Sunday, April 20, 2014

Book signings...

I had planned to write a blog every week or so, but life got in the way...

Yesterday I had a book signing in the small town of Bisbee, an event I set up with Joan, the owner, several weeks ago. I sat outside a store called Atatlanta's Music and Books that carries a little bit of everything! Unfortunately for the local residents, Joan plans to close the store by early fall. From what she told me her long stint in retail is coming to a close due to not enough business and burnout. People are now shopping at the big box stores over in the next town, a fact that is affecting local small business across the country.

In any case I did absolutely nothing to prepare for this event, not even posting on FB or putting a sign in the store window. I went in cold turkey, my only hope being that the holiday weekend would bring more foot traffic.

Just after I set up a rickety table and two chairs, a thunderstorm came through. Hail hit the streets scattering pedestrians who hurried to stand in doorways or take the opportune moment to head to a restaurant. Luckily I was under an overhang, on a tiled entryway in which the name J.C. Penney had been emblazoned. The town was booming back when the mine was going. After the hail came a few showers, and then sun. People began to walk up and down the streets again, many of them heading inside Atatlantis.

Several people came by to say hello, my first sale to an unlikely youngish man. After that I found myself making more eye contact and chatting with those who seemed so inclined. When three older women came by I said hello to one of them. She lingered for a moment, caught by the cover of Gypsy's Quest. We talked for a moment or two about the books and then she bought Gypsy's Quest, saying that it spoke to her. Encouraged, I began asking people if they needed a book to read--this was an out-of- character gregarious behavior that may have been due to the amount of ozone in the air. It was another half hour or so before another woman stopped by to ask about the books. I told her she didn't have to buy all three,  the backstory was woven into the last book of the trilogy, The Wolf Moon. Despite this she bought all three!

I learned several things from sitting there:
1. It's fun
2. I like people
3. Three hours goes by quickly
4. You never know who may be interested in your books
5. Being pessimistic about what may happen has no effect on what actually does happen

On the way home I thought of three more things I need to do to help with marketing:
1. Have an e-mail list going (I wish I had done this yesterday)
2. Make a large poster-size display of at least one of the books to draw people from afar.
3. Have a couple of simple quips ready to write inside the books-'Hope you enjoy' or 'Thank you' gets boring after a while. (also practice writing my name occasionally so I don't leave off or add an extra l at the end of Broadwell)

The biggest positive change to come from this is that I'm no longer afraid of these events and actually look forward to the next one!



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Apres...

Latest marketing strategy:

1. Collect money owed from bookstores and metaphysical stores.
2. Make sure all places have the newest book and more than one copy of all the others.
3. Set up book signings when possible.
4. Contact book stores where I have my books in Portland for my upcoming trip.
5. Decide how heavy I want my suitcase to be. (how many books do I pack?)
6. Place flyers in windows or cork boards of local bookstores.

I've backed off a bit in my online marketing since we've had two sets of company in the last few weeks. When not entertaining I've been working on my next book in the Gypsy series that deals with The Tower Tarot card, (Rider-Waite edition) and another story that takes place in the desert southwest. As I've said before, the best marketing tool is to have as many books in the marketplace as one can!

Anyone looking to get their story made into a TV series or movie, check this out: Nat Mundel
I haven't spoken or read any reports from anyone who has engaged in this process, but to me it looks interesting since I've been thinking about this for several years. The presentation featured in  this link is somewhat repetitive, but I suggest listening all the way to the end since there is a lot of valuable info. to be had.


To the left is a teaser for my newest book:
(acknowledgements to Coyote Kiva)

Can you guess what it's about?

Thanks for reading!! and comments are ALWAYS appreciated!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book festival results...

Before I get into my ramblings about it all, I will tell you that I sold 6 books. (Thank you friends!) For $35 it was worth sharing a space with nine other authors for two hours! Several people stopped by and picked up my card so that they could buy kindle versions.

Disclaimer: One of the problems I faced was a master seller right next to me. She had more than eight published books and almost leaned out to grab people by their lapels, reeling them in like fish... "What do you like to read?" I can hear her voice in my ears as I write this. She was on my left, the direction most people were coming from, so that by the time they reached me they had either bought one of her books or just wanted to get the hell away from us. I thought her strategy inspiring, but I couldn't exactly call out the same question now could I? The other thing I noticed was that two thirds of the people who came by answered 'mystery' as their main genre. I could call mine paranormal mysteries, I suppose.

Another problem is what I refer to as 'the talking non-buyer', a person who comes by just to chat, basically keeping possible buyers away. Nothing to do about this without being massively rude.

Several authors in my pavilion brought huge posters along to place next to their books, a cover from one of their books that could be seen from 100 feet away. Great idea that I will implement next year.

What I brought away from it all: next year I will try and schedule my two hours on Saturday when the most people are wandering through. Apparently 100,000 people were expected and next year it should be even bigger. I will attempt to be more engaging with passers-by...maybe ask them what they like to read? (ha) or possibly some other quip unique to my genre--have to think on that. Poster. I also hope to have two more books out by next year-- the sequel to Gypsy's Quest and another paranormal story that takes place in the Tucson desert. The more books I have, the better the chances. Right now I guess I should get back to writing--have a lot to accomplish in the upcoming months!

Any of you authors go to book Festivals? what has been your experience?

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Book festival in Tucson!

