Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Preparing for a Book Signing Event


This does not have to be costly when you use the following.
The Internet 
Events Page 
Blog post 
Animoto - Create a simple 'Save the Date' video. You can make a 30 second video for free. It's very easy to do.  https://animoto.com/

Packing Up:

Have all the following to pack. I recommend using a suitcase with rollers. Boxes are too difficult to carry in and out of an event. And if you are attending an event where you must bring your own books, a suitcase is perfect for hauling them.

In advance order books and bookmarks. I carefully watched as readers came to my table, what they chose to take with them, besides a copy of 'Surrender the Wind'. Bookmarks were the popular thing. I had standard size postcards and not one was picked up. But the bookmarks were gobbled up! Extra large postcards were picked up too. These had the book cover on the front and were the same size as my book. But bookmarks were the most popular. I buy all these items from Vista Print and have gotten most of them for free.

In your arsenal:
An Address Book for your readers to add their addresses for when you advertise through the mail. When my new series comes out, I'll be mailing the large postcards with all the information on the back. Each person that bought a book gladly wrote in their names and addresses for me. I assured them, I do not give out their names and addresses to anyone.
Small pad of paper
Gift bags (Get them cheap at a dollar store)
A large poster of your book. Vista print provides posters. They are not expensive, and once you've started purchasing from them you will receive email announcements for free produces. You can purchase a ready-made frame and set your poster up near your table. An easel is best for this. It's an initial purchase that will go a long way. You can purchase an easel for as low at $25 on Amazon.

I was blessed with a sister who is a graphic designer. She generously made me a retractable banner. These are very expensive. I've seen them online from $100 up to $400. If you cannot, or are not willing to pay that much for a banner, let me suggest Vista Print to you once more. They have lots of banners. I bought one, actually I got it for free. What Vista Print offers are not the retractable kind, but they are nicely made of vinyl and can be fixed across mostly anything. I only had to pay for the upload of the images I used. Buy 250 business cards from Vista Print ( sometimes they have a free offer) and start getting emails for free offers.

Setting Up:

Check with your hostess if she is going to provide a tablecloth. If not bring one of your own. Use a solid color. A pattern will clash with your book cover. Chose a color that compliments your book.
Stack several copies of your book on one end.
Place bookmarks and your address book beside them.

Extra Tips:
Do not over dress.
Smile and greet people warmly.
Focus on pleasing the attendees rather than how many books you sell.
Gimmicks don't work.
Do not overprice your book. At the most recent book signing, I sold more copies than most because I offered a Mother's Day Special of half off the cover price at $7. Some of the authors were selling their books for over $20 because 'they are signed'. They either sold a couple copies or none at all.

Photos: My high school classmate Marty came to visit. I appreciate all the support she gave me.
Ann Aubaugh drove a long way to see me. She's a Baltimore area writer and a former Maryland Romance Writers president.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Congrats on a successful book-signing event!

I've only been to one book signing. The authors had bookmarks, pens, and chocolate. I enjoyed all three. :)

The store also had several drawings for books. What fun! My mother and I both won a book.


Carla Olson Gade said...

Very good ideas, Rita. You have a lot of great marketing ideas.

Christine Lindsay said...

This was so helpful Rita. Thank you for sending it to me. I hope to be able to put all this into practice this year.

Robin Gudrian-Dilks said...

Rita Thank you so much. Your post was just in time with some wonderful idea's on do's and donts. I have a book signing coming up in a few weeks and will make sure I have I include the large post card and the address book for mailers. Best of luck