Friday, November 11, 2011

Bookseller Task #249: Event Recaps

I don't think it's a great thing that I feel behind in everything, but if that's how I feel; I can't change it. Among other tasks that have been rather sloppy of late are my event recaps to publishers. Yes, every time we host an event, it's our duty to let the publisher know how many people showed up, how many books you sold at the event itself, and how many books you sold since the display went up.  If we have a particularly good after-event sale, I'll usually email the publicist again and let them know.

Other things you want to say are any interesting things that happened, were there any special requests from the author that the publicist might not be aware of, and were there any special people in the audience. We usually give the publisher a rundown of any publicity that happened, plus the efforts we made to get the word out about the event.

It seemed like as of two days ago I was a month behind in reporting, with a few exceptions for our highest profile events. When things go particularly well, the emails are ebullient.  When the numbers are disappointing, the tone is more apologetic. I've been told that some stores shy from taking on developing authors and I can see why--you have put in all that work with writing copy, making signs, ordering, paying shipping on returns, making up the Facebook page, writing things for the email newsletter, and sometimes even including the book in advertisements. Then there's the press release copy and the event calendar. And yes, another event might mean that Stacie is tied up from, say, getting our holiday print newsletter out, or that I work a 14 hour day. And now you know one more reason why folks shy away from these things--you have to do a write up afterwards, and you just feel bad aftewards.

I have to say no to a lot of events, but I certainly say yes to a number of events each month that will be an uphill battle. Even though I cringe at the though of having five people show up (or three, or zero), there is that joy in somehow getting a turnout of 25. Maybe there were friends of friends I didn't know about.  Maybe all the publicity came together. Maybe one of my booksellers fell in love with the book and hand-sold his or her heart out. Maybe someone famous will be spotted reading the book just before our event. Maybe some award will be announced.

There's a lot of hope in this business, isn't there?

1 comment:

Delilah said...

I hope this is a post about the event on Nov. 9 with Jillian Maas Backman, author of BEYOND THE PEWS!

According to the author, she was quite pleased with the turnout and thankful for the great job Boswell Books did in assisting her with presenting her book.

As her publicist, I know we pumped the event out there, and were happy with her results. Hoping Boswell has a best seller on it's shelves!