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Monday, December 19, 2011

Placement is Everything

I had a book signing over the weekend that I was particularly excited about. The last time I signed at this store (a grocery store), I sold over 20 books. This being the week before Christmas, I hoped to sell twice that number.

When I got to the store, however, I knew things would be difficult. A newspaper lady guarded the entrance, stopping customers and soliciting them to take a free newspaper (and listen to her fifteen-minute speech). If you made it past her, an American Idol finalist had set up a table with his CD and a huge display.

I made my way to the customer service desk and told the store manager I was here. Well...turned out that headquarters forgot to tell the store I was coming, and he wasn't prepared for me. He was kind enough to try to accommodate me, though the front of the store location was pretty much taken up. He didn't want to set me up a table next to CD man because that would block the bakery. So he took me into the store and set me up in front of produce.

I was fine with this, really. I figured I'd snag everyone as they came to buy their fruits.

I neglected to estimate how many people buy fruits and veggies on a Friday evening. Or I should say, how few.

I packed it up after about 45 minutes. Only five people had walked past me so far. I couldn't leave my table and books behind to wander the front of the store, and I didn't see the point in sticking around another hour when it was like this. I was very disappointed because let's face it, I'd been seeing dollar signs. But I learned a few important things:

1) I need to be in the front of the store.
2) Don't trust headquarters to notify people.
3) Make sure no one else is doing something in the store the same time you are.

Oh well. Better luck next time!

8 comments:

JaseR75 said...

Yes! Better luck next time, and just remember you've taught the rest of us this lesson as well!

Mary Gray said...

Aw, sorry lady! That is the worst! I'm impressed with your attitude, though.

Kelley said...

Oh bummer! I agree. Good attitude. I suppose you have to kind of roll with that sort of stuff...

Elisa said...

so sad! Guess every body else was seeing dollar signs too, eh?

Ann Best said...

How disappointing! I am so sorry. But oh well...what else could you do except leave, and with such a cheerful attitude. You are a treasure, Tamara!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! That must have been soooo frustrating!!

Jack LaBloom said...

I'm sorry that one didn't work out for you, Tamara.

I've been to several book signings for my friends. Most turn out the way your last one did, a hand full of books sold for a lot of effort.

I've often wondered if setting up a book signing table in front of an eight or twelve screen movie theater would be a good place to sell books. Hundreds of people will walk by on their way in and on their way out. And people who can afford to shell out what it costs to see a movie, probably can afford to buy your books. Plus people going to see a movie are in the mood for entertainment, not trying to figure out what to prepare for dinner.

Do it on a day the weather is good. Have a huge poster and plenty of books on your table. Offer your book both in print or digital form, just like you did at the conference. I think you would sell a lot of books.

Just a thought. Let me know how it turns out.

Emailman said...

So, books and fruit just don't go...Got it! *crosses off the greengrocers from my list* LOL

Sorry to hear that, Tamara. Don't be put off :) You know you're a star!

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