My friend Joe Konrath offers some detailed advice on doing bookstore signings. I agree with a lot of what he has to say but he mentioned something that absolutely stunned me:
I did an event last Saturday, and sold 40 hardcover books in 6 hours.
The week before I did 40 books in 8 hours (store wasn’t as crowded).
Week before, 60 books in 8 hours. My record is 120 in ten hours.
to Leave. How long you stay is up to you. I think four hours is
minimum, and if the store is really busy I’ll stay for six or more.
He’ll stay in a store for eight hours? Geez, at that point, he might as well get a job there. I wouldn’t stay eight hours. I think at that point he crosses the line from dedication and enthusiasm into… well, something kind of scary. I even think four hours is pushing it.
I’ve been at this a while and most authors I know, from those just starting out to the most wildly successful, will stay at a store for two hours tops, unless it’s some kind of special event (which usually includes other authors). Four hours minimum? I don’t think so. It clearly works for Joe but I think for most authors it’s overstaying your welcome.