Sunday, July 24, 2005

Day #8

No scheduled signings today, only drive-bys:

B. Dalton in 1 Embarcadero Center signed 2 hardcovers, 2 paperbacks, sold 2.

Borders on Winston signed 4 hardcovers, 6 paperbacks.

Waldenbooks in 4 Embaracdero Center, signed 3 hardcovers, 6 paperbacks. (They were closed, due to flooding, but let me in to sign. Hundreds of books were ruined by water damage, but mine were okay. Perhaps they should have a liquidation sale...)

Waldenbooks on Portal, signed 2 hardcovers, 5 paperbacks.

Stacey's on Market, signed 2 hardcovers, 2 paperbacks.

Cody's on Stockton--dropped by, but they weren't open.

Books Inc on Market, signed 1 paperback.

Barnes & Noble in Berkley, signed 4 hardcovers, 4 paperbacks.

Cody's on Telegraph, signed 2 hardcoversd, 4 paperbacks.

Moe's in Berkley, signed 4 paperbacks.

Cody's on 4th, signed 2 hardcovers, 2 paperbacks, sold 1.

Borders on Shellmound, signed 3 hardcovers, five paperbacks, sold 1.

Waldenbooks on 14th street---closed ten minutes before I got there, dammit.

Barnes & Noble on Bay, signed 4 hardcvoers, 6 paperbacks, sold 1.

Barnes & Noble on Boradway, signed 4 hardcovers, 6 paperbacks.

I also dropped by the 10th Annual Books by the Bay Festival and met authors Leslie Glass and Rhys Bowen--both very classy ladies (you must buy their books). I also met Dylan Schaffer, who beat me out for the Gumshoe Award and is also up against me for the Macavity. Great guy (and a great writer, buy his books). I wouldn't have found him if it wasn't for the savvy Susan Tunis (thanks, Susan!)

I spent a few minutes at the M is for Mystery booth and handsold 3 hardcovers and 3 paperbacks, and then I schmoozed other indie booksellers, including folks from Cody's, Stacey's, and the Alexander Book Company.

TOUR STATS: To date, I've signed roughly 740 books at 83 bookstores, and passed out 550 signed Whiskey Sour coasters to booksellers, fans, and customers. Each person who gets a coaster gets to hear my pitch.

Lee Goldberg asked if this is worth it, to which I whole-heartedly respond: I don't know.

I do know I've met some great people who will continue to sell my books after I've left. I know I've spread a lot of good will, got the word out there, and will be remembered. I know that it beats sitting at home and hoping my books sell on their own.

But is the result with the time, effort, and money put in?

Time will tell...

FUN FACT ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO: The hit song by the Village People, San Fransisco, was about San Francisco.

4 comments:

Jim Winter said...

Joe, I've been following the kamikaze book tour with great interest.

An alternative you might want to consider on the next book is to hire an additional publicist who can set up media interviews in the cities SMP sends you to. I have one (Small press. I have to.) and she's been great.

What you can do is give the publicist your intinerary and ask her to find out where she can get media contacts (or even additional signings) in the areas you're visiting.

The beauty of it is you don't really have to be bound by your book itinerary. If someone in the Midwest wants to interview you while you're in Colorado, you make the call, do your spiel, and set off to the signing.

I recommend this approach as getting your voice out there on the radio or in print will draw people to the events SMP schedules.

I use the same firm Victor Gischler and Charlie Stella use. They work on commission, so if you're on a budget, they can work around that.

Had I understood the vagueries of small press and the shaft distributors usually give them, I'd have hired her sooner.

As it is, I've seen a definite impact on sales.

Something to add to the arsenal.

Steven said...

I like Jim's idea. Would love the publicist's contact info;).

I would also love to know how you can tell whether this tour will have any impact. I mean, do you have any possible gauge for this? Of course, I can't imagine that it could hurt (unless people just don't like you). Now that you're winding down the tour, are there any ideas about how you'd measure success next time?

Also, when you say you're handselling books, how does that work? Are you going up to shoppers or are they coming to you?

David J. Montgomery said...

I'm a little dubious about the use of outside publicists. They certainly aren't going to hurt (well, assuming they're not incompetent), but I think in most cases they're not going to be able to do much that you and your publisher couldn't do yourselves.

Granted, if you don't want to do it, and your publisher won't do it, hiring an outside publicist might be your only choice.

FYI, a lot of folks in the mystery world use Breakthrough Promotions:

http://www.breakthroughpromotions.com

Shalanna Collins said...

I envy you getting to tour the San Francisco/Bay Area. Ooh! I haven't been there for almost ten years. Don't miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other sights to see along the peninsula, if you can carve out the time. I would live in Pacific Grove if I possibly could. All I can do now is watch the footage of Big Sur and Carmel on my DVDs of "Play Misty for Me" and "The Sandpiper." *sigh* I'll bet there are some webcams, too.

Now, though, you have done research for setting future novels in the cities you've schmoozed in. Really cool.