On Author Events (again)

We don’t have too many author signings at my store. We have some. They’re generally on Saturday afternoons and the store manager makes announcements so customers know who the author is and what they’re promoting. We had one last Saturday and it got me thinking.

The author was a local author who was more of a big deal than we’d hosted in recent months. So her books were available to purchase from the store instead of from her. And she had a reading.

But her event got me thinking about what the store could do for me. Some co workers of mine have told me I should do one there, but I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure the fact that I work there would help me sell more books, but still. It isn’t only about selling as many books as I can. It’d be weird promoting a book I wrote almost three years ago, a book that isn’t as good as it could be.

But on the other hand, it would be nice to somewhat get back into the swing of things as a writer.

I need to write something new. Maybe then I’d be more comfortable doing an event? I don’t know.

What would you do?


 

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On Missed Author Events

I imagine many of you have been to an author event of some kind. I know y’all have because I’ve written about them on here. Well there’s only one store authors really come to in Houston. And I have attended multiple events there before.

Well I just randomly checked the list for the first time in months, and one of my favorite authors had an event last month. And when I say he’s one of my favorites this is what I mean. When I’m asked about my favorite authors I say three names. Robert. B. Parker. Michael Connelly. Robert Crais. That’s it. No one else gets into that sentence.

It turns out that Robert Crais was here. *sad face* Even if I couldn’t make the event I could have gotten my books signed. Costs nothing but the price of the new book. Ugh.

Has an author ever visited your hometown without you knowing it and then you found out fairly soon afterward?

Knowing Your Audience

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Photo Credit: Images USA

How well do you know the target audience for your book(s)? I’m of course not meaning how well do you know individual readers of your work, I’m talking about the demographic that reads books similar to yours over and over again. I’d like to think I know mine fairly well. And honestly, I’m sitting here trying to remember if I’ve written about this before now and I have no idea. So if you’re reading this thinking that you’ve read it before, well you’re not in the Twilight Zone. Or maybe we both are? Yikes.

Let me tell you what some very keen observations have told me about my target audience. Have you ever been to an author signing? Well they’re pretty cool if you’re not among hundreds of people. I’ve been to a few. Both crime writers. Both NYT bestsellers as of today. I met Steve Hamilton and T. Jefferson Parker. I have all but just a couple of their books. But I’m not here to talk about the events or what those two were like, I want to tell you about what I saw there.

This is very unscientific, but you use what you can, right? I would say both events were attended by maybe 50 people. It’s hard to say because the store changed its layout sometime in the months between these two events. Anyway, what I saw was approximately 90% White women. Who were aged 50+. And based on nothing at all, who I thought were college educated. I could probably come up with some other characteristics, but that’s all I focus on.

And I’m thinking that this type of person is a big reader of crime novels across the country. I don’t work in a bookstore or anything like that, but I do read other blogs and I have occasionally had someone buy books from me at work. And they fit the demographic I’ve described exactly.

Now that I claim to know my target audience, now what? Well, the only way I can think that knowing this has influenced my writing is the fact that Andrew Banks is obviously white. But other than that, the whole “write for your audience” thing people say is stupid to me. I write whatever I feel like.

Two things: Do you know your target audience? And how does this affect your writing?