Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Writer's Book Signings - Out & Beyond...!

First of all when we writers talk about book signings let's think if it's worth it at all. 

That depends on what you hope to accomplish.  If you believe you'll get fabulously wealthy from all the extra books you sell at the author signing event - ummmm, think again. 

It can be fun, meet your fans, renew acquaintances, sell a few books, get your name out there for recognition and future sales from lots of other sources.  That's what it's really all about. Oh, and selling a bunch of books is good too. Or maybe being part of a charitable day that helps a worthy cause and gains you some exposure.

Be aware these days, in a general sense it's more difficult to get people to book signings - and not just because you, the writer, happened to have a signing on a bad weather day.  Whatever it is: the economy, the price of gas to get there, the pressure they feel to buy if they actually attend the author signing event or the surging E-book revolution making it simple to download that new book right at home, the simple fact is fewer folks are coming out.

So time for writers to get more creative, right?  Of course there are the usual places to hold book signings: bookstores, libraries, conventions and conferences - all relating to books, right?

Those are always great and not to take anything away from them, but expanding your thinking as a writer can help as well.  If the book you've written and published is a romance perhaps you could interest a perfume, jewelry or department store with such a large department in a book signing. You'll need to talk to the store manager and get them interested. Perhaps clothing stores as well. If you promote and they promote it can be a win-win for everyone.

If the novel you've written is historical in nature and appropriate perhaps you could have a signing at an event - a Renaissance fair or a civil war reenactment or some big anniversary celebration or even in a historic cemetery (it has been done). Make the connection, then see if you can fit in.

And try to make connections with people as well. Do you already know someone connected to a store or event who you can talk to?  If not and if you do a cold call, an approach, see if you can stir up interest.  If not, thank the person for their time and move on.  If you were to succeed into pushing someone into having a book signing when they have little interest, the turn-out will be much less.

Written a book that could somehow be linked to cooking and food?  How about kitchen stores (or departments)?  Does your book in some way incorporate or revolve around a holiday?  How about checking out card and gift stores?  Plants, gardening and dirt? Maybe a nursery or at a botanical garden.  Boats and the ocean or some aspect a central force in your novel?  You might be able to take that cruise - but before you go convince the ship to host a book signing at sea. Live near a ferry - you might be able to do a book signing there if something ties in. Moving venues are fun and exciting.

Work with the 'host' - wherever that may be.  Make sure there's food and drink of some kind available. Funny how that always seems to draw people in. Oh, and be sure to have some help. If you have a great turn-out you'll need an assist to keep the food supplied and with renewing your stacks of books.

See what kind of advertising the host might provide and then don't stint on helping with your own. Announce it on your social sites, send out postcards to your mailing list if you have one. And let your host know you're doing it in such a was as to promote the shop or location as well as your book AND the event.

Use your imagination and cast your net far. Book signings live and you can have a great time doing them.


  1. I'd say there's one other good thing to get out of it: if you want to sign at a bookshop, make sure it's an independent one that is in charge of their own buying schedule. The most important thing might end up being the ties you form with the bookshop owner. If they remember you they are likely to keep your book in stock and to notice if you publish another one, and order that one too!

  2. Excellent comment and advice! She's very right. Making good connections is invaluable - not to mention fun.

  3. I haven't done one yet, but I know someone who does very well at supermarkets and other out of the box locations. He has great people skills though. I'd need my wingman [the husband unit] to do well. Although I see every night I work at the observatory as a sales opportunity.

  4. Great point, M Pax, any time at a public venue can be a sales opportunity. And drafting family & friends to help at a signing is an excellent course of action.


Other Posts Of Interest:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...