How to Do a Book Signing

How to Do a Book Signing thumbnail
Do a Book Signing

Being an author has many ups and downs. A book signing could be considered either, depending on whether or not you are prepared. Keeping a positive attitude and being willing to do some work in advance to ensure your book signing is successful, will make the experience something you want to repeat.

Instructions

    • 1

      Contact bookstores a month prior to your desired book signing date. Don't depend on an agent or publisher to do it for you. Most stores aren't thrilled about book signings because they aren't worth the trouble in most cases. Tell them you aim to prove them wrong. Offer to bring your own copies with you, if they are reluctant to order in advance. Call a week before the signing to make sure they have their copies in if they did opt to order their own.

    • 2

      Design and distribute fliers. Also, give copies (100-200) to the bookstore. Send out a newsletter with the event advertised. Post the event on your website or blog. Ask your publisher for your book cover art on a giant poster for the day of the signing. The sign should have words indicating "Book Signing Today!" or something similar. If your publisher won't or can't, you can just have a copy store do the poster from your digital file.

    • 3

      Be prepared on the day of the book signing. Have at least 100 business cards made, with current blurbs, reviews and website addresses. Bring mints or yummy-smelling gum so you don't scare away potential readers. Don't expect the store to keep you hydrated--bring your own bottled water. Wear a nametag that indicates you are the "Author." Dress up and look your best.

    • 4

      Arrive 20 minutes early and set up. Meet every employee in the bookstore and pass out your business cards. Bring snacks or pizza for the employees, and they'll sing your praises to the customers. Hang up your poster and fliers. Try to sit as close to the front of the store as possible. Plan to spend at least four hours, possibly six.

    • 5

      Socialize with everyone who walks in the door. Let them know your genre. Have a prepared blurb for them to let them know what your book is about and what makes it great. Compare it to other well-known authors if it's similar. If they love comedies, mention some of the laugh-out-loud parts of your book.

    • 6

      Hand a copy of your book to anyone who seems remotely interested. Tell them to take a look and bring it back to the table when they're done. They'll almost always end up buying it.

    • 7

      Give out a signed business card even if the person isn't interested in your book. Ask them to pass it on to someone who may enjoy your type of writing. Ask how to spell names when you personalize the autograph. Don't assume.

    • 8

      Write an announcement for the bookstore to say over the intercom system. Keep it short, and do it yourself if they let you, every half hour.

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