Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Book Signings

They're all different, but unless you are incredibly famous, you might want to read these tips on book signings.

* Plan ahead. If you're going to be there for two to four hours, bring something to do. Read a book, write on a tiny laptop, study for a test or whatever will make you feel productive. This is usually the last thing people think of when they go to their first book signing. But trust me, that many hours can be tedious without a plan.

*Bring signage. A banner on an easel is a great eye-catcher. Make sure people know that you are the author and of which book.

*Bring business cards. These can be called bookmarks. Make sure your website/blog is listed.

*Have a cool table topper. I usually bring my gold stuffed dragon. It's cute and odd enough that people can't help but look at my table. And it's super portable, not breakable, and very kid friendly. When kids stop, the parents have to. It's a tricky tool.

*Make sure there are plenty of books on your table. You don't want to look sold out unless you really are. And, if you really are, congratulations. Very cool.

*Make eye contact with people and SMILE. That's it. You don't have to accost them. If they want to talk to you, they'll stop.

*Encourage people to read the back of the book instead of spilling into a synopsis. This gets the book in their hands and, believe it or not, that always attracts other people to your table. Now you're free to talk to them because the other people are busy reading the back of your book.

*The more people surrounding your table, the more others assume you must be famous. I know, this sounds weird, but it's true. So don't discourage friends from talking to you at book signings even if they're not there to buy a book. It usually works in your favor to have people around.

*Have something reliable to sign with. Make sure you've tested it.

*Have a few catchy things you can pull out of your hat so that when you're signing more than one book for a family, you have more than one phrase to sign with.

*Ask people how to spell their name.

*Listen to them. If they want to go on a rambling spree for too long, you can always politely cut the conversation, but most of the time, people are reasonable. Have fun talking to them. It's really the best part of the whole experience.

*Be positive. And confident. If you're having a lousy book signing, don't tell anyone until you get home.

*Keep a tally of how many books you've signed. This is a way to feel like you really are selling books. It's strange how time seems to pass during a book signing. Knowing how many books you've sold gives you a sense of accomplishment.

*Look professional. Okay, it's Saturday at Costco and everyone is dressed like it- not you. You're the author. You should look like you meant to be there.


LouMac said...

Haha! yes! I'm the first to comment! :D

That's very interesting stuff. I see you've got it all figured out! Now if I were ever to publish a book, I'd remember to bring a really catchy dragon table topper. (And a pen that works!!) :D

Thanks for the advice

Robin Weeks said...

Filing this post away for "someday." Thanks! Great advice.

Chersti Nieveen said...

I LOVE your list. You had a lot of great points, and it's great to hear about it from someone who has been there.