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Archived Author Help > Book Signing with B&N

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message 1: by Erica (last edited Apr 28, 2015 09:51AM) (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Hi,

I just self-published my novel, Survival Tactics, through CreateSpace in mid March. I am interested in doing a book signing(I already did one on my own, but it was mostly friends and family)at Barnes and Noble. Anyone here have any experience with doing this? Was it positive/negative? Thanks!


message 2: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
I have not done one yet, please, come back and let us know how it goes.


message 3: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Bunnell | 61 comments I have done book signings with Barnes & Noble in the past, and also looked into doing one recently. Things have really changed from when my hardback was accepted by B&N at the corporate level. It was just a matter of getting my books into the hands of a distributor and then contacting events planners anywhere in the country.

Now, they expect you to first, be in their system, then you need to have a well-established social media platform, have your books carried by a distributor they can order from, have a marketing plan, Facebook presence with followers, etc. It's quite an undertaking.

If that's the way you'd like to go, best of luck to you. It's not impossible, just a lot of work -- but then, it's a lot of work for creating the same things for an e-book!


message 4: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Thanks so much for the comments! I would think that they could order the books from createspace directly. I don't have too many FB or Twitter followers yet, but then again my page and account has only been live since March 15th or so. I am thinking of going on fiverr.com to get more viewership towards my website. My goal is to get a big enough following so when my next book comes out in December there will be an interest. Sorry if I seem like a newb, but I have never done anything like this before and I am totally clueless lol. Thanks again!


message 5: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Bunnell | 61 comments Maybe they do order directly from Createspace. Why not ask an event planner in a B&N near you what's required? Or maybe the latest edition of Gorilla Marketing for Writers can help. I think that's the book I used with my hardback to find out how to submit to B&N corporate in their small press division. It had lots of good marketing tips.

Good luck!


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) If I understand correctly, B&N will not order from CS because there is no buy back policy. You would have to buy your own ISBN and go through Ingram, I believe. Note that I've gotten all of this info second hand.


message 7: by Virginia (new)

Virginia | 142 comments Createspace sells through Ingram, so they can order through Ingram (most Createspace published books are listed through Barnes & Noble once they go live anyway) however that doesn't mean they won't give you a hard time about it. (I've heard they're less inclined to work with indies than other bookstores but have zero proof of this.)

I have not tried to have a signing through Barnes & Noble, however I would imagine that the best place to get answers would be to put in a call to their events coordinator and ask questions of your local branch, because events are always good for the bookstore and you may be able to work out a consignment deal with them that they would approve of because they don't have to worry about buy-back costs in that case. (In other words you would order a stack of your own books and sell them through B&N with them taking a cut on each copy sold.)

I've done this with local independent bookstores and even one small chain, but not with Barnes & Noble. Sorry I don't have more concrete info. Good luck, and please let us know what you find out!


message 8: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Christina wrote: "If I understand correctly, B&N will not order from CS because there is no buy back policy. You would have to buy your own ISBN and go through Ingram, I believe. Note that I've gotten all of this in..."

I think Virginia is right as our book were all on B&N. I believe this is only the case if you opt for the extended distribution. We did opt for that for a while, but then we dropped it because it drive up the price of our print editions to high. (I haven't checked to see if our books are still on B&M or not.)


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Getting your book into the brick and mortar store isn't the same as getting the book online. Create Space does not have a buy back option, which is required by some stores to stock your physical books. Another author here had a signing and she had to create a company, get her own ISBN, and set up through Ingram directly to qualify for their buy back option before B&N would consider stocking her book. Also, no, they would not let her bring her own copies.


message 10: by Owen (last edited Apr 28, 2015 04:23PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Christina wrote: "Getting your book into the brick and mortar store isn't the same as getting the book online. Create Space does not have a buy back option, which is required by some stores to stock your physical bo..."

Quite true. (My post above should have clarified I meant on-line, not physical stores.) The CS extended distribution is unclear (to me) on that issue (print editions in stores). I don't know much about the current situation, but when I knew people who worked in the industry decades ago, it was a difficult and dicey proposition.

I'm a little surprised that author you refer to got as far as they did. I've heard of smaller publishers having all sorts of problems with B&N, and other major chains. I also recall hearing strange things in years past about book signings from established authors at major chains, but I can't vouch for them.


message 11: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments Wow...this is all fabulous information(I had no idea it was THIS technical!)I have a contact name for a B&N near me and my book is on the extended distribution but I am not sure if it is active or not yet(it could take up to 6-8 weeks and I only published in mid-March)I guess I will have to see what I can do and let you guys know. Thanks so much!


message 12: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 30 comments Erica wrote: "Hi,

I just self-published my novel, Survival Tactics, through CreateSpace in mid March. I am interested in doing a book signing(I already did one on my own, but it was mostly friends and family)at..."


