A few weeks back I sat down with the Future Books podcast and talked about THE MISFITS, ON A CLOUDY DAY, and my Baen anthology CHICKS IN TANK TOPS. We also talked briefly about my forthcoming collaboration with Larry Correia, MONSTER HUNTER MEMOIRS: FEVER, which will hit bookstores later this year on October 6.
Here are some links if you want to give it a go.
Where to Listen:
- Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/37utF0S
- Google Podcasts: https://bit.ly/FBPodGoo
- Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3SnWkY9
- Amazon Music: https://amzn.to/3zTP6UB
- YouTube: https://bit.ly/CKPYT1
- Web: https://bit.ly/FBPodWeb
This past week I’ve spoken with a lot of traditionally published authors and their frustration at not finding their books in their local Barnes & Noble. Since B&N is going more towards the local sales manager making the pre-ordering and stocking decision, it largely been taken out of the distributors hands. Which is bad for the sales teams at big distributors (they’re going to have to work harder at getting their books in stores now) but good for buyers (enough people going into their local B&N and asking them to carry a local author’s book is more likely to be heard now than ten years ago). However, this also means the authors (and to a lesser degree, their agents) are going to have to work that much harder to get their book into their local bookstores. When the bookstores are only interested in carrying relative few front lists and a ton of proven big-name backlists, it makes it difficult for new authors to get to the point where their books are a must-have in every store.
Some ideas I’ve done which have worked in the past is to go in regularly and offer to sign stock. If they don’t have your recently released work in stock, don’t fret. This is a perfect opportunity to be a pro and ask them for a chance to do a signing. Guilt is a powerful persuasion tool (hey, they might work at B&N, but they’re still human). But — and here’s the key — if nobody shows up to your signing, they might feel justified at not carrying your book. So how do you try to maximize your book signing?
You create an Avengers-level event!
Okay, before you stop reading, let me explain.
I recently watched a few Baen authors get together and do a joint book signing in Ohio. These are three relatively unknown authors (to the general public, that is… I’ve heard of them because I’ve read all their books), working together about getting the word out, had a nice turnout and sold quite a few books. This, in turn, caused the bookstore to carry more copies of their books. Wash, rinse, repeat. Cause and effect, see?
I was speaking with Tim Akers about this the other day as well. Tim is a fantastic author whose work I love (and I got to read WRAITHBOUND before any of you… ha!). One of the author chores (part of the job, but unlike writing, this is a real chore) is getting out and introducing yourself to the local bookstores. Neither one of us particularly enjoy going to the bookstores and asking them if they’ll carry our books, but we both are well aware of the consequences of bookstores carrying nothing but games and the top five bestsellers.
I was absolutely shocked at how many tiny bookstores there are around my house when I started looking. Granted, back when I lived in Virginia there was absolutely nothing within an hour drive, but here in North Carolina? These people like to read down here. That was both a pleasant surprise and a daunting task. That many bookstores means I need to go and introduce myself that many times.
Current work in progress is moving along, thanks to the help of my friends. I was stuck on it and pretty much spent two hours complaining about it to Steve Diamond last week, and he walked me through what was wrong and how to fix it. Then Jamie Ibson helped me visualize what they looked like with a ton of artwork (he was bored). Good writer friends are worth their weight in gold, man.
I got my first story submission in for the next anthology I’m editing. Oh, did I forget to mention that? In addition to editing MONSTER HUNTER FILES vol. 2 with Larry Correia, I’m also editing another Baen anthology tentatively titled A SYMPHONY OF CHAOS. Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t going to be editing any other anthologies unless it was a Monster Hunter or Chicks one, but I took it over for someone else. I DIDN’T PLAN TO DO THIS ANTHOLOGY.
I have no idea when this one come out. I’m thinking late 2024/early 2025. It’s got a kickass Kurt Miller cover, so that makes me happy.
Have you preordered this one yet?
Speaking of kickass covers, have you made your preorder yet? Everyone wants to see their favorite authors in the stores. Preorders at the stores themselves is one of the best way to do it. If fifty people go to a store and ask for a preorder copy, then the bookstore is gonna wonder… and order more copies.