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dragonfliet
05-16-2016, 11:49 AM
So at the end of the summer, my first novel will come out with a very small press who is very new to all of this. I'm also new to it. It's not an ideal situation marketing-wise (my plan is essentially: contact all of my university contacts and pray to god it gets good reviews). There is essentially no marketing budget, but I'll be traveling to Boston and Philly (through a quirk of friends/family also traveling in those areas) and would love to get in contact with some local book stores to arrange for a reading if possible. At worst, I waste a few hours of my time, at best, I find a few new readers.

I'm curious if anyone has any advice on how to drum up interest to get people to actually show up to these readings. As for the book, it's literary fiction on the side of experimental (as for topics, it's about mountain climbing), and I'm not a person with a huge social media presence (hate it). It's obviously impossible to build a huge following in the coming few months, but I'm sure there is something that could be done. I don't know anyone in those areas (other than the two or three people who would be coming with me already), but I would rather not give a "reading" to two people who have already read the book. I'll do it, but I would rather not. This may be a lost cause, and I may just have to throw myself at the mercy of good luck (and great bookstore management), but I would love to hear if anyone has been in similar/same circumstances, and what they've done.

Old Hack
05-16-2016, 06:20 PM
If a bookshop agrees to host a book signing it's usual for the bookshop to promote the event to some extent. But they will want support from your publisher, in the form of posters, a stock of books which they can return if they don't sell, and so on. It's helpful if you or your publisher produces a pop-up banner which you can use as a backdrop when you're sitting at your signing table.

In addition, you can send press packs to the local press letting them know about your signing and requesting an interview or article just before your signing. Stuff like that. Most papers are overwhelmed with requests for reviews but you might hit lucky.

Note that signings are mostly effective in promoting books by well-known, established writers, and might not work so well for you. If you really want to have a go, prepare yourself for lots of downtime spent sitting at a table surrounded by copies of your book, with no one coming up to get their book signed. It can be dire.

dragonfliet
05-16-2016, 08:56 PM
Thanks! A lot of that I do know, but it's always helpful to hear it reiterated or clarified. I'm not looking forward to empty-ass readings, and I recognize that this will probably be my fate, but it's also worth it for me to try something that will get more people interested. I'll be in the area anyways, I might as well work.