A lot of you have asked me when am I coming to their town for a book signing. Bad news, there’s no formal book tour. Why? Because one of the disadvantages of going with a small, independent press is that they don’t have the publicity machine that a Random House or a McGraw hill possesses. Nor do I have an agent who would set this up.
The good news is first, the smaller, independent presses are willing to take risks in new novelists. Second, I make more money per book.
There is a silver lining hidden here that many may or may not know about. One of the things I learned early on when trying to find an agent who would invest time in helping me find a publisher BIG MOTHER 40 is that they are looking for “proven” authors. By this they mean someone who is experienced and been through the mill AND whose books have sold. I’ll write more about what these “gates” are in another blog when I know how well BIG MOTHER 40 is doing in the market place. The first real check will be sometime late in February after some of the reviews have come out. As the COO of Fireship keeps telling me, it is a marathon, not a sprint.
You as a reader can help in this process. Those of you who have bought BIG MOTHER 40 on Amazon OR Barnes & Noble can add a review. The more reviews, particularly of the four and five star variety, the more aggressively Amazon lists it on its web site and the more people who are likely to buy it.
So back to the question of a book tour. I don’t have the time, energy, money, experience or most important, the contacts necessary to set one up. So, what am I doing? Actually, it is pretty simple. I started with a list of all the aviation museums in the U.S. and winnowed it down to about twenty-five that based on what I think is a logical set of criteria, may or may not be interested in allowing me sign and sell books at one of their special events. Then I pick up the phone and call. That’s how the Veteran’s Day book signing at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo came about.
What I have found out is that is that this is a good time of the year for me to call aviation museums around the county and see what kind of events I can appear at to sign books. Like everything else, it is a process that involves reaching out to someone at the museum and asking if they’ll let me sign books at their event. I don’t have a brand name like Tom Clancy (yet!) so it takes some selling. I’m hoping to be able to announce a few book signings in early December.
I don’t have the brand name to have a draw of my own, so this will take some time.. I look at it this way. Each step I take, each book that gets sold, is another step in the right direction. Time will tell. People I have talked to in this business say I have to be patient, but it is hard because I want to get more of my books out in the marketplace. Those who have read BIG MOTHER 40 have told me they can’t wait to read the next one. Well, I would like to be able to make that happen, but it takes time. So, every day, I take a patience pill!