Tips for a Successful Book Signing

16 April, 2018

Many of our authors greatly enjoy participating in book signings and author appearances, and we like setting them up! Signings, discussions, and other such appearances can be highly valuable on many levels: they increase exposure of an author and his or her book, allow connections to be made with fans, and – of course – provide an opportunity for sales. Book signings are the most successful when authors are enthusiastic and excited to meet new people and talk about their work. Here are a few tips to ensure a successful book signing:

Arrive Prepared

There are a few things one should always bring along to an author appearance: markers or pens for signing, water, as one may be doing a lot of chatting, and, of course, copies of one’s books! Even outlets that already sell the book may only carry a limited supply, and it’s better to have too many along than to run out and have to turn people away. Any giveaways such as bookmarks, bookplates, colouring sheets, or posters, or merchandise such as branded pens, mugs, clothing, or notebooks, can effectively draw attention to your table. If you plan on selling anything besides your book, however, be sure to run it by the outlet first.

Offer A Contest

People love the opportunity to win something! Offering a contest at your appearance generates interest and may convince people to pause long enough to initiate conversation. It is also an effective way to collect email addresses for a mailing list (as long as permission is granted) or business cards of others in the industry. We don’t suggest offering your book to be won, as some may decide not to buy it in the hopes of winning, but there are many other related prizes to consider. How about some original artwork by the illustrator, or the opportunity to name a character in the next installment of a series? Branded merchandise works well, or even the ever-popular bookstore gift card. Be original, and offer something you would be excited to win yourself!

Show Enthusiasm

Greet everybody who walks by! Try not to sit too much, and be sure to stay active and involved. Friends or family may stop in, but don’t let them distract you from potential fans and customers. Offer people new information that they otherwise wouldn’t know about you and your book, such as why you wrote it, what it’s about, for whom you would recommend it, etc. Practice answering these sorts of questions so that you will be confident and sure when they are presented, and prepare talking points in case of a lull. Actually handing a book to a customer and allowing them to see it for themselves can have very positive results. Be sure to thank everybody for stopping by. And remember the most important point: have fun!

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