When it is worthwhile to host an author event with a first-time or self-published author? When you do it in bulk!
Last March, two PNBA-member bookstores bravely participated in a last-minute experiment sponsored by Book Publishers Northwest (BPNW). With very little notice, Third Place Books and the Edmonds Bookshop agreed to host a group author event with writers from small local publishers and self-publishers to celebrate Small Press Month.
David Ash of Basho Press, the BPNW organizer, was hoping that at least four authors would step forward for the events. Fourteen signed up for both days! They got cozy, shared three to a table, and had a marvelous time selling their books. Several said it was the best book signing they had ever done, and many said it was the most fun.
The fun seemed to have spread to the cash register too. With that many authors spreading the word of their signings, customer traffic was up for a March Saturday at both stores. Authors were even buying each other’s books, because building a relationship is the foundation of bookselling.
BPNW is starting to plan similar events for Small Press Month in March 2011. They’re looking for venues within and beyond the Puget Sound region; authors can carpool and room share. They can’t promise 14 authors, or you may not want that many. But if you are interested in hosting an event, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact David Ash with questions at BashoPress@aol.com.
BPNW would prefer to produce these books at PNBA member stores. After all, being small and independent is something we have in common. We’re all in this together!