by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
Book signings come in different shapes and sizes. Signing books after a conference panel is one thing. Signing them in a bookstore is something else. Signing them after a luncheon or book club meeting is again a different animal entirely.
Unless you have a large local network, signings in bookstores can be tricky. I’ve found that signings at conferences are mediocre, too. The times I’ve done best were signings right after book clubs or book-related luncheons/events.
Here are my tips for a better book signing:
Make sure there will be books there. While this sounds like a no-brainer, you’d be amazed how much miscommunication can happen between bookstores/conference organizers and the writer. Who is responsible for making sure books are there? If it’s the bookstore, you might want to remind them again in enough time to ensure the books are ordered and at the store.
Group signings, while frequently less nerve-wracking for authors, aren’t great for sales. When readers must walk up to a whole group of writers selling books at the same table (and they have a book budget), they usually feel badly about not buying everyone’s book. Sometimes they feel badly enough not to buy any books.
Ask how to spell every name. Never assume Jill is spelled J-i-l-l. It might very well be Jyll. Better yet, bring paper and a pencils for readers to write out how they want their books inscribed.
Have free things to give out on your table: candy, business cards, bookmarks, and postcards featuring your book.
Get the word out on social media: pin it as an event on Facebook and list it on your website.
Don’t feel chained to the table, especially at a bookstore event. Walking around or standing and handing out book-related promo might bring in more business.
If your signature is awful, a hybrid/italic approach may work better (take it from me). Bring good pen.
Be sure to have a quick and appealing description (logline) of your book at the ready.
Bring a list for readers to sign up for your newsletter.
Do you enjoy book signings? Have any tips that I’ve missed? And a question for you…where on the book do you sign? I’d always been told to sign on the title page….but I’ve had instances where I’d mailed signed books and people hadn’t found my signature because they expected it on the first page of the book. Where do you sign?9 Tips for Better Book Signings: Click To Tweet