|An Author Signing Books|
Finally, after a long and excruciating wait, your book is released to the public.
You're still basking in the glow of being an Author, and suddenly, along comes an invitation to the first of many book signings at a bookstore.
Now what? How do you make this event stress-free and successful?
First of all, work with the bookstore. They're going to be investing their staff, their time, and their money in you, by ordering advance copies of your book, printing signs and posters to introduce you and your book, paying for newspaper ads about the time and date of your signing, and possibly radio and TV, as well.
There are many things you can do to make the day go smoothly, besides the obvious:
Dress professionallyThink of the store as your ‘home’ for the event. If you approach it that way, you'll enjoy yourself, as well as sign and sell books. People love meeting the Authors behind new books.
Be excited to meet new people
* Ask to be seated either close to the entrance, where you can be like an unofficial greeter, or if you're a children’s author, in the children’s section of the bookstore.
You never know if you might get the chance, during a few slow minutes, to read your book to a group of children ... then the children will tell their parents what a great person you are for reading the book to them and this brings even more sales.
* Have some bookmarks printed, or design and print your own. Also have your business cards with you. Both are invaluable. When people walk down the aisle near you, smile, go over and introduce yourself, "Hi, I’m John Smith and I’m signing my books here, today." (Public Speaking: A Necessary Evil)
* Shake their hand and give them a bookmark, or a business card, to take with them.
The whole purpose of a book signing is to sell your books. People buy from people they like, so your goal should be to first sell yourself.
Most of the people you give a business card or bookmark to almost always stop back, before they leave the store, and they will probably look at your book ... some may even buy one.
* Check with the bookstore a week or so before your signing. Ask whether there will be posters or signs where you'll be. They usually do provide them, but if not, make your own. Print a full color copy of your book cover and glue it, and your author photo, to a poster. If you have any book reviews or press releases, glue those to your poster, too.
* You can also print some small bi-folded signs on white card stock to stand on your table. Have them say something like, “Introducing John Smith, Author of “The Little Purple Duck”, or with only your name, if you want to keep it simple.
* If you really want to draw people to your table, bring some cookies or brownies with you and pile them on a plate next to where you're set up. (Don't laugh, I met an author who did this and she said it worked well!)
* It’s important that you have realistic expectations.
Always hope for the best, expect the worst, and the end result will fall somewhere in between.* Last, but not least, smile! Be yourself and have fun! And remember, everyone who walks into the store is a potential customer ... and future reader of your book.
I wish you much success ...
Also See: How to have a Successful Author School Visit
“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck