Book signings, genres and covers

With Spring hopefully not too far away, and restrictions easing, I’m looking forward to the resurrection of local book fairs. The one I attended shortly before Christmas brought to mind my first book signing many years ago. I had no idea what to expect, but my publishers told me everything had been organised with the manager of the main library in town. All I had to do was decide how many extra author copies of my book I wanted to buy. Full of hope I decided to order and pay for around 50 copies.

The library was also the main hub for several groups including mothers and toddlers, the W.I. and a few others who would be ideal prospective purchasers for the romance genre of my book. Unfortunately, the library representative and main organiser had taken a day off and left instructions with her assistant, who wasn’t the slightest bit interested. For various reasons some groups had cancelled or re-arranged their meeting date that week, and other unusual factors meant it wasn’t a resounding success. As my table was the first thing visitors saw, I spent most of the time acting as an information guide and unpaid library assistant.

When the contracts with my first two publishers expired, I became an Indie, (an independent author) and republished under my own imprint. At the Christmas book fair I had a better idea of what to expect, only ordered a few of each book and more or less sold them all. It happened to be at the same library, but was organised by the local council and very well run.

I’m supposed to have finished my eighth book by now, but it’s not flowing, and I do tend to flit between various genres. With your help I’d like to conduct a little experiment. The general train of thought is that readers are attracted first by the book cover and then the blurb. I know some people only read a particular genre, and my first thought was to ask you to guess the genre from the cover. As this could bring up so many options, I decided I’d make it a little simpler and ask you to mix and match. Comment which genre belongs to which book e.g. 1A, 2B etc, and let me know your own preferred reading genre. If there is sufficient response, I’ll do a prize draw for the eBook of your choice.


1. ABC Destiny

2. Alderslay

3. Listen to Love

4. Spirit of Technology

5. Story of a County Boy

6. Summer Changes, Winter Tears

7. Weird and Peculiar Tales


A. Psychological suspense mystery

B. Romantic short stories

C. Thriller. Suspense.

D. Paranormal Ghost.

E. Romance.

F. Literary fiction. Cultural historical fiction

G. Fantasy and Folklore.

Thanks for listening and see you next week.

© Val Portelli February 2022

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