Independent bookstore owners and their event managers (if they have one) are inundated almost daily with requests from self-published and small-press authors looking to book in-store signings.
At the same time, traditional in-store signings and readings get an increasingly low turnout due to changing customer needs and expectations. Shelf space is limited as is marketing budgets and payroll, often putting these events at a seemingly low priority for bookstore owners and managers, leading to frustration for everyone involved.
Amanda Clark-Ball, events manager at The Novel Neighbor, has found a successful way around this for everyone by offering dedicated time for self-published authors each month as well as crafting creative events that provide added value to attendees, facilitated by the authors.
Along with local author Cameron Collins (Lost Treasures of St. Louis, St. Louis Brews 3rd Edition), she will provide honest and candid discussion about this process and how authors can avoid mistakes in reaching out to bookstores for events and shelf space.
Amanda Clark-Ball is Events & Programming Manager for The Novel Neighbor and has over ten years experience in marketing, communications, and public relations. She has been a panelist and featured speaker on the topics of social media, entrepreneurship, marketing best practices, and resilience. She is also the owner of Renegade STL, a nationally-recognized company providing off-beat and original tours of St. Louis.
Cameron Collins is the author of Lost Treasures of St. Louis and the co-author of St. Louis Brews: The History of St. Louis Brewing, 3rd Edition. His perspective on the rich history of St. Louis can also be found in the award-winning blog Distilled History.