When authors consider investing their time and effort into meeting with their readers, they often wonder if it is worth it and what the reward is. As an editor and expert in book promotion, I receive many requests for consultation from authors who are preparing to publish their books. It is important to keep in mind that full-service campaigns require 6 to 8 months, so it is best to contact an expert well in advance of the book's publication. There is a common misconception that book signings do not make money, but depending on the market, genre, and attitude of the writer, an author can sell between five and 100 books at a single event.
Even if only a few books are sold on the day of the event, the publicity generated by the event can strengthen the author's reputation and book sales. So why do people bother making book signings and why are they booked months in advance? Most authors have the vision of sitting at a book signing table with lots of books and a long line of buyers waiting for their books to be signed and a photo taken with the author. Based on my experience with book events (excluding book fairs and festivals) where the author is a leading speaker, this vision is quite true. In fact, one author used local events to sell more than 10,000 copies of his book. To ensure that your book is placed in the right category, it is important to conduct market research to find out what categories other titles similar in content or message to your own book are placed in. A long time ago I read somewhere that the average number of books sold at a book firm is eight copies.
However, considering the high cost of exchanging your time for selling books, signing a book can entail a high cost per potential customer, especially if your event is not attended enough. To complicate matters even more, Amazon UK, Canada and the U. S. may interpret your book differently. This will generate sales long after the day of the event and you will have high-quality space on the bookstore's shelves.
If your books are in the top 100 in any category on Amazon, you are technically a “best seller”.
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