Tuesday, March 01, 2011

International Authors

I’m curious about how the fact the author isn’t in the U.S. affects the marketing or sales of a book. For example, an author overseas cannot conduct a signing event, a literary journalist might not want to call an overseas author, or an overseas author could not participate in a physical interview.

In your experience has this ever affected sales or any stage of the publishing in some way?

Our world is so much smaller than it was 10 to 15 years ago. With avenues such as Twitter and email it’s so easy to connect with people all over the world. The only thing that might be tricky for an international author is a book signing. That being said, I think book signings are the least important of all promotional activities.

Most authors connect with readers through social networking, blogs, and articles, and I don’t know of any journalist who has difficulty connecting with a source, no matter where that source might be.



lynneconnolly said...

I live in the UK, and yet the main market for my books is the USA.
I travel across the Pond at least once a year, for Romantic Times, which is good value for me.
It's big, there are two big booksignings and I get to meet editors, booksellers and readers. And it's a lot of fun.
While I agree with you about booksignings, the convention signing has extra benefits, and I can honestly say that RT is a career-making convention.

Jean Michelle Miernik said...

That's funny. Just a few days ago I ordered a book through Barnes and Noble written by a UK author because I saw it reviewed on a blog. I read blog posts about books all the time but rarely attend book signings.

Speaking of promoting stuff online... :) ...the Literary Lab (literarylab.blogspot.com) has just released their Notes from Underground short story anthology. As a contributor, I got a sneak peek, and it is amazing. All proceeds go to the Writer's Emergency Assistance Fund. They're giving out a coupon code until March 8.

Scooter Carlyle said...

I met an agent from the U.K. at a conference a few months ago. I liked him very much, but I wasn't certain if querying in another country would be a good idea.

Kate Douglas said...

From an author's point of view, book signings can be a monumental waste of time unless you're a huge name and will draw big crowds. Like Lynne, I confine my signings to the large conferences where I'm guaranteed to meet a number of readers. Sitting in a book store, twiddling your thumbs for half a dozen people is time better spent doing something more productive, so I wouldn't worry about living in another country and trying to promote. As Jessica says, the Internet has definitely made the world smaller.

Anonymous said...

I did attend a reading/book signing by Salman Rushdie where they had to put black paper in front of the windows because he was in danger of being shot. That was a highly entertaining international author event. :)

ryan field said...

"That being said, I think book signings are the least important of all promotional activities."

I agree. And a there's a big trend with e-book readers all over the world who request signed book plates from authors. The readers either scrapbook the signed book plates, or attach them right to their e-readers.

Dorte H said...

Good point (and very positive for someone from Scandinavia who mainly writes in English nowadays).

We also see it in the world of blogging - often you don´t know where the blogger lives unless you check the blog very thoroughly. And bloggers definitely sell books - no matter whether publishers have realized it or not.

Kate Douglas said...

Another thing I didn't mention is that our readers are as international as the authors--I open my contests through my newsletter to readers out of the US, and I'm amazed from the countries I hear from. With the Internet, we have readers all over the world. The Internet is more effective than a book signing any day.

Unknown said...

This is good news to me, seeing as how I live faaaaaar away from the US :-)

Anonymous said...

Yay! I am so happy to read this. I am a South African, living in Beijing, wanting to submit a query to an agent in New York. How's that for "small world"?