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Here's a little tip for all you self-publishers and indies hoping to do a signing at a Barnes And Noble or a Borders.

Don't bother.

The thought occurred to me during the week that, with the Christmas rush still a ways off, I might be able to do some prep work.  The Barnes And Nobles and Borders in my area will do local author signings.  Not only that, but they have those Friday night concerts by local musicians where they play a set and sell their CD's.  Hey, I'm local!  And I have a comic book series, Sound Waves, that will be hitting issue #3 by the time the Christmas rush rolls around!  (Not Stress Puppy.  I think the GN is just a tough sell to people who have never even heard of the strip before.)

So, a plan was formed -- I would talk to these stores and see if they might be interested in me bringing in copies of Sound Waves and sitting at a table the day after Thanksgiving and sell books and sign them.  It seemed a perfect plan.  I could camp out by the door or the manga section (and with Barnes And Noble and Borders finally starting to offer free wifi, I could easily keep myself entertained during lulls) and work the crowd.

However, I figured it wouldn't be that simple.  I was right.  Both chains stated that, in order to do a local author signing, it has to be something available through their supply channel.  That means that comic books in general are unlikely, indies have no chance, and self-publishers?  Just kill yourselves.

Dwayne Biddix, who penciled The Supremacy, was able to score signing gigs at Wal-marts in his area.  Wal-marts!  These are FRIGGIN' BOOK STORES LOOKING TO HYPE LOCAL TALENT!

Ah, well.  I'll just keep plugging along.  But if the books really take off, my reputation grows, and B&N or Borders ask if I'd do a signing at their stores...I'd have to get back to them....

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mornblade
Aug. 24th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
So, they are looking to hype local talent, but only if the local talent has enough fame to help the bookstore. As opposed to the bookstore helping the local talent to gain a little more fame and possibly be referenced by said talent as people that helped him become famous.

That doesn't look like they are trying to hype local talent. That looks like they are trying to get national talent that happens to be from the local area to hype them.
sinetimore
Aug. 24th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
You're telling me. Everyone likes the Cinderella story, the person that came from nowhere and whose talent was so awesome, they shot straight to the top.

The thing everyone forgets is that someone has to LET the Cinderella story happen. Basically, you have to be allowed to let that happen.

Mark Waid compared breaking into comics to breaking into a high security building -- once you do it, they quickly take steps to make sure no one gets in that way again. And then they wonder why there's such a derth of talent in the field. Don't get me wrong, I know there's a lot of people out there who are dreamers, "Oh, I wants to be arteest or ryter!" But there's no real system to find the new blood and bring them in anymore.

You know...sort of like comic readers....
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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