It might depend on where you are. My friend Caroline Slee had a terrific experience getting a signing at her local B & N - literally just walked into the store and set it up on the spot. You can read her account here:

http://bellesmots2000.com/2014/10/06/...


message 13: by J.N. (last edited Apr 28, 2015 03:47PM) (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments In the past, I've only witnessed book signings in a kroger or a walmart. It seems odd for sure. And in all intances the guy only had a total of 2-3 books on display. It's probably just bad timing on my part; maybe he'd already sold most of his bounty before I walked past the threshold? I smiled as I walked past him, but he never reciprocated. I never really did think much of book signings because I rarely saw them, and those I did see, like the above, seemed pointless. But then again, I never sought them out either. Maybe B&N throws better parties than kroger and walmart when it comes to book signings.

But now that I'm an "author", I'd be curious to see how this works out for you. Make an optimist out of me, please.


message 14: by Igzy (new)

Igzy Dewitt (IgzyDewitt) | 148 comments When I was younger I worked at B&N for a while and can tell you that they will occasionally do book signings for independent authors. These were usually events run by the CRM (Customer Relationship Manager: who deals with local institutions, organizes the major store events, etc). In the case of my store, they tended to do group signings with multiple authors at the same time. This likely varies store by store. I would contact your local store and call asking for either the CRM, or the manager, and inquire politely what you'd need to do to get a signing event locally.

My one takeaway from those events was that there was a local historian (air quotes) who published a few books himself, and would get progressively irritated when people were more interested in something that wasn't his word baby. Even 'no thank yous' made his face turn red. If you are lucky enough to get a signing, be nice. He drove away more customers than anyone else I've ever seen in retail.


message 15: by Tammie (new)

Tammie Painter | 1 comments I know it would be exciting to have a signing in a big name shop like B&N, but have you looked at smaller bookstores in your area? Some indie bookstores aren't very friendly toward Createspace authors (due to the fact that CS is part of Amazon and they see Amazon as evil), but others may be open (and happy about) to working with a local author.

Also, don't overlook your local libraries. Many love working with local authors. I'm currently scheduled to do a book signing for my upcoming release at my local library's annual book sale which draws thousands of people a day (YAY). Your best bet for library contacts is either to contact the library director or your library's "Friends" group (a volunteer group that works to support the library).

And if your book is non-fiction or a novel that has some relation to a specific type of business (gardening, for example), don't forget to contact local garden centers. You just never know who may be interested in having you do a signing.

Good luck!


message 16: by Green (new)

Green Markos I agree with Tammy, local libraries are usually very interested in supporting local authors. I plan to go this route for a local signing.


message 17: by Erica (new)

Erica Stinson (goodreadscomerica_r_stinson) | 139 comments That's not a bad idea. I may seek out the New York Public Library since they do a lot of events. I really appreciate all the good tips! I tried to get into Queens College book store, but their events are over for the year. Also, they wanted to know CS's buy-back policy for unsold books. I think I am going to invest in my own ISBN number and see what I can do for them later this year in October. On the plus side of having to wait with this, I am planning on releasing my next novel, which I am currently working on and plan to finish by September, in December(in the hopes of boosting Christmastime sales)so I could probably do a promo for that one while signing books for the current one. For the ISBN do you have to have one each for digital and paperback? I am quite sure I read that somewhere, but there is so much information out there my brain feels overloaded lol. I would love to have an ISBN for my current digital format so that I can sell it directly. I am on Smashwords, which offers a lot of distribution, but the visibility is poor(haven't made a single sale on there yet). Maybe I will try to see if a publishing house will pick up "Survival Tactics" early next year, which will tremendously help with marketing. Manhattan is easily accessible by subway, so I don't have a problem at least trying. Thanks!


message 18: by Claire (new)

Claire Phoenix (PrincessPea87) | 12 comments Have you looked into author signings for your genre online? There are a lot of big events which will take indie and new authors, you just have to sign up/register/apply.

It's taken some research but I've already lined up a signing spot for 2016 and my book won't be released until this summer.

I expect that number to go up once my book is released and I have a more stable following. Right now it's just me pushing my awesome self onto event planners. ;)

Blog tours are also another great option, and there's a few companies who will do all the gruntwork for you!


message 19: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Culpepper | 23 comments Great info on the book signings. I'm still on the fence with my paperbacks being through Createspace or Ingram spark! My local library has also agree to a book signing during their reader week. Best wishes to all of you in your writing endeavors!


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