One great way to tell the world about your book is to meet them in person at a book signing event. Here are some of the things that I've learned during my first book signing in NYC. One key component to keep in mind when designing and implementing a marketing plan for your book signing, is that every piece of your marketing plan must be a strategic way to tell the public about you and your book.
Show off your book during a book signing event with eye-catching promotional items:
- business cards
- book marks
- promotional pens
These attention grabbing solutions will create awareness for your book and increase your book sales no matter where you host your event. As an author there is nothing like meeting face-to-face with new and current readers and seeing their enthusiasm not to mention hearing their excitement over your book.
Put information about your book at the fingertips of readers with these great autographing tips:
Have book business cards on hand: Some people may look interested but not buy a book. In that case hand them a card with the book cover, a short blurb, maybe where to buy, and most importantly your website address on it. It’ll remind them when they’re in the mood to buy a new book.
Take some bookmarks: Bookmarks make for a nifty gift, and they may pass it on to someone else when talking up your book.
Have a note pad on hand: When you are a debut author there is so much excitement within; that you may find yourself misspelling your own name at least once. You never know when your ears will start misinterpreting words, and you get a person’s name all wrong. Always ask people to spell their names, even if you know them. The number of ways to misspell names like Tanyha, Tonya, Tania, or Tanya is mind-boggling. When that happens it’s best to have them spell it for you and write it down. Sometimes they’ll look at you funny when you ask them to spell ‘Caryn.’ But better that than making it out to Karen!
Sign on the title page. If you are signing an anthology, sign on the first page of your story.
Have the following on hand bottled water, mints and for the female author lip gloss.
For an added touch would be to have individual wrapped candy mints and a nice bouquet of followers.
Have about three stock phrases of varying lengths that you can rotate when personalizing books. Your message can also be memorable and should fit within the space allotted. When I’m not pressed for time, I sign my books: “I pray that you will be empowered to jump-start your day” or “Wishing you abundant joy and success.” If a line of people are waiting I simply write “Best wishes.”
Practice your signature. Remembering my first actual book that I signed was as if a chicken signed it. So accustomed to being behind a keyboard, I didn't spend a lot of time physically writing. For that I had to practice, and practice some more to have a legible signature that I was pleased with.
Pick a pen color other than black. I've been told by book sellers that when a customer picks up a book to look for the autograph that it’s easier to spot when it’s not the same color as the rest of the book.
Use a good pen, permanent pen with archival ink. You want a pen which won’t smear. Some pens have a little bit of acid in the ink which causes things to degrade. To avoid that, when buying your pen look for ones that say “Acid-Free” or “Archival Safe.” If you choose to autograph the cover or inside cover, a good Sharpie will probably be your best choice.
Be engaging! Be different! Don't just sit at the table they have for you. Reach out and touch someone! Don't wait for them to come to you. This will always get your supporters| readers | fans attention. Walk around the store with several copies of your book and introduce yourself to everyone. Bring your own name tag, one that let's people see who you are and what you do. Make it special.
Do an Author Read: I found this to be intriguing to fans & potential readers. Read an excerpt or chapter from your book. Pending on the type of book, become one of your character's within the pages.
Another great idea is to request at least a dozen books for your table to illustrate you have plenty available. If those you introduce yourself to show the least bit of interest, hand them a book. They will almost always take it. Tell them to look at it and bring it back to the table when they are finished.
Say Thank You. After your event is over, take a deep breath, but don’t stop there. Offer to donate a signed copy of your book to the venue and sign additional copies they may have purchased. Write personal notes to everyone who helped you – your friends who sold books, a reporter who interviewed you and the venue host or hostess. Anyone and everyone who assisted you before and during your event should receive a thank you note and/or appropriate gift. You want to leave a good impression and hopefully receive a return invitation.
Wishing you all the best on your first or next book signing!
Have you ever done a signing before? Do you have tips to share? If you have attended signings in the past do you have any thoughts on how an author can make those at their event feel comfortable and appreciated? We would like to hear from you leave your comments below.
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