Somehting to think about . . .

Hunger and the fear of failure . . . when you hit the wall, the only way left is up.

~Lorelei Bell

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winners Win, Losers... take another road

Lorelei @ book signing for Vampire Ascending
at BORDERS before it closed a few months later
With my second book in the series I was apprehensive about securing a book signing with the OTHER bookstore. I knew what they would say, and it was that everyone who wanted a book at the book signing would have to pre-order and pre-pay for it. Which I thought was a tacky way of doing business in a big store. I felt tacky having to tell everyone this. "Hey, by the way, if you want one of my books to be at the bookstore the day of my book signing, you have to pre-order and pay for it right then." Because they don't want to order it and not have you show up--dear God they'd be out ten bucks (or whatever they paied for the copy)!

But I put out the announcements, I sent off letters and emails explaining what needed to be done and all the other information such as when and what time etc. That was four or so weeks ago.

Now come down to two weeks before the event, and I get an email from store personnel who was handling my book signing telling me that no orders have been made. No one has bought my book (pre-paid for it, that is). It didn't surprise me. And after I got over the news I mulled over what I should do.

The thing is I wasn't angry at anyone but the store--the big greedy corporation who has made this decision to not allow anyone with a small print-on-demand book to take up room on their shelves and God forbid they might go under for ordering a dozen books for a damned book signing for a LOCAL author.

I didn't tell my husband until the next morning. I hate hitting him with such news after a long day, so waited until this morning. I told him we'll just stay home that day. I was to be there from noon until 4 pm. I didn't like the idea of being held captive for so long in one place, but now I won't be.

I didn't rant back at the person who was coordinating this book signing. I tried to keep it on a professional level. I did tell her I wouldn't be stepping into their store ever again. I felt as though I was treated unfairly. Actually, I felt as though I were treated like a beggar.

I told them that I sold 20 copies of Vampire Ascending  the night of my last book signing in Borders.
20! That's pretty damned good for an unknown author. Julie, the bookstore manager of Borders absolutely loved me. I brought in people. Some walked out with 2 books, and one (my niece) bought 3! One for herself, one for her sister, and one for a friend.

The thing is they think they've won. They haven't. Eventually this book store will go the way of Borders. I promise you, it will. Those people will be out of a job too. The e-books are here to stay. We who want books--the kind with real paper pages--will be forced to order on-line or buy at Walmart, or Target, or your local supermarket. Gak!

Since this isn't about ebooks, I'm not going to go into my opinion on them right now. What I will say is this: I'm glad that I got to enjoy at least 3 book signings in a real book store because it looks as though those days are gone. I will find places or ways to sell my books to those who want a physical copy. I haven't lost anything. I would make more money by selling the book hand to hand than through royalties, actually. And the bookstore is the real looser in the end.