A Perfectly Acceptable Book Signing
Your first book signing is an exciting time to connect with your audience authenticity while author marketing. While the majority of book sales today take place online, book signings have an important place in your book marketing campaign and tour. When people hear you speak and enjoy the opportunity to ask you questions, they will be tempted to purchase your book for friends and family- the "motivate to purchase" implications can be very positive following a book signing! If it's your first time, don't worry, we've got tips to help you present as if you've been doing it for years.
1. Spread the word. Self publishing is all about being your own advocate. Several months before, post relevant links to social media channels. If Facebook is your main method of connecting to your audience, be sure to include the location, date and time. Follow up with Pinterest, Twitter and Google + using hashtags that relate to your event such as the name of the bookstore or city. Many bookstores post in the local newspaper, but you can pin to local community calendars online as well. Contact your chamber of commerce and ask them to list it on the community calendar.
2. Bring your own pen or magic marke
r. Never assume the location hosting will have exactly what you need. Be sure the pen you choose actually shows up legibly onto the type of paper your book is printed on. Tip: if the inside cover is dark, choose silver or gold marker to sign with. If you're thinking, "wait, I self-published an e-book or an audio book, how will I sign it?" No problem- prepare a book "plate." On thick cardstock print the title page of your book to sign for guests.
3. How to create your signature. A tip for author marketing- practice your signature beforehand to create a designated signing signature. When you become famous, some fan is going to try selling your signature! The signature you use to sign legal documents and checks should not be used!
4. Bring demo props when possible. If you've written a how-to or a cookbook, props that elicit relative usefulness are always well-received- especially if your self publishing experience is with audio books or e-books. If you're a vegan baker, bring special ingredients and talk about how versatile they are or if you're a cigar aficionado, bring cigars for the audience to pass around and smell. Sensory enticement beyond your verbal presentation is a favorite among book signing audiences.
5. Offer a gift. If you can offer sample sizes of something from your book that will give people a jumpstart or incentive to buy, you may lure in more buyers at the end of your signing. Take a signing by a writer who presented on cocktails recently. She developed samples of the signature syrup used for the recipes. With this in hand it excites audience members to take the next step to buy.
Remember, relax, have fun and most of all, ! just be yourself. After all, the audience is there to see you
Now for Awesome!
I had the pleasure a few weeks ago to visit with one of our more adventurous and award winning authors Bob O'Connor. Based in West Virginia he is in the hub of civil war country. Several months ago (a lot of planning) Bob invited me to an event he had planned for his new book called "The Amazing Legacy of James E. Hanger, Civil War Soldier". Although Bob completes over 100 events per year to extol the virtues of his books he had never actually done a signing.
Bob has published 10 books with us and he is quite expert in writing civil war period historical novels. This new book was intriguing and painfully timely in that it covered the life of James E. Hanger the founder of the Hanger Corporation, one of the largest prosthetic manufacturers in the world. The book relives an amazing story where Mr. Hanger loses is leg to a canon ball and then proceeds to find innovative ways to help other soldiers who have lost their limbs.
A good book always helps, but Bob goes the extra mile with this signing to deliver more to his readers than expected. There is a reason Bob has sold over 10,000 books with us, he knows how to be relevant to his audience by thinking about what his readers want...in his books and now in his first signing.
What made Bob's signing extraordinary:
1. He held the signing in Harpers Ferry. Granted his home turf but certainly relevant to the period and story. This is important for either a launch or a signing to provide impact. A historical setting for a historical novel...makes sense.
2. The date just happened (wrong) to coincide with James Hanger's 171st birthday, for which he had a special cake made (picture above) with a canon on top! Also good fodder for the press/pictures. This cake was made by a local pastry chef who truly took pride in her work for the event.
3. Several guests were dressed in period garb which made the expereince more memorable. This was particularly meaningful for me when Bob was doing his readings, as it enhanced my ability to visualize the time and place.
4. One of Mr. Hangers distant relatives attended which really brought the Hanger story closer to the people at the signing. Having this person there to speak with about the family history and peripheral stories was a real treat for those that attended.
5. A representative from the Hanger corporation attended with a small booth to discuss the company and products. Good local relations for the company, they have over 700+ patient care clinics throughout the US. Good oopportunity for future marketing opportunities with the company to share his new book.
This was a book signing I will never forget and a book that really struck a chord as our country, soldiers and their families deal with the hardships of war.
Keep the faith and may the force be with you!