Today, I had a book signing at Memories of a Child in Wilmington, NC. It was a great success and it reminded me that I was planning on sharing my book signing tips. Many of these I learned form other writers when I was helping my sister host book signings when I was in my late teens/early twenties. Others I learned from doing marketing in my day job.
Two Weeks Before the Signing
1. Notify your local paper, radio stations, and news stations that you’ll be doing a book signing. You can do this via a press release or by email if they provide one for such correspondences. For example, I notified the Bookmarks Blog at Star News Online.
3. Make sure you have all the printed materials you need, including bookmarks, swag, and an eye-catching poster or banner. You’ll need at least two weeks to get these printed. You may even want to start earlier. I give away bookmarks printed with my book, synopsis, and website. I also have a large sign that clearly says “Book Signing” that I put on display the day of the signing. It has a short synopsis and a few examples of what people are saying about the book. Signs By Tomorrow in Wilmington designed and made the side, and did a great job.
Week Before the Signing
1. Post an announcement on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, etc. Ask the venue to do the same on their social media accounts, if they haven’t planned to already. ‘Then, post a reminder the day before. You don’t want to do it too early, because your followers will forget.
2. Send an email to your newsletter list telling them about the event. Ask the venue to do the same if they have an email list.
Day of the Signing
1. Make your signing table welcoming. If the venue is providing a table, make sure you bring a table cloth. Layout your swag where people can feel welcome to grab it. Putting out a bowl of candy or cupcakes can help attract people who wouldn’t normally stop to chat.
2. Put your book on display, but don’t put out too many copies or people will assume you aren’t selling any and your book isn’t good enough to purchase.
3. Have a newsletter sign-up sheet at your table. Increase opt-ins by offering a gift card giveaway. I like to offer a gift card to the venue, if applicable.
4. Keep a pad of paper nearby to write people’s names on. This will guarantee you don’t fudge their names in their copies.
5. Get out and move around. Don’t stand behind the table or, worse, play on your phone while you wait. Walk around, smile, and say hello to people. This will make you look approachable. Even if your sign or book cover catches someone’s attention, they won’t approach if you look unfriendly or like you don’t want to be bothered.
6. Have someone take a picture of you standing with your books at your table and post it on the social sites while you’re there. This will remind last-minute lookers that your event is happening.
7. After the event, if the venue has books in-stock, offer to sign them. Most booksellers love to sell author signed copies. Stickers for the covers that say “Author Signed” are a nice touch.
8. Show your gratitude for the host. This can be done with a small gift for the venue owner and staff or a public thank you on your social accounts. I like to link to their Facebook page or website to help drive traffic their way.
Thank you to owner Christopher Johnson and the staff at Memories of a Child for being such gracious hosts and supporters of writers.