Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Store appearances

Earlier this month I appeared at Angus and Robertson Erina, for a book signing/selling afternoon.
Back in July, I did a few of these around the coast, with mixed results, but I think I have the formula right now.
Instead of sitting at a table at the back of a store, waiting and hoping for someone to come over, I was out the front, talking to anyone who came past!
It worked so well that we sold 17 copies in about two hours - and the A&R stores at Maitland and Kotara have booked me in for similar appearances on October 11 and 18 respectively!
Now, normally I don't like cold callers. And I hate being accosted in a shopping centre by someone trying to sell me something.
But, in the pursuit of spreading the word about my book (and making a few sales!) I became what I normally despise!
It's an interesting exercise, trying to hit up people for a chat as they walk past.
For a start, people don't wear shirts proclaiming they like fantasy books. Although I did meet one guy with a really cool Stormtrooper T-shirt on, which was a bit of a giveaway. And yes, he bought my book!
But what about the others? Some young, muscly, tattooed blokes just laughed at me. Others were willing to talk. A pair of old ladies bought a copy, while Goth-looking teenagers turned up their (pierced) noses!
As time went on, I began to refine my technique. There were some people who were walking just too fast to bother about. Others caught my eye or glanced in the direction of the posters.
I began by saying: " Do you like reading?''
Quite a few replied: "Not today thanks!" which begged the question, would they like reading tomorrow?
But if they stopped, I asked if they liked fantasy and then talked about my book.
I probably spoke to more than 50 people - some claimed to come back later (perhaps they did)others that they had no money that day.
It was an extraordinary experience to speak to so many people about my book.
And I learned that you can sell something if you truly believe in it.
So watch out for me around Christmas, when book two is out!

1 comment:

  1. I was one of those who happened to be strolling past (the English one if that helps!) and after having a chat with Duncan decided to go in and buy a copy, and I'm now about 50 pages or so from the end of the book and am most chuffed that I did stop and wasn't one of those who walked on by. Its been years since I read a fantasy of this kind - I've been into pratchett and others in recent years, but I will defnintely be buying the whole trilogy of this one and I recommend others to do the same.