Signings and Radio – Spreading the Author Brand

This weekend I flew to New York for two reasons. The first: BookCon. For those who aren’t familiar with BookCon, it is a reader event that caps off the end of the BEA Convention: Book Expo of America. BookCon covers Saturday and Sunday and is comprised of a ton of author signings and panels.

I signed at 1pm on Saturday. The beauty about arriving at 1pm is that I missed the line for entry:

I know, RIDICULOUS, right? That is the passion of readers – the willingness to wait 3-4 hours. I love that passion and the energy that filled the 760,000 square feet of the Javits Center. YES, 760 THOUSAND. (I’m so glad that I packed a just-in-case pair of flats) I met my editor at the entrance, got my badge, and we made our way to the Hachette booth. “You’re on in ten,” Susan said. “We just have to wait for David to finish.” The casually mentioned ‘David’ turns out to be David BALDACCI. I fidgeted in my seat, watched him sign, and tried not to fangirl.

The fabulous team at Hachette/Redhook/Orbit had 100 gorgeous copies of the Girl in 6E available, so I signed paperbacks from 1pm to 2pm and met an amazing group of readers, some of which had never read my books before.

It was an interesting experience for me – the ‘corporate’ book signing. Normally, I attend 4-5 signings a year which are Indie events – group signings with 40-50 authors and 500-1000 readers. The readers don’t have time to visit every author so the readers I meet are ones familiar with my books. This was new for me – and while I appreciated the chance to interact with virgin readers, I wish I had had a little more time with each of them. The entire process was very rushed – 100 books in 60 minutes doesn’t allow time for chitchat – and gave me a small idea of how a signing must be for someone like EL James who has to meet 2,000 readers in 4 hours. It made me grateful, in some (tiny) way, that my success is limited enough that I can still establish strong relationship with my readers, and have an open line of communication with them. One day, if my brand continues to grow, it will be very hard to maintain that, and that is kinda sad.

Monday morning I headed to the SiriusXM studios to co-host Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy. I have done a slew of radio interviews before, but this was my first national show, and I had such an incredible time there.  Jenny McCarthy was exactly how you would expect: hilarious, sweet and wickedly smart. It was really interesting to see her behind the scenes, and everything that she has to do to prep for and run a successful show. She is extremely hard-working and it was great to see her maintain a smile and humor while doing SO much. If you haven’t seen Wahlburgers or Donnie Loves Jenny (her reality show) – they are both great and highly entertaining. Dirty Sexy Funny airs Monday – Friday from 10am – noon EST and repeats from 6pm – 8pm EST on SiriusXM Channel 109.

Here is an excerpt from my time on air:

To all of those authors who are considering radio as a source of advertising. I was on the air for two full hours with Jenny. My book sales increased only marginally that day. And by marginally, I mean less than 100 additional copies were sold. I think the exposure was great for my brand, and for my readers’ enjoyment – but I don’t know that it is a strong medium for pushing book sales. Last year I did an 18-stop radio tour for the Girl in 6E’s print release and I didn’t see a large jump in sales from that either. Just some food for thought for those considering where to put advertising dollars.

I do think that book signings are crucial for building an author’s loyal readership base. If you get a chance to meet a reader and shake their hand, to have a moment of connection and conversation – that reader is 100% more likely to read a second book by you. That’s my two cents, feel free to take it or leave it. 

I’m off… got to dive back in to If You Dare rewrites. If You Dare is releasing in November, and I am so excited to get this book into your hands.

xoxo, Alessandra