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!