Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bookstores- Good, Bad, and in Need

As a writer, I love bookstores, especially the non-chain ones, which are accomplishing somewhat of a resurgence, as the big chains suffer and die off in the new world of book distribution.

An independent bookstore is not a money-making proposition-- there's not a lot of profit in books-- the owners do it because they love books.

It's such a tough business that if they are to survive, they must adapt. They must find ways to bring in customers, who can buy books online cheaper and easier. They must be the connection point between writers and bookbuyers. Author signings and events must be part of their plan.

An author signing can fill a bookstore with book-hungry customers. It costs the store nothing (or very little, when properly done), and gets them a great deal of publicity, so it's a win-win scenario.
And yet, there are some who don't do this well. They don't want the extra customers and sales for some reason... They'd rather go out of business than have writers in their stores selling books and talking to buyers.

Sad, but true. I had one who told me, "Come back for a signing when you're famous."
Yeah, sure-- you didn't want me before, you didn't help, but I should take the time and effort to help you anyway, after I've done the hard work? What planet are you living on? Planet-soon-to-be-closed, most likely.

And I heard of another outrage recently. there's a well-known bookstore in Concord, MA, that's been around for awhile. Apparently, they believe this gives them a license to rip off writers, who don't make a lot to begin with. A writer I know went in to see about getting his books in on consignment (which means no cost to the store, and they get a cut of everything that sells-- free money). But that wasn't enough for the greedy bastards. They want writers to pay $100 just for the privilege of having their books on the precious shelves, along with the other thousands.
Had I been there, I'd have asked the proprietor if they were on crack.

In what world do you get to shit on people like that? Who is so desperate they have to put up money just to get in to your bloody store?

Nah. I'd rather send people to Amazon, and laugh at your closing sale. Stores who don't help writers are the first to complain about having fewer customers, and about the evil online seller that has books for less.

See, the thing is, I love books more than I love bookstores. And if stores don't want to help writers sell books and meet customers, they're destined for the dustbin of history. Writers are your content providers, so it's a lousy business model to refuse to do business with them.

But hey, your call. I can send buyers to your store, or to your competition.
But stop whining about how you're making less money. It's because you don't know your business.


Two ways you can help the little guy. Give up a Starbucks latte or two and throw a few bucks to these worthy places who are crowdfunding their ventures.

Books and Boos, in Colchester, CT, run by Jason and Stacey Longo Harris. They bust their butt to help writers-- they have several signings a week, and they're a tiny store. They'd love to have more room for bigger events, but that takes money. So they've started a campaign to raise the funds to move to a larger space.

Another bookstore in Portland, Letterpress Books, would like to open, and needs some help raising the startup costs.

And a shoutout to the following small retailers who've been added to the list of where you can find my books for sale:

Second Hand Prose in Groton, MA, a new location for a little used bookstore.

Annie's Bookstop in Worcester, MA.

Mainely Murders in Kennebunk, ME.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Big Signing Weekend Report

Well, it was a busy and fruitful weekend, with not one, but two book signings.

The first one was at the Natick Farmer's Market.

And the one today was at the Books and Boos booth at the big fair in Middleton, CT. Great time with a great gang, and lots of book sales- sold 7 of my 9 print-available titles, and multiple copies of some!

Now that's a good day!

Pics are upon the website, so check out those links to see the fun we had.

Would write more, but am wicked tired...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Big Signing Weekend

Going to be busy this weekend.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and I'll be down at the Natick Farmer's Market with Joe Ross of Rosstrum Publishing, to see if folks want to buy books along with their cucumbers.

Then on Sunday, it's down to Connecticut with Vlad Vaslyn to join other writers at the Books and Boos booth at the Middletown Fair/Open Air Market.

Thankfully, it's supposed to be nice weather.

Will report on how it is to sign at these type of events rather than at libraries and bookstore.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Major League Time

Awesome news to report today-- been sworn to secrecy until now, per request.
Not easy when you're jumping for joy.

Coming up next month is Bouchercon-- the world’s leading convention for crime fiction readers and writers. The top pros in the industry go there-- all your favorite writers in the genre.
The big names, the ones spoken with hushed reverence. New York Times Best-Seller listers.
You know, those folk on Olympus...

