I had an amazing book signing this weekend during a vacation in Bethany Beach, Delaware. We usually do an annual visit to the area, and this year, it occurred to me to check in with the beautiful local bookstore situated near the boardwalk. About six weeks before the trip, I checked the store's website for contact info, and I found an extremely helpful page for requesting events. I received a positive response to my inquiry, and we set up a time for a signing.
In this crowded marketplace, most authors need to be an active participant in their own promotion. But again, this bookstore's website made it fairly easy--I found a sample press release and a link to a page with contact information for all local news resources. Fantastic! I was able to send out about twelve press releases in less than ten minutes. A number of radio stations and local publications advertised my upcoming event, in addition to the bookstore's website and social media accounts. Of course, I hit my own as well, announcing the signing on twitter and Facebook and requesting shares and RTs within the fabulously supportive network of authors at The Wild Rose Press.
As a result, I actually had people waiting for me when I arrived, which was thrilling. Equally thrilling was the beautiful display I'd seen the day before--a row of my books, complete with "Meet the Author" signage, in the front window...on the same shelf as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, Robert Galbraith's (J.K. Rowling) Cuckoo's Calling, and The Black Country and The Yard by Alex Grecian. I was so excited to see Gull Harbor and Silver Lake on such an impressive shelf!
There were also a few well-placed signs on the sidewalk, and I did my best to chat with people walking by. After all, it was an early summer weekend at the beach, and my books are perfect beach reads! Both are set during the summer months near the water, with a spooky haunting, a suspenseful mystery, and a steamy romance.
I really enjoyed the signing, and I was so glad I took time away from my vacation to "work". I do try to think outside the box when it comes to promotion, and this event came together beautifully. From now on, if travel time will allow, I'll continue to reach out to bookstores located along my travel destinations...you never know how putting yourself out there might pay off!