The holiday season is here again, and it’s a very family time of year. I’m extremely grateful to have good people with whom to share it. I hope you, Gentle Reader, are just as fortunate.
Orion Township Public Library
I’ve been invited to participate again in “The Giving Season” – a local author book-signing at the Orion Township Public Library. It will take place from 1:00p-400p on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
Big deal, you might say (and probably rightly so), but around my house it is big. Book signings are part of the ‘earned media’ I’ve talked about before on this blog.
They aren’t free, which is truly the best definition of earned media … publicity you don’t have to pay for.
Alas, I have to buy the books I sign.
Plus, I have to prepare for the event, which means buying things like posters and handouts (bookmarks, this year), which aren’t free, either. I also have to spend the better part of a day getting to, setting up, participating, and re-packing things afterward to go home.
Poor thing, I can hear you say (a bit sarcastically, right?)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Not at all. Book signings are great way to meet your readers … or, better yet, your potential readers … and this year the library has agreed to accept the donation of my latest book “Street Light” into their permanent collection.
If you’re also an indie author, you might benefit from a few of the things I’ve learned.
Advertise. Don’t depend on the venue to promote you. Many do a bad job of it. Put up your own flyers in the area advertising the event (I print my own at home).
Make sure you have correct change, if you’re doing your own selling. For example, if your book is selling for $15.00, make sure you have enough $5.00 bills to make change.
Print business cards, handouts, bookmarks, fliers as appropriate. If you accept credit cards, make sure the card-reading device is ready … and working … before you start selling.
Make a good impression. For many of your readers, this is the first time they’ll meet you, so be well-groomed. Some authors dress in character, like my friend Eddie Price. If you decide to, make sure the outfit is appropriate for both the books you write and the event.
Bring a supply of good pens. You only have to forget to do this once (… lesson learned).
Decide ahead of time where to sign. I like to sign my books on the title page, which is where most books are autographed, though you can also sign the inside cover.
Personalize your message. In most cases people want the book inscribed to them personally, though sometimes it’s intended as a gift, so be sure to ask. Use their first name and always ask for the spelling, since even common names can have unusual spellings.
Choose a signature phrase. Ideally you should have a phrase that you write each time you sign a book. Keep it simple. I usually write “Best wishes…”
Consider a giveaway. Each time I go to a book-signing, I have a sign-up sheet where someone can win a free copy of one of my books. All I ask for in return is an email address (so I can publicize future events to an interested audience).
Smile. This is probably the best advice I can give you. Potential readers will remember two kinds of authors. Those who are obviously outgoing and happy to meet you, and those who sit back and scowl like a reclusive sourpuss.
Guess which one leaves a better memory?
So be friendly. Stand up. Talk to people. Say hello to everyone who passes by your table. Enjoy yourself.
Optional. Candy and a candy jar. What better way to get people to stop than to have a candy jar on the table? I usually bring Tootsie Rolls. I discovered they are both gluten-free and kosher, so everyone can indulge!
My books have all garnered some terrific reviews. If you can’t make it to the book-signing, you can see the stories I have available by using the Amazon link below.
Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.