be happy to offer you their space and assistance (and I can help put you in touch with the right people if it comes down to that).
For those of you who can't put together a large event, or if your event isn't chosen I will be happy to attend your party via webcam. Maybe we can have a bunch of Little Black Dress parties across the country and with the help of the internet attend each others events and enjoy cocktails together.
Again, I wish I could make a personal appearance in the hometown of every one of my readers. I will do everything I can to continue to connect and correspond with you. I am eternally grateful for your support and your friendship whether it's expressed in person or via Twitter/Facebook/email, it means a lot to me.
Bestselling Author of:
The Sophie Katz Murder Mystery Series,
SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING
Order LUST, LOATHING AND A LITTLE LIP GLOSS on Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com today!