In the last year, I’ve hosted a lot of book events. A lot. We have authors in the bookstore almost every Saturday – that means about 50 events, and counting! And every author is different: some bring in a crowd, some have just a few wander in that day; a couple of them haven’t had anyone! Which means, of course, that we sell fewer books – I think the record is somewhere around 20.
And they all do things differently: some authors bring in books, period; some bring cards and bookmarks and posters. Some of them have held giveaways, baskets or books or gift certificates. Once we even had strawberries and champagne!
Now, however, I’m doing my own book signings…and I need some help! It’s a lot different on the other side of the table, so to speak!
Yes, I had a launch party for REDUCED, but that was mostly food and drink and mingle and schmooze. NOT sitting behind a table of books. Yikes. I’m telling you, it’s a whole different…thing.
My first actual book signing was last weekend, at a local book store. For starters, I was a bit late due to car trouble (it died on the way) but I wasn’t by myself – there were three other authors there, thank heavens! And the reason I was there was because of a last-minute invite to fill in for the fourth member of the group. We were also telling ghost stories, so I had scribbled one down that afternoon. And I sold a couple books, always a plus!
The second one was Monday night, at a cafe and wine bar. Small crowd, but they seemed to like that ghost story – yes, we did those again. And I sold a couple books. So far, so good! Learned how to use my new Square on my phone too…more or less.
Now for the Big One.
On November 10, I’ll be down at Shop Around the Corner in Washington, Missouri. They say they have hundreds of people in there on Saturdays. Hundreds. And it’ll be in their newsletter, which goes out to (gulp) THOUSANDS.
I’m a little terrified. A little.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
Stay cool, you’re a great writer! Smile and sign the books, dedicate each one to the buyer, that takes up time…. “:)
Oh, pish tosh. No stage fright. You are engaging. Ask them who the dedication is. If it is for them, as them what their favorite book of all time is. When you hand them yours, tell them, “Time for a new favorite!”
Oh heavens – I’m not worried about the signing-of-the-books part. I’ve been signing things for years and years, you know, like checks when I pay bills and permission slips for field trips.
The sheer numbers of people expected are putting me into a slightly panicky mode!
Remember this is the day and age of the Ebook – With a crowd that size I’d print bookmarks and use those as your business cards. Make sure that if people stop and say hello, but they don’t pick up your book, at least get a bookmark in their hand. This keeps your book in their mind when they walk out of the store.
Now that being said, Ebook users don’t need a bookmark so they are apt to throw it away or lay it down without thinking about why they might want to hold onto it. So if you can afford it, get ink pens made with your book info printed on the side. Everyone uses ink pens! And everyone loves something free that they can actually use! Most printers require a minimum order of at least 100, so this might work well for you.
Thanks, Shannon, great ideas! I have cards, but I’ll check the pens, etc. Now that I got the actual book ordering out of the way, sheesh, what a nightmare!
I’d be by your side if I could but we’re having a … BOOK SIGNING in our little town. You’ll knock ’em dead. Tell everyone that you’re writing for them because that’s what writers do! We’re entertainers. Thank them for even thinking about you.
Thanks, Bill! I’ll do what I can in the entertainment department…hmmm.
I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!