Saturday, 8 April 2017

What? In Waterstones?!

Excited to say that copies of StarMark are now available in my local Waterstones branch!

The manager has been so supportive and was prepared to let me do a book signing - so that's exactly what I'm doing on the 13th April, between 10am and 2pm. I've no idea how many folk will come, or whether we'll sell any books - most folk in Loughborough who know me have probably already bought a copy by now! - but being exposed to a much wider audience is a fabulous opportunity.

When I dropped into town earlier this week, I was gobsmacked to see MY novel in the window, (and in some very illustrious company!) over a week before the signing.

And inside, a little table with just my books on it.

Highly excited author alert!
I've had a couple of folk stop me in the street, saying they've seen it...

Was it easy to get my book into Waterstones? No. For a long time it's been almost impossible for a small indie-pubbed author, especially with respect to costs. But things are changing. The 'one-size-fits-all' approach is being encouraged from the top (as noted on Waterstones' own website) to alter, to be more open to the needs of the local communities which the branches serve. Combined with this approach and the local manager's openness to supporting local authors (and we have quite a few well known ones in this area) I've been able to start a conversation, take in a copy of the book (quality matters) and pass on information about which distributor StarMark's available from in the UK. (It's a US publisher, remember) It's not a one-sided relationship, I might add; I buy a fair few books from Waterstones - probably spend most of my royalties in there - so I'm a familiar face to the regular staff.

It's another example, I think, of how persistence pays off for an author. You can't expect the world to come to you. You have to get out there and find your opportunities, feel your way through the possibilities. Will my books sell on the day? Will someone pay the higher-than-a-book-from-a-big-publisher-or-famous-author price for it? I don't know.

But at least we can say we tried.

And who knows, if it goes well, maybe I'll be allowed another session for Kingstone...?

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