Tag Archive for: Maya Corrigan

W. C. Fields Was Right

by Shari Randall

Last weekend, I attended my first writers’ festival – the Local
Authors Fair at the New London (CT) Public Library. To clarify, I attended for
the first time as an author. I met lots of great folks, fellow authors, and
dedicated librarians. And I learned the secret to sales at writers’ events:
Adorable dogs and cookies.
It’s been a month of firsts – my first novel, my first book
signing, my first blog interviews. In each, I’ve had fun, but I know I’ve made
rookie mistakes. For example, at the authors’ festival appearance I showed up
with books. Just books. No cookies. No candy. No dog.
Bottom line? I sold two books. The author with the adorable
dog? She had a constant line of buyers!
Don’t let this happen to you.
If you haven’t written an uplifting story of a dog that
beats the odds, or don’t have an adorable dog to accompany you to events, here
are some out of the box ideas for selling books at signings and fairs from my
favorite writers, the Sisters in Crime of the Chesapeake Chapter.
Sherry Harris swears by a basket of chocolates to “lure
people in. Even though that sounds creepy.”
Barb Goffman suggested that authors offer to take off an
article of clothing for every book sold.
Maya Corrigan warned that this might work best only during
the warmer months. Libby Klein disagreed, saying that this strategy might work
better if the author offered to put on an article of clothing for every book
Donna Andrews suggested that you have stuffed animals do the
talking. During one Barnes and Noble group book signing, where customers either avoided
making eye contact or asked the authors where to find the bathroom, Donna liberated some stuffed reptiles from the
children’s department and used them to entice, er sorry, entisssse, customers
to visit the authorssss. The result? The rest of the signing was a resounding
Other advice? Grace Topping said don’t sit down – remaining
standing is more welcoming.
Alan Orloff said something about offering to wrestle an alligator, but
then, that’s Alan Orloff.

Do you have any advice for author events?

Shari Randall is the author of CURSES, BOILED AGAIN, the
first of the new Lobster Shack Mystery series from St. Martin’s Press. At her
next signing, she’ll be the one standing at the signing table with a basket of
chocolates, fully clothed, thank you very much.