I try to remain positive in my blogs. No one wants negativity; there's enough of that in the world. So I keep my blogs positive and optimistic. However, I'm going to change that policy with this blog. I need to vent.
I'm an author. My job is to write and then sell my books. One possibility for this is a book signing at a bookstore. Here in Ontario, Chapters is the major chain hosting signing events. It's very easy to book a signing: just call the store and ask to speak to the person who organizes the events. Never had a problem talking with that person and, after a detailed email about me and my books, I scheduled a date.
Most stores place a table for you in the front of the store by the front doors. I thought this was a great spot, but I have learned the ropes. When people walk in a store, they don't want to be accosted especially by someone selling something. But, when you are sitting there, you have no choice but to say hello and invite them to look at your books.
Most people say, "No, not interested." I don't mind them not being interested but I wish they were more polite. At one store, people were just rude. I'm sorry to bother you but this is my job. Being rude is totally unnecessary. You can say no but be polite about it. At the end of the day, I feel terrible and beaten down. If it weren't for Miriam, who drives me to all my signings, I'd be upset. She is a gentle soul who knows just what to say.
At the Guelph store, the manager put the table back into the store on a main walk-way. People were more relaxed because they were already shopping and would stop by my table to hear about my books. I sold quite a few at that store and the people were really nice; even the ones who said no but they said it with a smile on their face.
Today's signing was a disaster. There were more staff in the store than customers. Everyone I tried to interest in my books said, "I don't read," "I have no time to read," "I'm not much of a reader." Well then (sorry) but what the fuck you doing in a bookstore? Sorry but seriously? I only stayed at this store an hour as there were no sales and I couldn't be bothered to waste my time further. This is the first time I've left a signing early. Usually I stay from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
I do signings because it's the best way to get your work out there and I will continue to do signings. Each year, I have a new book to add to the collection and I want to promote it. Even though I find them so difficult, I must persist. You never know who will buy your book and maybe it could lead to something. Also, I sell more books at the stores than I would sitting at home. I just wish people were nicer.
In my next blog, I'll give you an insight into my new novel, The Discerning Heart. I don't know the genre yet. My editor will help with that. I call it adventure.
From my signing in Guelph: