Hi. I've already posted this on the mybook forum page so apologies if you've seen it there. I'm not sure of the protocol of this and hope I'm not committing some cardinal sin that will see me and my books stacked up at the bottom of a stake. It's just that I'm planning to visit the USA later in the year (don't know the dates yet - October, Novermber-ish) and suggested to my publisher that i'd be prepared to do some bookshop visits, signings, workshops, talks, whatever. The first of my books to be published in the USA - Material Evidence is due out later this summer. My aim is to stay with friends in Rhode Island then Florida and my publisher's asked if I have any ideas of bookstores I'd recommend. Needless to say, I haven't. I'll ask my US friends, of course, but I wondered whether any of you had any suggestions as to places, friendly managers, readerships hungry for a guy with a funny accent to talk to them, etc. I'd also appreciate any indications of the sort of things American readers expect/prefer when authors visit. Thanks in advance.

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Thanks a lot John. It confirms what I sort of suspected. And, as I said, I do have the advantage of that funny accent.
Many thanks, Joyce. I have friends in PA, so that might well be a possibility. (Although those particular friends don't know it yet. :)
Some bookstores known to be very supportive are: Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ, Murder by the Book in Houston, Partner and Crime and Black Orchid in NY and Mystery Bookstore in LA. They also can get a nice crowd. If you want to come to Michigan, we have Aunt Agathas in Ann Arbor, a nice store in a nice town.
I've been to a hundred signings and the best ones are where the author discusses how he came to write the book rather than just reading from it. Few readers are entertaining after about ten minutes and you want it to last longer than that.
Thank you Patricia. Your suggestions make me want to turn the trip into a several months tour - if only to see these places you identify. One day maybe. Meantime, what youmrecommend has been added to my 'to-do' list.
Wow - that was quick. Thanks a lot for your suggestions. Looks like I could turn this into a grand tour of the States. Seriously, your comments are much appreciated.
I would concentrate on the mystery bookstores in the areas you'll be visiting. You can Google a list of them, go to IMBA (Independent Mystery Bookstore Assn), or find them on www.cluelass.com. I think you'll get a friendlier reception than you will at the chains, IMHO.
Thanks a lot Libby. Very useful tips. Your point about the specialist stores applies in the UK too, I think.
If you come to south Florida, there are two great independent bookstores to visit, both of whom do a good job of turning out audiences. Murder on the Beach is a lovely little bookstore in Delray Beach, and Books and Books has several branches in Miami, including their main store in Coral Gables.
Many thanks Neil. I'll defineitely be in Florida so I'll get in touch with the outlets you mention well in advance.
I wouldn't rule out the independent stores. Some of them are large and have newsletters to promote your visit. The other thing that can make this trip into an amazing opportunity is to find some receptive libraries to host and promote your tour. My local writers group hosted an afternoon extravaganza with our local booksellers and librarians and got great feedback on how an author can promote better in their venues. If you arrange for a bookseller to transact sales at a library on your behalf after a speaking engagement, you can get some larger libraries to set up the speaking engagement with a booksigning afterwards. These can work great and since you're already in the city, why not add a library or two? And don't forget to sign stock at the chains. If you call ahead to let them know you're coming, they may have inventory for you to sign. You could be very busy if you choose to be.
Jordan, many thanks. I'd never thought of the library angle but, now that you spell it out, it seems an obvious connection. I;m amazed at the responses I'm getting here and what started out as an idea of visiting the occasional store here and there is beginning to look much more adventurous. Thanks a lot for the suggestions.
I'll second Murder by the Book in Houston...they do a great job of promoting your appearance and they're just all around great folks.
Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge Mass. is good.
Never been to Seattle Mystery Bookstore, but they've been very supportive of my stuff as well.


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