WITHOUT GRACE by Carol Hoenig is an iUniverse title that is likely to sell better than most of the company’s self-published novels. It’s not because of Pod-dy Mouth’s rave review, or the blurbs from Malachy McCourt and Michael Malone, or even this casual mention. So why might it sell to more folks than just Hoenig’s friends and relatives? Because Hoenig has an edge most POD authors don’t have: she’s National Events Specialist for Borders Group…and already has signings set at five Borders stores with, undoubtedly, more to come.
17 thoughts on “An iUniverse Book That Might Actually Do Some Decent Numbers”
Am I the only one amused by the fact that the National Events Specialist for Borders Group lists both Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com on the main page of her Web site in bold letters at the tope of the page…but no mention of Borders?
The part I found amusing is that a person who presumably has many contacts in publishing had to resort to using iUniverse to get her book printed. Granted, that doesn’t guarantee that it’s a piece of crap… but it’s definitely suggestive.
Yeah, I don’t get it. iU isn’t a sign you’re on the way up. I know that much.
Borders on-line doesn’t have their own site. It’s part of Amazon, hence the reason there’s no link to it on her site.
As to selling well, people still need to decide to purchase it. I was at a signing for two authors at my local Borders Friday night and I might have been the only person to buy the book. Same at a signing back in March for a much more well known author.
Well Mark she’d have to have books in the stores for that to happen wouldn’t she? With iU that won’t be the case as is true for any POD by definition. The method avoids this stocking aspect used successfully by the real publishers.
Any author worth his salt will tell you signings are symbolic when it comes to selling books.
Judging from the original post, the “author” might actually get some books in stores, due to her connections. Whether or not anyone would buy them… well, that’s a different matter.
Speaking about signings, though… I don’t know any authors who believe they are merely symbolic. There’s some debate over just how effective they are, but they remain one of the primary forms of promotion for authors and books. That is why people like Lee (as an example, since it’s his blog) do so many of them.
Well David it’s a matter of where one places the focus on results isn’t it? It’s PR, but the best promotion is books on shelves.
Case in point: vanity press authors stake all their hopes on signings. They always fail. That’s not the same context as a signing with a major publisher standing behind you. Even setting them up in many cases. I’d be surprised if she didn’t have to buy her own copies for the signing.
This is essentially James D. Macdonald’s take on signings. I happen to agree with it.
We’re not talking about vanity press authors, though. You said “Any author worth his salt will tell you signings are symbolic when it comes to selling books.”
Is Lee not worth his salt? Because, as he’s reported on here many times, he signs his ass off. He must think it sells books, or else I’m sure he’d rather spend the time with his family or writing or anything else.
As I said before, there’s a lot of debate about how effective signings and touring are at selling books. But I’m curious to know who these authors are who say it’s only symbolic, as I have never heard that.
Signings sell books. The only reason I read the first DM book and am on this blog is because of a signing. Since then, I have bought the other DM books, two of Lee’s other books, and plan to get MwIOB later this month. If it hadn’t been for the signing, I would have said, “Huh. They’re doing DM novels now” and moved on down the aisle in the store.
The value of a signing is rarely found in the number of books sold that night — it’s in the weeks of advertising your book gets in the Borders newsletter, the signs, the signed stock that sells long after you’re gone, the relationships you forge with the bookstores themselves. Sure, selling 40 a night would be great, but selling 40 over a month at b&n ain’t bad either, I assure you.
Sure. But it’s more psychological than anything else, which makes it symbolic. It’s good PR as I said.
“Signings sell books.” One personal case doesn’t amount to much. Just because Mark buys into the fandom thing doesn’t mean the general readership will or does.
Personally, I like book signings because an author’s signature increases the value of books for collectors. Signed books also make grear gifts.
Book signings promote goodwill and allow fans to meet their favorite author.
Hardly symbolic, but an important part in the author/reader relationship.
Writers like Michael Connelly, Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Robert Crais, Lee Child etc. are bestselling authors…yet they still tour and do lots of signings every year when a new book comes out. Why? Because it gets bookstores excited (they order more books and give them prominent placement for a longer period of time), the fans love it (a chance to meet the author and get signed books), and it generates some word-of-mouth as well as media publicity. It’s a staple of book publishing & promotion for a reason.
In my case, THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE is coming out in hardcover from a small press with limited distribution. If I wasn’t signing at some of these stores, they might not have ordered more than one copy of the book, spine-out on the shelf (or any copies at all). The more signings I do, the more likely it is that good-word-of-mouth will stimulate sales and encourage bookstores who aren’t stocking it yet to do so (or, if they are stocking it, to order more copies).
For what it’s worth I’d do them too, but celebrity sure makes a difference as to the ultimate effect. I think we’re onto a false cause fallacy here. Vanity press authors buy the farm to do signings that always fail. Famous authors do them because it’s part of the media campaign set up by the publisher.
As for your other books, I’ve found them on shelves nationwide and you weren’t anywhere to be seen. For the small press, you bet, a neccessary endeavor.
Do you mean ‘bet the farm’? Because I think ‘buy the farm’ means you died. And that seems like it would make the signings kind of awkward.
Lee points out another way in which signings are useful and more than just symbolic: media coverage. A lot of times, the only way I’m able to successfully pitch a review of a book is if the author is appearing in town on tour. It’s also all but essential when it comes to profiles in newspapers. Without personal appearances, it’s that much harder to get ink.
Well, it was a Freudian slip. That’s exactly what happens: DOA for those authors at least. I would say, more so than a strict signing, a talk on your subject like the Book TV entries on C-Span would be much more valuable endeavor to the author. In that context the signing is the icing.