Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Festivals and New Release by Diane Burton

Is it worth it to do book festivals? I've participated in six events in two and a half months. Most were local, so mileage wasn't too bad. Plus, most I shared a ride with another author, which cut the gas and table cost in half. But, here's the kicker question: did I break even? Half and half. That's disappointing. I have three more this fall, then it's time to re-evaluate.

When sitting at a table, watching potential readers sail by is disheartening. But sometimes they stop and pick up my book. I tell them a little about it--like it takes place nearby, which always gets a smile. Just when I think they'll buy it, they set the book down and say they'll be back. I know they won't. They're just being polite. 

But then there's a person who buys all three books in a series because she's going on vacation and wants to read mysteries. Yay! Or the person who says she's read all my books and wants the newest one. Double yay!

A book event is a mixture of surprised elation and heartbreak. Besides the cost of gas and the table, there's also the time. Should I be home writing the next story or working on promo? Or playing with the grandkiddies? The latter is the most fun.

In anticipation of these events, I finally put two of my shorter books (ROMANCE REKINDLED and MISSION TO NEW EARTH) in paperback. ROMANCE REKINDLED is a Christmas story, so I have big hopes for that one the closer we get to the holidays.

Now for the best news. In August, I received the rights back to ONE RED SHOE, a romantic suspense. I love this book. I love all my books, but this one has a special place in my heart. Our own Alicia Dean did the original editing and made the story so much better. Because the cover art belonged to the publishing house, I needed a new one. Our own Alison Henderson did the cover. I hope you think it's as good as I do. I love it!

Here's a little about ONE RED SHOE:

It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day
When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them.


For the second time in her life, Daria Mason came face-to-face with a man pointing a weapon at her. A pervert, with unzipped jeans, wielded a green box knife. Because she’d raced into the restroom without checking out the situation, he now stood between her and the exit.
She was at the end of the proverbial rope. After walking in circles, she finally found a restroom and nobody was stopping her from using it. Especially not someone playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe.
“I am having a really bad day,” she declared in the don’t cross me voice she used on her brothers. As soon as her words echoed off the hideous pink and black tiled walls and floor, she lowered her voice. “You are in the wrong place, mister. Now zip up and get out.” She pointed straight-armed toward the door.

The man shook his head and set the flimsy knife on the counter. “Lady, you have more guts than sense. You are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” His voice was even softer than hers. He eyed her with a look so dark and intense it paralyzed her like a hawk freezes its prey. She swallowed past the fear in her throat, certain it sounded like a gulp.

ONE RED SHOE is available for pre-order at Amazon http://a.co/d/8DH9M5H


Margo Hoornstra said...

Another winner. That is a beautiful cover. Speaking of festivals I’ll see you at one next month. Love that excerpt.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Cover is great and so is the excerpt. I feel like you do about book events. I had decided to give them up. I was down to a very few books in my trunk. Then I got an invitation for a multi-author event that would cost me only $30 for two days in the Prescott town square. I had to try it. These events are very big. I have one word for the outcome. Weather. I froze the first day and sold only 4 books. At least the rain didn't start until that night. I didn't bother going the second cold, rainy day. Now I'm stuck with a supply of books so I HAVE to do some more book events. Vicious circle!

Jannine Gallant said...

Love the cover! I've only done one signing event with other authors (other than at RT), and it was underwhelming. My first book signing in my home town was a huge success. The second one...let's just say "Jannine the author" was no longer a novelty. I haven't bothered since. I can't see paying for a booth to lose money. It seems counterproductive. But then, I'm not willing to lose money on any sort of promo, so I'm probably in the minority.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I won't give up on face-to-face selling (I have lots of paperbacks to sell like Brenda has). But it is time-consuming and you really need a schtick to involve people in conversations. I use my waterproof notebooks as the giveaway...works. Like Jannine said, after the first 'local' big event, interest wanes. I'm speaking at a woman's club locally...selling books after. Maybe that will work. I need to figure out a good way to get national parks lovers to read my next book...but all my ideas take money to get to parks and lots of time to connect with park people...if I'm lucky. It is overwhelming...but we ever-persistent authors, mush on!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Margo. I love the cover. See you next month, or maybe on Saturday at the chapter meeting.

Diane Burton said...

Brenda, I know what you mean about stocking up on books only to have the event be a bust. $30 isn't bad for a booth. But if you don't even break even, it's no fun.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Jannine. You are so practical. LOL I'm not exactly a personality here, either. Only to the local book group. They enjoy tooting my horn. I love it, too.

Diane Burton said...

Rolynn, I enjoy the face-to-face with readers and other authors, too. I always learn so much during the down time. Still, I need to be practical. Two of the upcoming events are close, the other isn't that far away. It's one I've done for 5 years. That's where I'll see Margo.

Leah St. James said...

I haven't done a big book festival in years, but my experience has been largely like yours, Diane. I think readers are overwhelmed by too much selection. Just like online.

BTW, I loved One Red Shoe. The new cover is great! Wishing you much success with the new rollout. :-)