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Category Archives: Books into Bookstores

Sharon A. Crawford’s Beyond Faith appearances

I have a sequence of events where I am appearing with two of my Beyond mystery series in the next few weeks. One on my own and others with other criminal (I mean “crime”) writers. Fortunately, the snafu with Indigo and its chain of bookstores having problems ordering in Beyond Faith for the actual stores, seems to have been fixed by the distributor, Ingram Sparks. Let’s hope it stays fixed. The store  managers and I were perplexed and frustrated by the problem.

Here is the  first event.

We will not be reading from our books. Instead we will be doing mini-presentations about our latest books. In my case, will my nosey main character PI Dana Bowman show up? I am trying to contain her between the book covers of Beyond Faith. But who knows what that wily PI will come up with?

And what are the other authors going to do?

Maureen Jennings (Murdock Mysteries) will be announcing the short list for each category for this year’s Arthur Ellis Awards. We (and others present) will be listening with the proverbial bated breaths.

So, if you are in the area in the GTA or actually in Toronto, please drop by for an interesting evening. And it’s all free.

Meantime, you can click on the Beyond Faith book cover at the top for more info about it.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

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Unexpected snafus when marketing your book

Click on book for more info

I love promoting my Beyond books – in person (alone or with other authors) or on social media. Sure, it is a lot of work but it can get very creative. However, one thing, actually many things have come up, under one category to slow or stop the process – snafus from outside sources, particularly connected to computers and other digital stuff.

Here’s what I’ve been dealing with to promote Beyond Faith. Warning: some of it might sound a bit odd and at least unexpected and unwelcome.

My Beyond books are available online in both paperback and e-copy in many outlets world-wide. But to get them in bookstores the bookstore has to order them in at either my request or someone who walks into a bricks and mortars bookstore and wants a copy. If I have already persuaded the bookstore to order in a copy, then the customer can buy it. Otherwise it can be ordered in.

That’s the way it is supposed to work and has with Beyond the Tripping Point and Beyond Blood. My publisher’s distributor sends electronically all the info to all these bookstore.

Not for the Indigo Chapters Coles chain. And this was not the chain’s fault. Imagine my surprise when I went into a Coles bookstore and the manager was so enthusiastic to order in Beyond Faith and Beyond Blood and have me do a book signing, but when she went to order them in (while I was there) no problem with BB, but she couldn’t do so with BF. She advised me to contact my publisher and when it was fixed she would order them in and set up a book signing.

I emailed my publisher right away and he got on it right away, even ccing me with his email to the distributor. A customer service guy from the latter emailed me and said it was being forwarded to their tech dept. to fix. Yes, it was a computer glitch from the distributor. Since then, my publisher let me know it has been fixed so I emailed the bookstore manager and just hope this message hasn’t screwed up her still wanting to order in my books and have me do a book signing.

And the bookseller company isn’t completely guilt-free as there is another problem – the book cover for Beyond Faith shows fine on their website for ordering in for the e-copy but for the print copy (which presumably can now be ordered in) shows no book cover  – just a standard book graphic with the message that the book cover graphic isn’t available. I contacted the bookstore online customer service and got an email that I had to contact the new author section and gave me an email. Somebody from there emailed me and said they could fix it if i emailed them a jpeg of the book cover – and proceeded to give me the size and dimensions and dpi required and the file name to use. i had to find the larger book cover graphic on my computer . Even with my organized file system it wasn’t that easy to find and then I had to rename file and find it again. And yes I used my computer’s Search function.

It doesn’t help that I have limited sight in my left eye.  Which explains any typos I may have not caught and corrected after reading the preview of my posts.

But I sent the book cover graphic and got a reply that the jpeg is okay but it will take a few days for them to get fixed.

At least all the replies to me from the bookseller customer service, etc. came quickly

Like I said I like doing book promo – the legwork – in person and the finger work online including social media. But trying to remedy others mistakes? Especially technical ones?

Nah!

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

 

 

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More tales from the book marketing trenches

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

I continue with marketing my mystery novel Beyond Blood into bricks and mortar bookstores. And I keep in mind the possibility of book returns and loss in royalties. So I’m not exactly bombarding bookstores. However, I am plugging along to visit the bookstores on my list. At least I’m organized – after a fashion.

Yesterday I popped into another Indigo Bookstore, this one mid-town going north in Toronto. As usual I prepared in my head what I planned to say.

