Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do signings sell books?

By C.Z Szarek (Guest Blogger)

Most authors are pretty introverted. I mean, think about it: We sit behind a computer screen and type words. Form sentences, then paragraphs, which slowly work themselves into blocks of text, pages, chapters and a STORY! 
We’re up in our own heads (for the most part) creating a kick a$$ story (we hope anyway).

So it almost makes sense that most authors aren’t around people—other than the occasional family member—all that much.

For these introverted authors, the idea of a book signing, a live, actual signing, can be terrifying. Daunting. Even petrifying.

I’m an extrovert, so they excite me more than anything else. 
I will talk to anyone (hubs gets irritated with me because I often have no “don’t talk to strangers” button—or on switch) but I very MUCH enjoy talking to people, ESPECIALLY readers.

So, book signings are a BLAST to me.

But…do they sell books?

Authors I’ve talked to feel differently pretty much across the board about signings. Some authors love them, and some dread them. Some of my author friends think so, and others feel they’re “a waste of time.”

Of course, things like location, and details such as, the number of authors signing, who the authors are (A-list, Mid-list, Indie, No-list) might make all the difference. Well, it likely does make all the difference. 
Readers today are a little different today than they were 30, even 20 years ago. There was a time when even I as a young reader didn’t think about or wonder about the author of the book all that much. I just wanted—and sought—a good story.

With the advances of technology—social media in particular—I find that I am more curious about the authors I like to read. 
They are more ACCESSIBLE. And THAT is awesome.

Now authors have Facebook pages where you can like and/or follow. Twitter where you can tweet LIVE, and often times, get a response! 
We have blogs, websites, emails. It’s all out there, in the public eye, where we encourage our readers to find us. Follow us, keep in contact with us!

Well, for those introverted authors, this is the easy way, because the computer is still there as a shield.

Book signings serve the same purpose, in a different way. CONTACT with readers. Face-to-face, live, in-person (in-your-face, if you will) CONTACT with people who actually read.

The huge events with a lot of headliners always draw people. So, I personally like to piggyback off the famous people (LOL. Because I am most-certainly not famous. But…it’s a yet, mark my words). 
Even if I don’t sell even one book, talking to people is key for me. I love to chat. It’s one of my super powers, so I exercise it in full force. I offer a free read if people sign up for my newsletter (Yes, I approve of bribery) and I smile, ask what people read, even chat about my dogs (basically my kids since I don’t have human ones).

Selling books is the goal, in theory, but contact with readers makes me feel that I accomplished something. 
And I always have fun.

I’ve done huge signings, mid-sized ones, and even one with only two other authors. 
Size doesn’t matter (*snicker* In some things—c’mon, I write romance, I had to.)
Contact with people—readers—matter.

Sharing something of myself as a person, and of course, sharing my awesome stories with someone who might not (probably doesn’t) know me. It’s what it’s all about. There’s no better promo than word-of-mouth.

If a reader thinks it’s cool meeting ME. That makes me have warm fuzzies.

Kinda what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Collision Control (Crossing Forces Book Four)

A one night stand can’t possibly mean forever…

Detective Jared Manning met his match at a bar. After a night of passion, she sneaks out of his bed without so much as a note. Problem is, now he can’t find her.

Kindergarten teacher, Melody Nash doesn’t do one night stands. Embarrassment gets the best of her and she lies about her name.

When they collide at her school, Mel resists his pull. She won’t risk her heart on the obvious playboy, even though she can’t stop thinking about the night in his arms.

Stress engulfs Jared’s personal and professional lives. His brother is at the center of the joint case he and his partner are working in cooperation with FBI.
He puts his job on the line when he fails to share his blood relation. 

Complications he doesn’t need, considering the FBI agent on the case is convinced his brother killed her fiancĂ©.

Balance is the name of the game. Can Jared save his brother and convince Mel they’re meant to be together?


Jared cleared his throat. “Can I sit next to you?”

Her head whipped back around. “Why?”

He rocked back on the heels of his shitkickers.


Charm. Focus on being charming.

I like to keep the company of a beautiful woman.” Jared smiled.

She frowned.

He stared. He couldn’t help it.

She frowned at a compliment?

Jared quirked an eyebrow and slid onto the chair next to hers, because she was never going to invite him to sit. And that made him want to join her even more. Intrigued the hell out of him. “What’s your name?”

Cocking her head to one side, she studied him. “Uh…Ren.”

Wren like the bird? Cool name.”

No.” Her cheeks reddened again and she looked away. “Umm…it’s…short for Renee.”

He watched her fidget before she’d meet his gaze again. His stomach churned at the thought of her being uneasy with him. He forced words out. “Can I call you Renee?”

Those eyes met his and he swallowed hard. Crystal blue, like a morning summer sky. Jared had never seen anything so beautiful in his life.

O-o-o-kay. I mean, sure.” More shifting, so he reached for her hand.

Touching her resulted in a zing of energy shooting up his arm. Their eyes locked. Her lips parted and his mouth went dry.

He wanted to kiss her.

No. Jared needed to kiss her.

Before he could even lean in, Renee gasped and moved away.

Which one of them put you up to this?” she demanded. The suspicion in her voice made him rear back.

He blinked.

Wanting to kiss a woman two seconds after meeting her was fast…even for him.

Get it together, seriously.

Excuse me?” His voice cracked.

She looked away. “Never mind.”

Jared studied her. She was nervous. No…uncomfortable. Why? “Renee.”

When she met his eyes, his heart skipped.

I want to have a nice evening. A drink. A dance. With you.”

She cleared her throat and Jared wanted to kiss it.

With. Me.” It wasn’t a question.

He nodded. “With you. Is that a problem?”

Renee’s pale blue gaze raked his face. “No. I guess not. My friends are always telling me I need to loosen up.”

Are they now?” He flashed his best charming grin. “Just so happens I’m pretty good at helping that along.”

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About the Author

Bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it's a good story, she'll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!

She's a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!

She's originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She's happily married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.

She works with kids when she's not writing.

Where to find C.A.:

Twitter: @caszarek

1 comment:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Chrissy,

Glad to have you back at Beyond Romance.

I've never done a signing (sigh), partly because I need to keep my real identity secret. It sounds like it would be fun, though. I love "talking" to my readers by email.

Good luck with Collision Control!

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