I finally had my first book signing! Cue the Snoopy dance music. It was arranged through a high school friend of mine who connected with me via Facebook. This event was part of a United Way fundraiser to raise awareness for literacy and included a used book sale. Before my book signing took place, I queried a few good author friends about what their experiences were like at their signings. I got a lot of feedback and great advice. One author suggested I wear loud, colorful clothing or a clown’s wig to draw attention to myself and stand out. Given the type of event I was invited to, I so HAPPY that I didn’t purchase Bozo’s wig. Here’s what I learned:
Thing #1 – Make sure you know what type of audience will be attending your book signing. I was anticipating that there would be some children present. Um…no kids in sight. Unless you count a few rambunctious adults happy to get out of work for a while! If I’d known there’d be no kids, I would have had different treats available at my table—something more adult friendly instead of red licorice and gummy fish. I’m willing to bet Jello shots would have gone over well and netted me more book sales!
Thing #2 – Stand in front of your table, not behind it. Go meet and greet people—that’s the reason you’re there in the first place! Get up front and show off your wares. As I mentioned, I had candy available (sometimes that can work like a fisherman’s net) and used a pair of tongs to serve passers-by. I asked them politely if they wanted a piece of candy, and they either nodded and stopped, or shook their heads, thanked me, and moved on. Now had there been kids there, I’m sure I would have been mobbed!
Thing #3 – Engage with everyone who stops by your table. Smile and talk up your books. I started off by telling potential buyers about the premise of my MG/YA time travel series and that I wrote a prequel too. I also mentioned that both books could be read out of order. Not everyone will be interested, but I did manage to sell ten books in three hours.
Thing #4 – Have freebies available for people to take with them. I have trading cards with my book cover on the front, and the blurb and my website link on the back. I also had postcards done up by my publishing company, Musa Publishing with other YA book covers printed on them. All these giveaways were autographed as a keepsake of the event. Plus, potential readers could check out my books when they felt they had more time.
Thing #5 – With table banners coming in at about $120 and up, I decided to go another route. I printed off my two book covers (plus the cover of my free short story available on my website), made copies of them, and placed the book covers in plastic sheet protectors. Then, at the book signing I taped my book covers to the table provided for me. My covers are eye-catching, so if you have many books to choose from, print out the most vibrant covers to display. It’s an inexpensive way to get your books and your name out into the public.
Thing #6 – After my book signing which ran from 11 am to 2 pm, and the oh-so-long drive home, I made
Thank you for reading my blog. Have you ever attended or been asked to do a book signing? If so, please comment and share your experiences. Love to hear from you! Cheers!
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