Steven Gomez: "Holding readings in complementary businesses"
Noir mysteries conjure up images of dark, dangerous streets, hardboiled private eyes, shady ladies who aren't what they seem, or aren't only what they seem. Not until I met Steven Gomez did the genre also bring to mind gourmet tacos. Follow along as he discusses how authors can hold book readings, signings, and giveaways in complementary businesses ... and get a load of this awesome cover.
Like every writer, I adore bookstores! Spending my youth wandering through the dusty stacks and dark corners of the neighborhood bookseller helped make me the person I am today. They are cathedrals for what we love and want to do, and we should support them until our dying breaths. What we have to understand is that there is also an audience that is interested in our messages that ALMOST NEVER wander into bookstores. But it IS out there, and it’s hungry for what you have to say.
The easiest and best way to find this audience is to work with someone who already has its attention. In my case, I have a book of mystery short stories that end in recipes. In creating a buzz for this book, I launched it at a small-but-elegant café where I charged people for an event that included a signed copy of the book, a reading, a movie screening, and a “mystery-themed” raffle. I created a book event for people who might otherwise have no interest in book events.
Another great by-product of thinking outside the bookstore is that complementary businesses take notice of what you are doing and will seek you out. As soon as I set up my book launch in the café, I was able to talk to a spice store and set up “A Fiery Friday the 13th.” The spice store hosted a reading where I read from a story that ended with a chili recipe. The store then made the chili, offered samples to their customers, and had for sale pre-made spice packages that followed the recipe in my book.
“That sounds great,” you might say. “But my book is about karate… or knitting… or rescue dogs.” Or whatever. That’s great. It means that you can own whatever field you are interested in. YOU get to be the rock star!
If your protagonist is a martial artist, then work with the local dojo to set up an open house where you can read between demonstrations. If you write about knitting, go to the local yarn store and set up a reading. You can have a night of catered knitting… with you as the star. If you write about rescue animals, talk to your local pet store and work with them the next time they have an adoption event or animal agility training. The sky’s the limit!
When you take the time to look around, you’ll find that you have spent your entire life establishing relationships with business owners in the community, and now you have the unique opportunity to help them out just as much as they can help you. For a lot of people, the words “I am a writer” are interchangeable with “I am a magician.” You, and what you write, are fascinating, and they will want to know more. If it’s a subject that they are already interested in, then you’ve already got them.
From the café where you get your morning latte to the place you pick up your deep-dish sausage and mushroom pizza, there are many businesses that you care about and support. Almost to a person they would like to support you as well. Now get going!
Steven Gomez is a mystery writer and the Chief Investigator at the Noir Factory, a fictional detective agency. His first novel, Taco Noir – Tales of Culinary Crime, is now available at Amazon. Readers of this blog can visit the Noir Factory offices at http://thenoirfactory.com/join and register to receive a free E-book of “Lefty and the Boxcar,” a hard-boiled who-done-it.
Yeah, gourmet chili. I'm sold. Thanks for the great marketing tool, Steven! Taco Noir is currently available from Amazon in paperback and would make a great gift for the Dashiell Hammett fan in your life.