Weigh cons of a book presentation against pros

While readings, signings and other public presentations are a great way to promote your book, they aren’t always the best way to increase sales.

Before deciding to give a presentation, always balance the cons against the potential benefits:
• Potentially low ROI – The expenses of attending a book presentation can quickly outpace the sales at the event. Generally, the farther away from your home the presentation, the more you’ll spend on gas, the more likely you’ll have to purchase a meal or two, and the more likely you’ll need a hotel. The return on investment simply may not be worth it.
• Potentially low turnout – Unless you’ve done a lot of promotional work and are in a large metropolitan area, your event probably won’t attract a lot of attendees. This means minimal sales and maybe a little blow to the ego.
• Potentially loss of time – Every hour lost writing are all that fewer pages you can publish. Ask yourself what is more productive: tweeting for five minutes to garner a lone book sale and then spending the other three hours writing your next novel or spending an hour on the road and then two more sitting at a poorly attended event in which you make just a couple of book sales?

Of course, the best way to determine if a venue or event is good for a presentation is to actually go there and if necessary taking your lumps. Asking other authors about their success at the same locales can be helpful, but sometimes their books are perfect for those who shop a certain bookstore while yours aren’t. So, look at the first year as a learning experience and be willing to lose a little money. The next book, you’ll know better.