Saturday, 13 August 2011

It's FAB by Ann Evans

My day to day office is nestled within a photographic studio in sunny Nuneaton. It’s a little business that I share with my photographer friend, Rob. We’ve worked as a freelance team on magazines for donkey’s years and found this studio four years ago.

It wasn’t a studio at first, it was a doggy grooming parlour but five solid weeks of scrubbing, painting, decorating and rebuilding and it was miraculously transformed.

My own books have always been on display in the reception (perks of the job!) and many a customer has come in to have their photo taken and gone home with a signed copy of The Beast, The Reawakening or Rampage. Then a couple of months ago it dawned on me that I could display other Sassie’s books. (Apologies for the fact that it’s taken me four years to think up this idea!) We’d got a little bit of spare space in reception for a book stand (which my local library very kindly let me have for FREE!) Plus I hoped that a nice window display of children's books would attract more customers into the shop AND make some sales for fellow authors.

So, that’s what I’m doing. Starting with some CARm people first I’ve got a fabulous collection of signed children’s books on display in one studio window and Rob has created a big poster (4ft x 3ft) complete with a logo for another window. The FAB logo incidentally stands for: FICTION AUTHORS BOOKS!

About a dozen Sassies have kindly let me have signed copies of their books, and the plan is when I sell one I’ll send them a cheque. It’s not going to make anyone rich but it’s another outlet for sales – albeit a tiny one, keeps our books on display, it’s something different and it’s a bit of fun.

I wonder if any other authors (or their partners/family/friends) have a similar work set up where they too could organise a nice little display of author-signed books. Or maybe your local friendly newsagent might stock a local author’s books, especially if they are signed.

We used to be a nation of shopkeepers, maybe the future will see us as a nation of micro book shops.

My FAB little venture might work it might not, but hey-ho! Nothing ventured nothing gained.



13 comments:

Susan Price said...

As one of the authors whose books are displayed, I have a keen interest in your success, Ann! (Looking v stylish in the photos, btw.) Possible expansion into Kindle Authors, if it works? Lots of luck!

madwippitt said...

What a great idea - and a generous offer to share your space. Wonder if it's woryh pursuing round other local businesses - opticians waiting rooms, dentists and doctors spring to mind as there's always a wait and time to browse ...

Ann Evans said...

Thanks Sue. As for looking stylish - perks of working alongside a professional photographer. A few nips and tucks via photoshop!!

And Madwuppit - good idea for other reception rooms.

Karen King said...

Sue's right you look very snazzy,Ann :)And thanks so much for sharing this space with us. You're a star!

Ann Evans said...

My pleasure, Karen! I just want to read all the books!

Katherine Roberts said...

The scattered authors also used to have a display of signed copies at a cafe in Hay-on-Wye. I got chatting to the owner one day, and he said it would be great to have some books for customers to read at the tables... he didn't sell them, but the bookshop next door ordered some copies and put them in the window so people could pop in and buy them if they wanted.

For a while, it was a little micro-selling opportunity - something that could not really be done with e-books, though?

Debbie said...

The only way I've found to advertise ebooks off the web itself is by having postcards printed up from vistaprint. It's not expensive and I leave them at conventions and other places. When I'm brave enough, I'll try leaving some in Waterstones, although my local library refused to let me leave them with the other flyers - it's "commercial" apparently, and they won't support that, despite hosting indie authors for real book signings.

Emma Barnes said...

Wish I was close enough to pop in and browse the shelves...what a brilliant idea.

Dennis Hamley said...

Ann, I'd be very happy to send you some signed books. Just give me an address and they're yours. It's a brilliant idea. Why didnlt we all think of it.

Dennis Hamley said...

Sorry. Due to natural incompetence my last sentence got slightly mangled. Just so you don't all think I'm an illiterate slob, can I confirm that it should have read, 'It's a brilliant idea. Why didn't we all think of it?'? (The last question mark is very pedantic.)

Rosalie Warren said...

As another author whose books are on display in Ann and Rob's studio - I'd also like to say a big thank you, and hope lots of others will be inspired by this idea.

Ann Evans said...

Thank you for those lovely positive comments, and Dennis I'll email you with my address, if you'd like to send me two signed copies of any titles that you have spare.
Cheers!

Kay Woodward said...

Hiya! I'm actually in Nuneaton on Saturday, so will pop along! Would you like me to bring some copies of my books? X