Creating the Power of Buzz: Part 2. Bookseller Initiatives

June 2004
by Lissa Warren

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One of the two main ways to create buzz for a book is by reaching out to booksellers in the hope that they’ll hand-sell to their customers. (See the May PMA Newsletter for the other main way–reaching out directly to potential readers.) Here’s a quick guide to the best approaches.

Drop-by Signings

Drop-bys are visits that authors pay to bookstores to sign stock of their books. These are not formal signings–no one queues up to get a personalized copy. Instead, the author simply autographs the books on hand. These visits tend to work best with independent bookstores and when authors call first so that the store can stock up.

It’s good to do drop-bys for three reasons:

They give the author a chance to meet and greet the people who can hand-sell a book, mention it in their store newsletter or on their store’s site, and make it a “staff pick” (which can get it some extra-good shelf space).A book signed is a usually a book sold, because bookstores don’t generally return autographed copies.Stores will often sticker signed copies (which calls attention to them) and create displays or special signs for them. It’s a great way to get a book off the shelf and onto a front table.

A word of caution: if an author drops by without calling first and, lo and behold, the store doesn’t have the book, it’s wise to offer to swing by another day instead of throwing a fit. Maybe the store had copies bu…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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