I’ve been giving a great deal of thought lately to e-publishing books, in particular my next book. Yesterday, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t have a book in hand to put into the hands of others. Duh, right? Thank you, Captain Obvious!
The Emperor’s New Book
The reason I bring this point to your attention is that having a physical book is essential when it comes to the important author event known as the book signing. If you intend for the word to get out about your book, you’re going to need to do at least a few book signings. That is unless you’re already a big time author with your own cult of followers, and you have no desire to add to them.
“But my book is listed on all the right sites,” you argue. “And I’ve talked my book up in the best chat rooms.”
Really? And how many books have you sold that way?
Despite the fact that there are more people with e-readers than ever before, and a hundred of sites encouraging you to e-publish your book, what are your chances of finding an audience? Even well-known fantasy writers have trouble selling a new book under a new penname (before leaking the secret), and that’s with an editor, publisher, physical books, distribution and a network of contacts. What chance have you and your little e-book got against that machine?
In my own experience, I have sold far more books at book signings than through the big A or B online stores, even though my book is available in paperback, hard cover, and electronic versions (Kindle and Nook). In fact I don’t know of any sales of my book in electronic format to date, despite lowering the price to make it more attractive to gun-shy readers afraid to take a chance on a new author. It’s now at a very reasonable price and yet, no takers.
What if you lower the price to FREE? How may people will read it then? After all, everyone knows the adage, “you get what you pay for,” and something given away can’t be worth much. So you try to raise the price a little. But how much? How much is too much? Shouldn’t people be willing to lay down a few bucks (or cents even) for such an amazing work? Heck, all your relatives and friends loved it! (These are the depths of insanity new independent authors are forced into when they try to get their work out to the world.) But I digress…
You want to give your book every chance you can, because to a certain extent, when you’re an unknown, it does come down to chance. This is why I published in all the formats I did. At the time, I thought I might actually sell more e-books than physical books. Wrong! And I never once sold an e-book at a book signing!
So…How do you have a book signing without a physical book?
This is NOT a rhetorical question! I want to know if it’s possible!
Is there such a thing as a virtual book signing for e-books that someone will actually attend and “walk away” with a copy of your book and hopefully something more. (People attend book signings to get something more than a book with your signature on it, believe it or not.) You’ll need to connect with the attending readers and give them something they can only get from you-something to carry around in their hearts or their heads.
Let me hear from you!
Comment below or send me your thoughts and genius insights into how you would hold a book signing for an e-book. Do you know of a site that already provides a way to do this? Do you want to collaborate on a project to create such a site? Is there a way to have a book signing at a brick and mortar bookstore for an e-book? Think outside of the box. Give it your best shot, and contact me. Please.
CONTEST ALERT!……….CONTEST ALERT!
HEY! I just thought of something last minute: I’ll give 1 or 2 copies (paperback, signed if you like) of my fantasy novel, With a Jester of Kindness to the person(s) who responds with the best ideas (most feasible and most creative-yet workable, as judged by me)!
CONTEST ALERT……….CONTEST ALERT!