Thursday, November 15, 2007

Book Business

Things have been a bit busy here this week - I'm not sure what I accomplished but blogging hasn't been one of them. I have managed to get every book order out the door so if you ordered from me:
a) Thanks so much! I appreciate selling the books myself - it helps us out.
b) Your book is on its way to you so keep checking your mailbox.

Next week, we are hosting a rather large Thanksgiving party. For the first time in at least 20 years, all of my sisters and me and my mom will be together for the holiday. With them comes, a new boyfriend with his three children, a new husband, and all the regulars (two sisters and spouses with 5 children plus us). Okay - this is forcing me to count - twenty people in that tiny little dining room. Time for some creativity. Needless to say, it's about time to change the "book shipping room" back into a dining room for a few days.

Today I had a meeting at a Barnes and Noble store in the middle of Massachusetts. I was totally overjoyed to see that my book was finally in the store. It was on a top shelf and there were four copies. You're probably wondering why this should matter but to an author it does. It means that B&N bought a lot of books and liked it enough to actually buy more than one per store. It also means that they asked the publisher if they would pay for a top shelf promotion (yes, you heard it, pay!) and they had enough faith in the book to say yes.

As a book lover, collector, and knitter, it's hard to think about how cut-throat the book business really is. But that is the honest truth - any book out on a table or in multiple copies on a shelf means that the publisher had to pay something for that space - like grocery store placement. As an author, it gives me a better chance of selling some books so that's nice.

I must admit that as an author, I have rearranged those shelves around once in a while. It must drive the staff crazy but you know, you've got to look out for number one. Who is going to dig through all those shelves to find one little eensy copy of Colorful Stitchery or Knitting for Baby? Probably noone - but if I stick it up top, maybe someone will buy it. I'm sure those books get moved back to the bottom shelves rather quickly but I think it is a game all authors play.

The indepedent yarnstore or bookstore is a different thing - those shopowners work so hard as do their employees. They handsell a lot of books. If I can get into a yarnstore for a signing, I can usually sell about 10 to 20 books and everyone is happy. More than 20 and everyone is ecstatic. It's not feasible for me logistically to do too many signings but last weekend's at Woolcott was lots of fun.

I saw lots of old friends. Here I am with Alice (new owner of Be Bop), Cynthia (former owner of Woolcott), and my friend Cathy Payson.

I met some new ones too - This is "Sean from Woolcott" with Linda Pratt from Westminster Fibers and me. By the way, Sean also stocks my Julia yarn for anyone looking for specific colors in eastern Massachusetts.

Penn lost the game but my enormous family descended on the store after the game. Here's my mom, Cathy Payson, Julia and I outside the store. We had a fun meal at the Border Cafe after, a true Harvard Square institution.

Thanks to Sean for putting on the signing. It was so much fun to meet so many nice, enthusiastic knitters. I can't wait to see what they do with the ideas they find in the book.


KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

We were in Portland, OR yesterday and I got in a trip to Powells Books. I saw yours on the shelf (3 copies), but didn't even take it out to look at it as I knew mine would be waiting for me when we got home today (and it was!). I did buy a copy of Colorful Stitchery and it's a great book. I love your ideas about color and there are some nice embroidery stitches I haven't tried yet. Now, to take a look at Kristin Knits!

Anonymous said...

i saw four copies of your book (3 topshelf!) at barnes and noble in spartanburg, south carolina...even though i ordered from you i had to's so beautiful!!
:) laura

Lynn said...

Now, wait a minute - knitters are exactly the sort of people who sort through every book on the shelves looking for the one copy of a new book that they simply must have. Or, maybe that's just me!

Gudrun Johnston said...

My husband is a novelist and is always facing front his books in B and n stores!...It is amazing how controlled all that space good for you for getting a good airing!

maryse said...

i have a couple of friends with books out there and whenever i see them in the stores i admit to moving them around a bit so that they're more prominently displayed. shhhh don't tell anyone.

Willow said...

There is so much I don't know about the publishing industry. I learn so much from you.
BRB--going to check my mailbox!
Nope, not yet. It takes longer to get a package from MA to SoCal and then to Willow's town. Can I wait until tomorrow???

woolywoman said...

Top shelf in Oakland, CA!! I absolutely love your book, and after taking it to the LYS, the LYSO is looking into carrying Julia Yarn. Wheeee! Keeping my fingers crossed!

Julie said...

My book came yesterday - and I love it! I'm waiting to see it listed on Ravelry so I can add it to my library there (and impress everyone with my boundless good taste). Your inscription was very sweet, thank you!!!

anmiryam said...

20 people for t-day sounds like a good number. I am firmly in the bigger is better camp of thanskgiving meals. I feel we're a bit thin on the ground this year at just nine.

Enjoy, the signing looks like fun. I need you to come down to Philly and do an event here...

southern gal said...

Lucky me - one of my sisters is giving me your book (along with Kaffe's) as bday present - not here yet but hope they will this week (bday was 16th).

cant wait!