This Saturday, April 30th, Canadian authors show their appreciation to independent book stores across the country! From small towns to our largest cities, authors will read, entertain and chat to customers in local bookstores about their favorite subject – books!
We all know how independent bookstores have suffered. Inspired by the Indies First Campaign in the US, several Canadian authors got together and set up Authors For Indies to reverse that trend here at home.
Last year I had the privilege of helping out at Books and Company, in Picton, Ontario. They have a wonderful selection of books and emphasize works by local authors. You can read your book in their adjoining café which offers yummy lattes and treats. They even have a resident cat, Miss Lily!
David Sweet was more than generous to us authors. He had stocked our latest books and all afternoon he directed readers to our signing table. Our only task: chat to customers – a job I love. And did I mention that our book sales were great?
This year, I’m joining Mmes Lisa de Nikolits and D. J. McIntosh at Beaches Book City while another troop of Mesdames, Cathy Astolfo, Mel Campbell and Joan O’Callaghan help out at Roxanne’s Reflections Book Shop in Fergus, Ontario.
But Lisa has a different take on selling than I do despite the fact that her most recent book, Between the Cracks She Fell, just won the Bronze IPPY for Contemporary Fiction! Here she describes the harrowing task of trying to sell her own book:
I admit that when it comes to selling my own books, I am pretty darn useless. But I’m a firecracker when it comes to selling other people’s books and a good example of this is Authors for Indies Day.
My ’hood is Book City at the Beaches, and last year I got to hang out with Mme Dorothy McIntosh whose newest book, The Angel of Eden, was recently announced as a finalist by The International Thriller Writers for the best paperback original 2016. Awards will be presented on July 10th in New York. We also met Sandra Gulland who is an international bestselling author of historicals.
I am extremely passionate about Dorothy’s books, so selling her novels was a piece of cake for me. I admit that I wasn’t too familiar with Sandra’s books but from what the bookstore owner told us, Sandra’s books fly off the shelves without needing any help from anybody. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful ‘problem’ to have?!
I can flit happily around the store, advising on all manner of books for the various readers who stop by but when they ask me about mine, I become tongue-tied, sweat starts beading my brow and I stand there, wringing my hands and trying to form a sentence.
Great sales pitch! Good thing my publisher wasn’t around to hear my feeble attempts.
I recently visited my local Beaches Book City and I told the bookstore owner how dreadful I feel for not being a better salesperson for my books and he was incredibly kind about it.
He told me that Authors for Indies Day isn’t about selling books, it’s intended to be a meet-and-greet and a way for people in the area to get to know who their local authors are.
What a relief! So this year, I am really looking forward to going to Authors for Indies, without the (self-imposed) pressure to be a better saleswoman for my wordy little offspring.
I will be at Beaches Book City from 11-12 noon with my book, Between The Cracks She Fell. Dorothy will join me at the same time with The Angel of Eden. And Madeleine will be there at 2 pm with Windigo Fire.
I really hope you will stop by for a chat. Books are our friends, so let’s celebrate them and help support the indie bookstores at a time when they are struggling.