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Book Signing/Reading -- Looking for Advice

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posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 09:46 AM
As some of you may (or may not) know, I've fairly recently self-published a novel I wrote a couple of years ago. (The "why" and "how" of that is a topic for another time; I don't mind discussing it if anyone's interested, but it's not really relevant here.) Recently, I've decided to try and give marketing it another shot.

My father owns a local bar here in El Paso, TX, and I was thinking about trying my hand at doing a book signing/reading there. I figure the atmosphere would be good -- nice and laid back -- and I'd probably have a good chance of having a lot of friends there, as well as new-comers I've never met before. This is my first-ever attempt at a public appearance; the idea of having a mug of beer within reach is definitely a plus as well.

I think I can pull it off; it won't be a blow-out, but I imagine there'd be a respectable turn out. It'd be good for his business as well -- maybe get a couple new faces in the mix who've never heard of the place before.

The dilemma stems from something my wife mentioned when I discussed it with her. She said that a library or bookstore would be more "professional", and that if I'm serious about being a "professional' writer, I should try and give that image instead of that of a bar-fly (my words, not hers, but same idea). I have two main problems with her suggestion.

1) My book isn't in any libraries or bookstores yet; I haven't pushed it very hard recently in those markets, and when I had more time and energy to devote to it, I was spending said resources trying to get an agent and/or publisher.

2) As I said, I'm not much on public speaking. The bar is "home territory", and I think it'd be great as a baby-step -- if I can't read a couple chapters of my book in the same place I've passed out on one occasion and sung karaoke on multiple others, where am I going to feel comfortable reading it at?

Anyways, any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I know I don't have an exact question, but what she said is kinda nagging at me, and I don't really know how to take it. Would the bar be a reasonable place for this? I know no one here knows what the crowd is like there or what my book is like, and both of those would help, but just advice in general would be appreciated.

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 04:46 PM
I would think it depends on the subject of the book itself. (If it is a book on physics and calculus, maybe a bar isn't the right place to market it.) Otherwise I see nothing wrong with starting out where you are comfortable and taking it from there. Congratulations on the book and best of luck to you.

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 06:00 PM
Heh, definitely not physics or calculus
It's kind of a romance, but not terribly "sappy" (not in my mind, at least). I've had a hard time figuring out exactly what it is -- one of the reasons I've had a hard time finding an agent or a publisher. It's fairly laid back, and that might fit in with a bar crowd.

posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 11:22 AM
Years ago, I attended a book signing hosted by the old Change of Hobbit bookstore in Los Angeles. It was for the SF author Larry Niven. I remember I had to stand in 2 lines: The first line was to pay for the book, the next line was to have Larry Niven write a dedication (if I wanted) and sign his name.

Location: Start with your comfort zone, the bar, and see how that goes. Then expand it to coffee shops, maybe. The non-franchise, locally owned small businesses will probably be more open to your request.

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