As a publisher, I am saddened by how little effort some authors put into publicizing and promoting their book signings. There can be several reasons, but one is most often the case; authors do not know how to promote their book signings. Listed below are 15 tips to prepare for a book signing than can enhance results.
- Email: Email all your contacts to let them know you will hold a book signing. Provide details about the event and encourage them to attend. Ask them to forward your email to at least 10 friends. Within minutes, you could reach thousands of people.
- Newsletter: Send an announcement about your book signing to organizations you belong to (e.g., church, community, school, alumni association, sorority, fraternity, etc.). Request that they include the announcement in their next publication.
- Facebook Friends: Create an EVENT on Facebook and invite all your Facebook friends and followers. Ask them to SHARE the event with their Facebook friends.
- Facebook Networks: Send an email to your Facebook Networks and ask the FAN page owner to announce your book signing. Also, ask them to enter the book signing as an EVENT on their FAN page.
- Facebook Page: Create a Facebook Page for you as an author and SUGGEST the page to your Facebook friends.
- Twitter: Tweet… Tweet… Tweet… about your book signing and ask your followers to retweet.
- Website: Add the book signing date, time, and location to your website.
- Promotional Materials: Bring promotional materials related to your book (e.g., banners, posters, bookmarks, postcards, business cards, flyers) to the book signing. Make sure your materials look professional, clear, and concise.
- Interaction: Plan activities at your book signing such as author readings, trivia contests, giveaways, or mini-workshops. Pass out candy, bookmarks, and stickers. Hang a schedule of events so people will be informed. Consider offering a gift with purchase (e.g., a coloring page based on your children’s book with a small box of crayons).
- Decorate: Create an atmosphere that is warm and inviting. Decorate you book signing area with touches such as tablecloths, plants, beanbags, artwork, music, etc. Provide space for attendees to sit and read your book(s).
- Book Display: Make your book display fun and inviting. For example, if you have a cookbook, wrap a spoon, fork, napkin, and plate around it with raffia or create a basket with fun items related to your book.
- Dress: Dress the part so people will have a visual of the main parts of your book. If your book is about a princess, wear a tiara and a pretty dress.
- Mailing List: Encourage attendees to sign up for your mailing list so you can communicate with them after the book signing. Be sure to follow up immediately to thank them for stopping by and inform them of your future events.
- Network: Prepare your 30-second elevator speech. Book signings are attended by a variety of people (literary agents, publishers, booksellers, librarians, educators, and more), so network with as many people as you can. Ask everyone a prepared question to break the ice. Look for ways to share your elevator speech.
- Exposure: Develop a plan to get exposure. For example, tell attendees an unforgettable vignette about you or share a story behind the story (e.g., your book) that is intriguing and will be remembered.
Book sales are not guaranteed at a book signing, but you can make a lasting impression that could lead to future sales. Remember, book lovers can purchase your book on the Internet 24/7, so leave an unforgettable impression. For more tips to prepare for a book signing, order How to Market Your Book Free on Amazon.com.
Nicole Antoinette owns and manages Faith Books & MORE Publishing in Gwinnett County, GA. She believes writers have an obligation to preserve their thoughts, experiences, creativity, and most importantly, their faith in print, as well as through other forms of media. To learn more about publishing your book or republishing this article, contact Nicole Antoinette at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678.232.6156.
Copyright © 2012 by Nicole Antoinette Smith.