Thursday, July 17, 2008

Author Events at Borders

I received some potentially good news about setting up author book signing events at Borders today.

In the past when setting up author book signing tours (mainly Gary Moore’s
Playing with the Enemy tour) I have always preferred working with Barnes and Noble over Borders. Most Barnes and Noble stores have a Community Relations Manager (a CRM) who works in the store. I would work with this person directly to set up and publicize an event. Borders operated differently. I would have to first contact a store to find out who their District Area Marketing Manager was. This person would be in charge of events for a region. The region varied in size, anywhere from a county to multiple states. (No joke.) I would then contact this person who would approve the event, then pass the details onto the store where the event would take place. I wouldn’t work with people at the event site until just right before the event, if at all. Although we have had a few great Borders events (Folsom, CA!), many have been lackluster in attendance. I think the different chain of command influenced this.

I haven’t set up a large tour for an author for quite some time. Now I am working on one for
Once a Marine author Nick Popaditch. I reluctantly called my first Borders today because the store was recommended to me. I was pleased to find out that all store events are handled by the sales manager in each particular store. DAMMs still exit, but more in an over-seeing role, according to the Borders sales manager I spoke to. I am sending her a galley of Once a Marine today and she was very interested in setting up an October event. This seems like a much more efficient way to set up an event, and I hope it will pay off in increased event attendance!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Author Interview on Marketing History Books

Savas Beatie author Eric Wittenberg (The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, Plenty of Blame to Go Around, and One Continuous Fight) was recently interviewed on a subject we frequently discuss—marketing history books—from an author’s perspective. Read the interview here. It contains some great information and answers some common questions about what authors can and should do to help promote their books (websites, blogs, talks, etc.).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Use Bookmarks to Increase Amazon Reviews

Casemate recently published a book titled Day of the Panzer: A Story of American Heroism and Sacrifice in Southern France by Jeff Danby.

Along with each copy of the book sent out as a review copy, given away by the author, or signed by the author at a book signing event, they include a business card and a bookmark. The business card includes a thumbnail of the book cover (where you typically see a business logo, on the left hand side), some brief specs on the book, and Casemate’s contact info. The bookmark includes the book cover image and the following message:

“If you enjoy this book, please consider writing a review at the following websites:”

Following are website urls for Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and brief instructions on how to pull up the book’s page on each site and review it.

I know the bookmark idea is a common one, but asking the reader to write a review of the book on the bookmark is something I hadn’t seen before. What a great idea, and a call-to-action way to increase the number of reviews for your book on websites such as Amazon! Authors, think about designing and printing something similar for your book.

Have a great 4th of July.