Monday 30 October 2017

Contacting bookshops and other places about possible signings


Author Kit

This is something we offer authors for the imprints we manage. If you can arrange your own book tour, we can provide you with twenty books up front. Shops can put them through their till and we'll invoice the shop. Then we'll top up your supply. Please leave at least ten days between venues. At the end of the tour, you can buy any remaining books at cost plus 10% to cover admin, or wait until you can sell them and buy them at normal author discount. We can if necessary allow this against royalties.
If you are or become a prolific seller, we can offer more books on this arrangement. 
We ask you to contact the bookshop or other venue and copy us in. We can then have a three-way conversation.   

Template letter

Here is a letter we use for our imprints:
Dear (name of bookshop owner),
I wonder whether you might consider letting one of our authors run a book singing at your shop? We operate a WIN, WIN, WIN policy for bookshops and authors. We supply the books to our author who brings them on the day. They go through your till and we then invoice you for any sold at 65% of RRP. Any unsold copies remain with the author. We normally supply about 20 but this is up for negotiation.
We promote the event and we hope that you will as well.
A little about the author. There is an example in brackets here.  (xxx is a frequent delegate at the Winchester Writers’ Festival. She blogs regularly for Chandlers Ford Today.)
I attach an Author Information Sheet.
Perhaps you could negotiate with xxx directly if this is of interest?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Author's name 

How to find bookshops

If you're an indie writer or working with a small publisher it's notoriously difficult to get into the big chain stores. However, most of them have a brief to work with local authors and its worth pushing for this. Get to know the staff. Also, it's sometimes possible to hire their events room privately.

If you are in the US try:
 The UK equivalent is:

I'm also beginning a summary of useful contacts – booksellers, media contacts, reviewers, bloggers who host others and other places that host author events. You can find this here:
      At the time of writing this is empty, but as the weeks go by I'll add to it.  So please let me know of any events that have been successful. Please provide as much information as you can and especially the name and email address of the person to approach.     

Venues other than bookshops

How do these sound?
·         A railway station
·         A beach
·         A kite festival   

These are just a few quirky ideas and have actually been used rather successfully.
If your venue has a retail outlet, you can still use the Author Kit mentioned before.
Sometimes another type of venue can be more helpful than an actual bookshop. I've run several signings in caf├ęs very successfully.      

Friday 13 October 2017

Creating an Advance Author Information Sheet

These can be really useful. You can send them out to media outlets, bookshops, festivals and other places that might be interested in your writing.
They should never be more than one side of A4. Get one done as soon as you have all of the details of the book. Then you can proactively send it out to people who might be interested in your work and also you can respond quickly to people who ask about your book.

Here are some tips:

The header  

Your email address
Your telephone number
Your website

In the sidebar (left)  

The Essential Details




Format: eBook – date of release
Paperback – date of release
Hard back – date of release

Available on Amazon, online & in all good book shops

Price: TBC

Release Date: xxx  (eBook) & xxx (paperback)

Book title
By Author name


In the body of the text:

‘Book title’ by ‘author name’

Introduction to the book here – around 100 words. If you had to sell your book in 100 words what would you write. This is the section that will be read by the journalist – if any – so it needs to grab their attention, demonstrate the clear hook/appeal/USP from the get-go!

Here, write a short snippet from the book’s blurb/back cover text/synopsis.

About the author
You need a bio – an about us paragraph – that you can use across your marketing and press materials. It should include the obvious like where you live, how old you are, your family status but it shouldn’t be dry and boring. You need to sell yourself as much as your book. What makes you qualified to write your book? How long did it take you to write? Was there something exciting or different about you/your life before, during or after writing? What does the journalist need to know about you more than anything else? 120 words max.

In the final 100 words you should write comments from other people (no one related to you and not your editor ideally) who have read your book. Who do you know who is the most authoritative voice from your contacts list – ask them for a favour? Do you know someone who is already in the publishing world – it could be another author (though many are not big fans of being asked to write a review for another author in truth!) or a publisher or an agent. Either way now is the time to call in a favour and get some fab soundbite comments about your book that will provide credibility and attract the attention of the journalist.

In the footer

For more information interview requests or review copies please get in touch with xx by email and telephone xxxx

For this footer you might consider having white on a dark background.

You can tinker with the layout. However, this one works rather well.

See and example here.