Friday, July 20, 2007

More on Drop-Ins

So, I've started again.

After about seven months off (aside from a few isolated instances) I've once again climbed into the RustyMobile to drop in bookstores and sign stock/schmooze booksellers.

There are those who question the cost effectiveness of doing drop-ins, both in terms of time and money.

Those people are wrong.

I went to seven bookstores yesterday, all of which I'd visited last year, and had the same basic experience at all of them.

1. No store had less than 15 of my books. Some had more than 30. Even though none of them expected me to show up, or knew I was coming.

2. The booksellers knew who I was, even if they hadn't met me. I always wondered about this. When I visit a store, I only meet a small portion of the people working there. But booksellers tell other booksellers that an author dropped in, so I shook hands with folks who I'd never met before who knew I visited last year, and knew about my books.

3. The free books my publisher sent them were received and appreciated. As far as promotions go, nothing beats a free books.

4. Many stores ordered more books before I left. In a few cases, they were out of one of my early titles, but my visit prompted them to order more. I also found out that I was on the "automatic re-order" list for several of the stores.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be visiting stores in most of Northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, and parts of Indiana. I've got about 150 lined up.

In the meantime, if you're looking for signed JA Konrath books and you can't make my Chuck E. Cheese Book Luanch Party on July 26, visit one of these fine establishements:

Poisoned Pen, Phoenix AZ

Borders, Schaumburg IL

Barnes & Noble, Schaumburg IL

Waldenbooks, Bloomingdale IL

Brain Snacks, Downer's Grove IL

Barnes & Noble, Bloomingdale IL

Borders, Wheaton IL

Barnes & Noble, Wheaton IL

Borders, St. Charles IL

Barnes & Noble, Geneva IL

Borders, Geneva IL

Now, back to the road...


JD Rhoades said...

Who was that masked man...

Jackie said...

Hope the trip is fruitful, Joe. How long do you plan on taking to visit the 150 stores?

Aimlesswriter said...

Let me know when you come to New Jersey...

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hey, Joe
I was in Manhattan this week--I had one crazy cool week--but I went into the big Borders at Madison Square Garden. There were 9 of your books in stock and Rusty Nail was face out.

If you get bored during the road trip, call me. I have one AMAZING story to tell you.


PS: If you ever head to MD, you know you always have a place to crash.

JD Rhoades said...

Let me add my own endorsement of the drop in technique: I did seven yesterday in the Triangle area of North Carolina, about an hour from where I live. They all had my book, but by the time I left, they'd moved from being spine out in the mystery section to being out on the displays for better visibility.

Joe, look me up when you get down here.I've prepared the booksellers for your arrival: "So,have you met Joe Konrath? Don't worry. You will. He's out there...and when you least expect it, he will appear...and your life will never be the same."

Mark Terry said...

In my experience, drop-ins (I call them drive-bys) are the best marketing effort for your time and money. The books get signed. They get better placement. You make an impression on booksellers, the majority of whom are happy to have you sign (and then leave; they're not obligated to host a formal book signing). The books sell better because they have AUTOGRAPHED stickers, they have better placement, either in the "local author" or "signed copies" or whatever category and for the sake of the author, you can hit half a dozen bookstores locally in half a day or so.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Joe,

Have a wonderful launch. I'll be there in spirit. My grand-kids are going to be sooooooooo annoyed that I didn't drive them half way across the country to a Chuck E. Cheese party. They could do the rides. I could get a signed copy of Dirty Martini and we would all be happy--except for the multi-state ride with five children under the age of five. Ah, maybe I'll try it when some of them are old enough to drive!


Anonymous said...

Hope you will wander down to Western Kentucky (Paducah in particular) sometime. We have a Books a Million and a Borders Express in Paducah.

Moondancer said...

Okay I understand if you know a bookstore has your books how this would work, but what about new authors that are trying to get thier work noticed by the booksellers? Can drop ins still work for them? If so, do they bring books with them? Or does it work better for newer authors to do sceduled signings.