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Booksale Flubs: Folly #1 – Bad Location

I’m planning a book sale to celebrate the release of BAD LIES, a suspense story about two Americans, a golfer and a geologist, stumbling into danger in Italy.

I enjoy setting up book sales in my community, because I gain new readers, but even more important, I shine a light on my town. This isn’t my first book sale/rodeo, and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to run them. Today, I’ll share one of five of my former follies.

Folly One: Not Drilling down on Location, Location, Location

Authors regularly hold signings in bookstores and libraries, but in both of those venues the competition with other authors is off the charts-books abound! You’ll see in Example #2, below, that I’ve sold in a gift/book store, but I had to work hard to bring a focus on my books. Easier is to secure a site where books and a local author are more of a rarity. Look to your plot and character careers for unique venues. Is your heroine a gambler? Hawk your books at a casino. If a hero loves microbrews, sell in a brewery; when plot revolves around the woes of farming wine grapes, set your sale site at a local winery. Here are two unique locations I’ve used:

Example #1: BAD LIES, set in California and Italy, is about a late-blooming pro golfer and her reluctant caddy, who hates golf. He’s a NATO geologist surveying Italy’s caves for anti-terrorism sites. My book sale venue (wish it could be Italy, but…): A golf course pro shop at Cypress Ridge (In my book I called the course Cypress ‘Crest’). In my publicity, I’m giving lots of attention to the fact Cypress Ridge is one of the highest rated golf courses in California! I shine a light on my community and I pull in new readers (golfers), because they’ll find their game and their golf course talked about it my book. Excerpt from the poster:

BAD LIES Coming-Out Party at Cypress Ridge!

Play golf/Drop in: Sunday, April 9, 1-4pm; $2 off at bar

Danger comes to a golfer and a geologist in BAD LIES, set at Cypress ‘Crest’ golf course, the Amalfi caves and a golf course in Italy. Let’s give BAD LIES a proper coming-out party! A mini water-proof notebook to all who drop in!

Example #2: LIE CATCHERS, set in Petersburg, Alaska, includes some information about Sing Lee, a man who was murdered in that town in the early 1900’s. I held the book signing, in a bookstore/giftshop named ‘Sing Lee Bookstore,’ capitalizing on the mystery of Sing Lee’s cold case in my publicity. In this case, a bookstore/giftshop was a perfect site: I sold 50 books with the help of a dead man. I shine a light on my community; I pull in Petersburg readers because they’re interested in Sing Lee’s murder.

I have four more of my follies to cover in my next blogs. Stay tuned!

Folly #2: Poor Planning

Folly #3: Paltry Publicizing

Folly #4: Not Sharing the Benefits

Folly #5: Faulty Follow-Up


Italy’s haunted caves spell danger for an American golfer and a NATO geologist


Sophie Maxwell is a late-blooming, unorthodox golfer, and mother of a precocious thirteen year-old. Determined to put divorce, bankruptcy, and a penchant for gambling in her past, Sophie goes to Italy for a qualifying golf tournament.

Jack Walker turned his back on a pro golfing career to become a geologist. As a favor to his ailing father he’ll caddy for Sophie; off hours, he’ll find caves on the Mediterranean coast, suitable for NATO listening posts for terrorist activity.

Someone is determined to stop Jack’s underground hunt and ruin Sophie’s chances to win her tournament.

On a Rome golf course and in the Amalfi coast’s haunted caves, all the odds are stacked against Sophie and Jack. In their gamble of a lifetime, who wins?

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