This afternoon, I drove into Austin to the Westlake Barnes & Noble to see Karen MacInerney who was signing there. As a bonus, I also got to see Jo Virgil, the CRM there. Great day when you get to talk to two friends, and have a non-fat Chai Latte, too.
I am just so excited for Karen. Her second book in her Gray Whale Inn series is out. The first in the series, Murder on the Rocks, has been nominated for an Agatha for Best First Mystery Novel. She’ll also soon have a second series in publication. She is hot!
She’s also a great promoter. B&N had set up a table with stacks of books at the front of the store, close to the entrance. From the moment she got there, people stopped at her table. I was several aisles away and I could hear her talking and laughing. She made strangers want to stop and talk. She didn’t sit behind the table, but stood to the side. If no one was at her table, she smiled and asked passer-bys if they liked to read mystery. Then she’d let them know she was a local mystery author and mention that her second book was out. If they stopped long enough, she’d tell them that she did a lot of the writing on the book right there at that store in the coffee shop.
On the rare occasion no one was at her table to talk, she took her postcards and introduced herself to people in close-by aisles.
She was approachable, friendly without being pushy, fun to talk to, and interesting.
When you have the chance, go out and observe authors at book signings. Learn from those, like Karen, who know how to do it so that they make sales and find new readers. Even if you don’t buy a book, go up and say hello and introduce yourself. Authors don’t bite. And if they don’t have a stream of people coming by, they’ll appreciate someone to talk with.
5 weeks ago