I had planned to go to several talks at the Tucson Book Festival, but when we decided to have our living room floors tiled this week, everything changed. We had invited friends over for Sunday night, after the festival closed and my book signing was over, and with the amount of work I needed to do to get the house back in order, I knew there was no way! And so I worked like a crazy person today, enjoying every minute of it as I redid the living room. I decided to leave the floor open, no rugs to mar the beautiful dusky orange tiles with the 2x2 decorative tiles placed strategically.

I have to admit that I have little interest in most of the talks. I seem to be getting more and more hermit-like as I age. It doesn't interest me to hear another writer's process, or even how they got their book published. There are a couple of authors I really like attending the festival, who I would have been interested to hear, but...did I mention the parking and general chaos?

I realized today that choosing 2 to 4 on Sunday as my times was probably not the best decision. I'm really not sure why I did--perhaps the earlier times were taken? By that time people are probably wrapping it up, exhausted from everything they've seen  and heard. Maybe my choice was about excusing myself if I didn't sell well, for how could I expect someone to buy my books after an entire weekend of this? In any case it's too late to do anything about it. I WILL be at the festival from 2 to 4 tomorrow afternoon, and I will hope for the best.

More after the festival...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Giveaway on Goodreads starting Saturday March 1!!!




 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Gypsy's Quest by Nikki Broadwell
   

   

     


          Gypsy's Quest
     
     


          by Nikki Broadwell
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends March 10, 2014.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter to win


And if you're partial to e-books Gypsy's Quest is a Kindle countdown beginning on March 1st and going through the 5th!




Monday, February 24, 2014

what do I want?

Yesterday I spent an hour and a half at a small local bookstore to do a book signing. One person bought a book. I realized afterward that my attitude about these sorts of things has been very negative. Was I the cause of no one stopping by my little table to at least ask me about the books? I don't know.

In all honesty hardly anyone came into the bookstore while I was there. And the e-mailed newsletter sent to those few people I actually know in Tucson did not bear fruit. As usual the marketing piece of being an author elude's me. When I speak to friends and relatives they make sympathetic sounds when I mention my lack of sales. And I wonder what goes through their minds. I figure it's something like this:
How can she be so blase` about her lack of success? Deep down she must feel like such a failure. And why doesn't she find someone to help if she can't do it herself? I couldn't  keep writing if my books didn't sell better than that. I mean, what would be the point?

Writing is the point. And putting the books out in the marketplace. I did notice a certain nasty attitude coming from some part of me before I left for Mostly Books. You know that critical little voice that wants to keep you down? I figured that the voice was there to keep me from having any expectations. And on the way I said to my husband, "I wouldn't do well with success." How's that for a self-fulfilling prophecy? Unfortunately it's true. I would hate to be surrounded with people wanting me to sign their books, or asking all sorts of questions about my process and so on...one or two are fine, but a clamoring crowd? Not for this introvert. But then I think of Van Morrison and how for years he played his music with his back turned to the audience. Eventually he got over his shyness. So, you ask, what do you want?

I want to be successful in the sense that thousands of my books are purchased. E-book or paper, it doesn't matter. I want a fan base--people that love my books and discuss them online. I want some movie producer to notice what great movies they'd make and contact me to do a contract. I want a publisher to pick them up. In short I want my success to be an arm's length away.

I write because I love to write. I think my writing is good and that my stories are compelling. Because I have a somewhat quirky outlook on the world, they may not appeal to the general masses. They tend to have convoluted plots and several pov's and one or more moral dilemmas that raise issues important to me as a human being.

I am now questioning the power of positive thinking. Spiritually, what is the proper attitude? Do I imagine my books flying off the shelf? Do I let my expectations run wild? I think I try to avoid disappointment, hence the bad attitude. But how much can I expect? I'm going to be selling books at the Book Festival in the middle of March. My spiritual self would like to keep a neutral attitude of 'whatever happens is fine', and look at the whole thing as an exercise in meditation. But deep down I want people to enjoy my books. And I want to be recognized. The success I want does not come from monetary gain--although that would definitely be a plus.  I do want success--just on my own terms.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Paradox



I'm 130 pages into Gypsy's Return and having one hell of a time. For one thing I'm out of my depth. I am not a sci-fi writer and yet I'm tackling a time-travel tale that encompasses all sorts of social and political themes. For instance, how do events in the past effect the future? Does anyone know the answer to this? The possibilities are endless. I was at first trying to follow a logical trajectory but have since decided that the law of unintended consequences is a better way to go. That way I don't have to explain why effecting a change for the better in genetic engineering policies led to a repressive and intolerant future. (what?)

And every day I find more fodder for my book. This is the first time I can look at what's going on in the world without being overly upset. The themes of global warming, poverty, frakking, mining disasters, over-population, depletion of natural resources, including water, are all perfect for my book. My heroine is attempting to make things better for future generations but what she doesn't realize is that serendipity can skew things wildly one way or the other. There is no straight line to anything.

The other paradox of all this is that the people in the future either have or don't have a memory of the world that was destroyed by past events...As the writer, I ask myself, what gives some the ability to recall a past that no longer exists? And what is it that keeps some from remembering? Or maybe, if I was writing logically, no one should remember. But if no one remembers how do I have interaction between my heroine and those she once knew in the future? aargh...


If anyone has a comment/answer to any of these questions I would be thrilled to hear it! And thanks for reading...