It didn’t go exactly that way. But it doesn’t help if you (read me) have some health issues acting up when you are talking to the bookstore manager. Mine is an on-again off-again (mostly on it seems) sinusitis infection that sometimes goes down lower to glands. It makes me tired sometimes – I also don’t get enough sleep some evenings because late at night I suddenly decide I have a lot of house-related stuff I just have to do and get to bed late. Obviously it is important to be organized in your personal life as well.

So what did happen? First the manager thought I was trying to get the book in on consignment and said no openings for that until next April. I had managed to remember to introduce myself, my publisher and that the book is not self-published. I also mentioned what other branches in the chain it was in and BB wasn’t on consignments there and they just ordered from the distributer. Still not exactly clear because yours truly forgot one important point. Beyond Blood is for sale on line at this bookstore chain. Magic words. He was interested. I also said I do book signings, but he said that branch doesn’t do that anymore because they don’t get the people like they used to. Different demographic now. We talked about a couple of other branches, but I did agree with him. So he took my business card (with the info – including photos of the book covers and one of me – thanks to my son’s design, and web links to more). I got his contact info.

So, we shall see.

Meantime I keep watch on the other bookstores handling Beyond Blood and also book more library gigs where I can read and present and sell books directly. It is also a good way to connect with readers. I have a new one September 3 on my own at Brentwood Library branch in Toronto. Will get that one in the Gigs and Blog Tours page on this blog shortly and also my website www.samcraw.com. Also organizing one with other Crime Writers of Canada in another library branch for late next March. And there will be another bookstore CWC one outside Toronto in late November.

You have to keep plugging and don’t give up.

But get lots of sleep and scrap those late-night house chores.

 

Meantime, if you are in the Toronto area, check out the big Indigo Bookstore in the Manu-life Centre. As of yesterday there was still a copy there. Or go to their online ordering. Print copies and e-copies – Kobo – available (among other places) at https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=Beyond%20blood%20and%20Sharon%20A.%20Crawford And if you want e-copies in either Kindle or Kobo go to my publisher, Blue Denim Press, at http://bluedenim.skemantix.com/books/beyond-blood/

 

Happy reading.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Beyond Blood into bricks and mortars bookstores

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

Sometimes we focus on promoting our books through social media only. Sometimes we focus on e-copies only.

Let’s not forget that many books still come in print too. Sure they are available online, but sometimes the bricks and mortars bookstores can be a selling resource too.

And it may not be as difficult to get them to carry your book. Especially if you have a distributor. Especially if you do events with writing organizations that you belong to – and those organizations are sponsoring an event in a bookstore.

Not trying to turn back the clock here. There are other instances of media that didn’t disappear just because something new didn’t come along. Think TV. Think radio. Think print newspaper and magazines. They have just all changed and expanded on how they present. But some variation of the original still exists.

Back to bookstores. First, my Beyond mysteries series are not self-published and my publisher through the distributor (Ingram for those interested) has had my books placed online at various bookstores – Barnes and Noble in the United States for example, and Indigo-Chapters in Canada. But anyone can go in any bookstore and order in a copy of Beyond Blood and/or Beyond the Tripping Point. The bookstore will just order through Ingram.

That’s not exactly in the store, though. Here’s my story on that.

I belong to Crime Writers of Canada. Every April CWC holds the Arthur Ellis Short List party at one of the main Indigo Bookstores in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As part of the celebrations, CWC published authors are invited to read. Well, not all members, but 12 to 16 or so – first to sign up, first to read. That means Indigo has to order in print copies of these authors’ books. Any not sold at the party go into the bookstore’s section. It really helped that Beyond Blood was available through Indigo Chapters online.

Indigo/Chapters is a bookstore chain in Canada and once in one bookstore (especially a big one), it helps to get the book in others. So I’m doing this now. So far I haven’t had to go into a big spiel to pitch my book – at least with this chain. With other smaller independent bookstores – chains or not – I may have to use the competition angle.

It also helps that I write in the mystery genre. Mysteries and romances are selling well, in Canada, at least.

Meantime,  you can get e-copies of Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point online at my publishers at http://bluedenim.skemantix.com/books/beyond-blood/. Print copies and e-copies – Kobo – available (among other places) at https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/home/search/?keywords=Beyond%20blood%20and%20Sharon%20A.%20Crawford

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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