When I participated in my first few book signings, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I would look around at the other authors (when it was a group event) and try to take some cues from them but for the most part; I was just winging it.
Last year, I signed up to participate in Copyrighted hosted by Pure Artistry Literary Cafe and received a great little tip sheet with some ideas to ensure each author’s participation was a success. (Thanks Monique and Ms. Janice).
These are the ones that have helped me the most…
- To attract customers have a large (2×3) colorful poster of your book cover on display. Table sized (11×18) posters are also useful in catching a customer’s eye. Be sure to have the poster mounted and laminated. I invested in one from Kinko’s and have been able to use it on multiple occasions. It’s also useful to have set up in a room if you are speaking.
- Wear comfortable clothes that photograph well. Be mindful that some people will want to take pictures with you so don’t dress too relaxed but also consider that you may have to lift your own boxes and/or do a great deal of walking.
- Bring someone along to be in charge of the book sales so that you can focus on meeting people and signing books. It’s hard to try to do both which can sometimes to lead to a loss in sales.
- Make it clear on your book sales table which payments you accept and who the checks should be written to. There are many devices, such as the Square and PayPal Here, that allow you to accept credit cards on the spot using a wireless device. This could be a wise investment especially if you are leery of accepting checks.
- Don’t forget your cash box and make sure you have an adequate amount of change. Not having change could also result in a loss of sales and be an embarrassment if you are walking asking people for change.
- Make your signings personal and don’t just sign your name. Ask the person’s name and add a comment or words of encouragement related to your book’s topic. People like the additional personal touch.
- Take bags to put their purchased books in. I bought a bunch of solid color gift bags from Dollar Tree after reading this suggestion and it did make me feel more professional to bag their books after making the sale.
- Set sales goals. Know how many books you need to sell in order to break even (paying for your books, paying for your booth and covering any travel and other related expenses).
- Set up a guest book and ask for addresses or email addresses so that you can keep in touch and inform them of upcoming events and book releases.
- Offer to donate a signed copy of your book to the venue as a thank you.
- Finally, assess the day – what went well, what would you do differently next time, what did you need and not have and how did you do in relation to your sales goal.
I hope these tips are helpful and that your future book signings are a success. Do you have any tips that I missed? Leave a comment and share with us…