Sunday, May 3, 2009

Launching FIRE ME

It's been an exciting weekend as Fire Me officially launched and I did its first book signing at the Lancaster, PA Barnes & Noble! The Community Relations Manager (CRM) there is a terrific fellow who really goes the extra mile to make authors feel welcome. The signing table was adorned with fresh flowers (that he wraps for the author take home at the end of the visit), several pens, post-it paper to write out difficult names, a water pitcher and glass, and a gift of candy.

It was a busy afternoon at the B&N, which was great to see in this bad-news economy. Also great to see--a really diverse crowd of shoppers with an equal mix of men and women, dressed up and casual, punk and designer-label, young and old. Yes, people are reading....and buying books, all kinds of people, in fact!

Fire Me's story--of Anne Wyatt detouring from handing in her resignation to going for a lay-off and its severance package instead--was a great conversation starter with some browsers. When I told the tale to one woman, she said, "do you know my best friend?" Apparently, this best friend just left a job, opting for a layoff.

All in all, it was a great way to spend an afternoon (who doesn't like spending time in a book store?) doing some people-watching. Here is my "index" of observations for the two-hour stint:

  • Number of people studying for their LCATs: one, who sat behind me with his very good tutor!
  • Number of people wearing some sort of camouflage fabric: three (one cap, one pair of trousers, one shirt)
  • Number of people with children in strollers: at least three that I saw
  • Number of people who went straight to the coffee bar: at least five
  • Number of designer handbags spotted: two (if Vera Bradley counts)
  • Average number of books sold at this store through a book-signing when the author is not a household name: three, according to the CRM (and I'm happy to report I sold several times that number!)
While there, I made a mental note to support other authors who sit behind the table at local bookstores waiting for shoppers to look their way.

As Fire Me hits other stores, I'd like to send out a huge thank-you to the Sourcebooks team-- Deb Werksman, of course, and Danielle Jackson, and the cover designer....and all the readers who lift up every author on this blog.


  1. Congrats on your launch and book signing, Libby. I had a similar friendly reception at my local B&N. The former CSR there told me I was her most successful local author in her four years in that store. We formed an instant bond, and I was so crushed to hear recently that she left the store. Now I have to start all over again with the new gal...

    Enjoy all the fun!

  2. Sounds like a great launch, Libby!
    I love people watching at B&N, too, but I've yet to do it behind a table full of my books.
    Congrats on the sales!

  3. I had pleasant experiences with other B&N's when promoting my teen mysteries--one in Burlington, VT and another in Danbury, CT. So I wonder if B&N just does a good job of hiring good CRMs.

    On the flip side, I once had a so-so experience with an independent bookstore (that shall remain nameless, as will the town) where the owner almost immediately boxed up the unsold books from the signing after it was over!

    Guess the moral of the story is: doesn't matter if it's big box or small independent store, it's the people who make the difference.

  4. Congrats on your launch, Libby! When I did a drive-by signing at my local B&N and Boarders, I saw your book proudly displayed. I can't wait to read it.


    Robin :)

  5. CONGRATS Libby, on Fire Me being on the shelves and on your successful book signing!

    I think you are correct, it does all depend on the people. I did my first signing on Valentine's Day with 3 other local romance authors from my RWA chapter. The B&N CSR was sooo nice and he was very pleased with the buzz we generated. He said he wanted us all to come back for another signing soon. I'm trying to arrange something for the end of Sept. or Oct. when my new book will be out.

    CONGRATS AGAIN! Can't wait to read "Fire Me."


  6. Hi Libby,
    Sounds like you had a great book signing. Wonderful! I have to admit that sitting in the front of a bookstore by myself is my least favorite thing about our industry. But it is kind of funny to watch what some people will do to avoid making eye contact with you :-)

  7. Oh yes, it is funny to see people who don't like to make eye contact with the signing author -- although it was sweet to see so many who did smile at me.

    I was wondering if it would be good to have some of the books on a separate display with a sign indicating the author was there to sign. Some folks might feel more comfortable picking up a book to look over without the author watching them!

  8. Hi Libby! Congrats on the launch, and the signing! I'm not sure I'll ever do one on my own, after how much fun it was signing with Robin and Marie (and what a big chicken I am, LOL). Love your list! I wish there were a B&N around here. The local independent bookstore has, I kid you not, only a section slightly larger than your average bookcase dedicated to romance. So...I'm guessing the owner is not a fan. BUMMER!

  9. Hi, Libby, super on the launch!!! I love my local B&N also, and Books-a-Million and Hastings. They've all been really wonderful.