Michael Haskins

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prove me wrong, please!

I had my first signing for “Free Range Institution” at Murder on the Beach bookstore last week and the attendance was better than I thought. I sold 14 copies of “Free Range Institution” and five trade paperback copies of “Chasin’ the Wind,” My first Mick Murphy Key West Mystery.

SleuthFest is only days away and I am on a panel about local in your story and moderate a panel about authors who are published by small presses. My publisher, Five Star, is a small press and it is my opinion that small presses are the only way for new writers to break in. There will be book signings after each panel for those involved and I hope to sell more books.

It is harder and harder to get an agent and/or publisher these days. The big bucks go to the writers on the NY Times bestseller list and with publishing in as much of a financial mess as everyone else, there’s little money left for unproven writers.

I look forward to my book tour that will take me to Houston and Los Angeles. I will be at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival with other MWA writers where I will be signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth.

Then I have three signing that week. The first one at Book Carnival in Orange, Ca. then at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in La Canada, Ca., and finally at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks, Ca. If you are in any of these cities, or close by, please come in and say hi.

I look forward to these signings because I have my suspicions that this could be my last book-signing road trip. Not because I don’t want to do it, but book selling is a business now and not so much about the authors. Sales are important, and always have been, but the independent bookstores used to welcome all authors.

In NYC, one bookstore asked me to guarantee 30 book sales before they would host a signing. Hell, I hoped for 50 or 100, but guarantee – give me a break. Without being a draw of some kind, I think many authors will discover it is harder and harder to find stores willing to host signings.

I would love to be proven wrong.

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