Not only will I be hanging out with them-- I'll be on one of the Author Panels! 

It's like being a Double-A ball player being called up to the Majors. Show us what you got, kid.
And though I want to knock that sucker out of the park, I'll settle for a respectable double.

My panel moderator is Toni Kelner, for which I'm grateful-- I've met her at the Crime Bake conventions, and she's smart, funny, and has written a couple of popular mystery series, award-winning stories, and edited some terrific collections.

Joining us will be Amin Ahmad, Daniel Friedman, Michael Kardos, and Julie Pomeroy.
You can bet I'll be checking out their work.

We'll be talking about pacing in crime fiction, and the panel is scheduled for Friday at 12:30-1:25PM.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Big Signing Pics

Well, the members of the New England Horror Writers who showed up to read at Annie's Bookstop in Worcester had a good time yesterday.
Some good scary stuff being written!

You can check out the event pics here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Big Signing Tomorrow- and New Bookstore

Tomorrow (Sunday) I join some of the New England Horror Writers for a big signing event at Annie's Bookstop in Worcester, MA, at 65 James Street.

Come on down- should be a fun time, with some prizes and snacks. We'll be there from 1-5.

And have my books in a new bookstore as of today- Second Hand Prose in Groton, MA, who had their Grand Opening today. Check them out when you're in the area.

Just got my copy of the latest Fungi magazine today, although at 420 pages, it's more like a book!
Awesome lineup of talent in there (yes, I'm included!)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Help Start a New Indie Bookstore

Here's a bit of good news. A family in Portland, Maine want to open a new indie bookstore, Letterpress Books.

Since they spend all their money on books, they're asking for help with startup costs, and are running a campaign to raise the initial startup funds.

So they've got an Indiegogo campaign.

Easy way to for you to toss in a couple of bucks for a great cause. Put my help in last night, as soon as I heard.

By chipping in even a little (equal to two Starbucks drinks), you can help launch a new bookstore in a very cool place. One way today you can make the world better.

And the word is getting out- my Twitter notice on this was picked up and featured on the site: Writing and Publishing Daily Update- THE NEW WORLD OF BOOKS & READING
which looks like a great place for information. Check it out!

And speaking of getting the word out, the cover for book #3 of the Zack Taylor mystery series, A Shadow on the Wall is now featured as one of the week's covers on the Sisters in Crime website.

Not too shabby to be featured on the home page of a national organization for pro writers.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Signings today

Busy day today, with a private signing down in Framingham, where I got copies of A Shadow on the Wall to a few folks who have been patiently waiting for the latest. Thanks, gang!

And on the way home, stopped in to the signing of fellow NEHW authoress Erin Thorne at the Used Book Superstore in Burlington, MA.

And picked up a signed copy of her collection Behind the Wheel.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

News and Events

Hello-- lots of happenings lately. This is a writing life...

Had a great time at the New England Authors Expo.

My quickie YouTube piece from that event.

My first Audio book is now out- How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills.
Also out on iTunes!

My latest story is in a huge anthology, the 30th Anniversary issue of Fungi.

I'll be signing books with a few other New England Horror Writers at Annie's Bookstop in Worcester on Sunday, August 18th, from 1-5:

And the following Sunday, I'll be doing the same at the big fair in Middleton, CT from 10-4.

Oh, yeah, and writing...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Must be a Cat Video- and Free Book

Yeah, that's a strange title, but the fact is, they shot a promo at the Author's Expo and put me up on YouTube, known primarily for cat videos.

So I must be a cat video, because I'm on YouTube.

Today I left a comment on the blog of noted author-helper Joe Konrath, guest-blogged by Mark Edward Hall, with some good words to say. Check it out.

And he's got his book Apocalypse Island free on Kindle right now, so grab it.

Upcoming- I'll be signing at Annie's Book Stop in Worcester on Sunday, August 18th, from 1-5, along with fellow members of the New England Horror Writers. Drop on by.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fun Booksale Expo

Well, we had a great day at the New England Author Expo.

So many pictures and links from the event, had to put it on the website.

Check it out- many new writers to discover.