As a new author, there is nothing more special than having your first book signing. Seeing the crowd that is anxious to meet you, talking to them about your book, selling copies on the spot — all of these things can cause even a serial author to have butterflies in their stomach. After all, you have worked so hard to write and publish your book. Shouldn’t you be entitled to a bit of celebration?
Book signings are also a rather inexpensive way to connect with your audience. However, according to an article the appeared on the New York Times website yesterday, that’s about to change – for the author’s fans at least. The decline in brick and mortar bookstore sales is forcing store owners to seek out other potential revenue streams. Some of these stores have decided to start charging customers to meet the author. The staff will then require a ticket before they can get in front of an author.
This is a good idea for well-known authors, but what about self-publishing authors who are using this as a publicity move? How many people would pay to see an unknown author? This is going to present a new set of challenges for those who have recently published or are publishing soon as many times this exposure can be critical to reaching interested readers in your community. this is one good reason to keep your marketing online with things such as virtual book tours, Twitter parties, online book signings, etc.
Also, another key point in the article is that neither the author or publisher receive any proceeds from the fee the store is charging consumers. That’s a bit odd, don’t you think?