At the risk of stating the obvious, if a book is to sell, the author needs to effectively promote it.
The question is how and where to do it. Does one hit the road and make individual appearances at book stores and coffee shops? Even a recognized author may find ten people in the audience and sell only a couple of books.
The disappointed author may have driven many miles and spent money on food and a motel. The host of the book-signing event offers all the usual excuses. "We don't know why people did not show up. We had a poster on the bulletin board for weeks and told lots of people about your coming."
There is an alternative to individual book-signing tours.
An author can participate in a book festival and share the large stage with dozens of other authors? Perhaps a shared stage is better than a tiny, empty one. There is the related opportunity to meet editors, reviewers, publishers and other authors making it an enriching experience. Writers can attend free presentations on a variety of things like marketing, e-books trends and the effective use of industry professionals. Mix with and talk to readers to see what they are reading and how they discover what they read. Ask questions that can guide both your writing and the most effective ways you can promote it.
There are about six active book festivals across North Carolina and others in adjacent states. The closest to those living in western NC is the Blue Ridge Bookfest.
Consider coming this year even if you are not exhibiting your latest book. Or you could just stay home and wonder why your books are not selling and why your writing is becoming more a task than a joy. What fun is writing if nobody seems to be reading what you write? Come play in our writer's sandbox; our book festival.