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What are his intentions?

 
 
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 06:18 am
My wife was staying at nice hotel during a book signing road trip out west. The high end hotel gave her the opportunity to do a book signing in their lobby. She met the owner of the hotel who chatted with her at length, loved the book and is planning to carry the book at the hotel and perhaps give a copy to each of his employees (over 800). He invited her to come back for a week to do more signings and said he would cover the hotel costs (rooms go for $300-$500 per night) for her to stay there and said they could meet for coffee or dinner. He is extremely wealthy (owns many businesses), about 15 years her senior. My wife is very attractive and seems to attract very successful men (a few marriage and other proposals in the past from ones that she just met). She is very excited about the opportunity. I would like to think only the best, but knowing men I also wonder if he has more in mind. Am I being paranoid and silly?
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 414 • Replies: 10
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anselpenac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 10:02 am
@anselpenac,
Just to clarify, I misunderstood but now understand that no additional signings were planned at the hotel. She had another place in the same city that wanted her to come for a full week of signings so she had planned to return to the city, when he heard this he offered her to stay at the hotel free during that trip. Not sure it makes a big difference, but just trying to be accurate!
AshW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 10:07 am
@anselpenac,
Is the man married? It's hard to say if this is more than a kind gesture. Can you go for the week? Would the week in the hotel still be covered? He may just be being nice but also may be testing her boundaries. Is the book really great and worthy or his excitement to give to all of his employees?
AshW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 10:09 am
@AshW,
Already suggesting coffee or dinner = testing her boundaries IMO
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anselpenac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 11:18 am
@AshW,
He is married according to a quick google. Unfortunately I can not go. The book is very nice, however geared for children (but may be considered a holiday classic someday).
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 11:32 am
@anselpenac,
Where was she going to stay for her book signing (before this person offered his hotel)? Wouldn't her publisher arrange the hotel?

It is difficult to know anyone's intention - he just might like the idea of knowing an author? Kind of a fame thing?

How does your wife feel about this? You could let her know your concern while still letting her know you trust her. (you do trust her, right?) Maybe just say be careful just in case it is something more.

My friend is a marine biologist and works with whales and dolphins - she gives presentations sometimes including (believe it or not) people that travel overseas to go on whale watches and stuff - they follow whales and dolphins like someone else might follow a rock band. I met her for a drink after her presentation at a hotel and while we were sitting and chatting - this person came over and asked for her autograph. People are obsessive over different sort of things. It did give me a chuckle - now granted she is well respected and knowledgeable in her field but really a fan!

jespah
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 04:48 pm
@Linkat,
It's possible that the publisher would not be covering the hotel.

To the OP:

Publishers' ad/marketing budgets are nowhere near what they used to be, unless you're a very big name (think James Patterson).

If the book is already selling briskly, then there's bound to be more $ going into marketing but probably not enough for a week-long hotel stay. In a lot of the US, a week-long hotel stay would break $1,000. And that's not taking food or transportation into consideration. And it's not calculating a luxury hotel, either.

I can tell you, too, that the tie-in writers for Star Trek don't get that kind of budget. Keith Decandido in particular has said that he has to pay his own way to conventions a lot of the time. And he's a NY Times bestselling author.

I have conducted book signings. They tend to be done on the cheap. Consider this: how much do books cost? Unless you're talking college textbooks or heavy coffee table tomes, the cost of your average book clocks in at under $20 (most people don't buy hardcovers, see: https://www.millcitypress.net/author-learning-hub/distribution/setting-retail-price/ ).

And of course books have various costs of creation. When you're signing and selling in person, the costs are already laid out. What I mean is, the publisher and/or the author is financially in the hole to start. They need to claw uphill, just to break even.

There are multiple production costs (see: https://www.millcitypress.net/author-learning-hub/printing/book-printing-costs/ ). So a book priced at $20 might net a profit of (let's be generous) $12.

If she sells 800 books with a $12/book profit, she might cover the cost of a week-long hotel stay. Only.

The publisher is of course in this to make $. They aren't going to send her on a junket to break even.

This leads me to wonder any of the following:

* Is she laying out her own costs?
* Is this a vanity press?
* Unknown first-time authors aren't likely to get big marketing budgets. So, what gives?

I think this guy might even think he's just being nice. But they are not on an equal financial footing. He wields all the power, and I can't help but wonder if he might want to try to eventually collect.

I smell a rat.
anselpenac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2021 06:30 pm
@jespah,
Yes, your stats are correct. She is published under a hybrid now so the travel and marketing are out of pocket. She only stayed one night at this hotel on the trip discussed, the rest was at a cheap local AirBNB. Going back for the week long signings she had reservations there as sort of a vacation/reward, but was also considering still moving down to a cheaper option. Most of this marketing will not come close to breaking even short term but part of a long term strategy. It is risky but also has the potential to be lucrative.
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anselpenac
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Sep, 2021 08:45 am
@Linkat,
jespah is right, she is marketing the book herself under a hybrid publishing arrangement. She has an extensive sales and marketing background so is quite good at it.

The funny thing was, she was being treated by everyone at the hotel like royalty, she was given a free bottle of wine by head bar tender, executive chef started making her special surprise meals, even asked her to come back the next day when they normally only had a bar menu and that he would make her a surprise meal, whatever she desired (she only stayed there one night because of the room cost, but went to their restaurant a few times during the week), even the valet who noticed her tire was low on air volunteered to drive it down to fill it back up. The treatment only intensified once the staff saw the owner chatting with her. Not sure what to make of all of that, she is not a famous author yet.
AshW
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Sep, 2021 10:46 am
@anselpenac,
At the end of the day all you can do is share your concerns with your wife and then trust her. She probably is going to travel a bit promoting her book. Your description of her sounds like a woman many men will be attracted to so this can happen again with someone else. And maybe has before. If she loves you she's probably been here before and will not stray.
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Jingleboots
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 01:18 pm
@anselpenac,
It really doesn't matter if you're being paranoid or silly. What matters is whether you trust your wife, not the guy. A guy is going to try things if he thinks he can, that's HIS fault. You don't know him and you have no way of knowing how he plans to act with your wife; professional or on a personal level.

If something should happen, it would be your wife's fault so I think you need to really think about your relationship and the trust that you and your wife share. And, if it were you that got the opportunity to do the book signing at the invitation of a beautiful woman that you had met? How would your wife feel?

Clearly a trust issue. Either you trust or you don't. If you don't, then you're not going to handle this little trip very well. If you do trust her, then let her do her book signing and just trust that she will be respectful of her husband and come home to you. :-)
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