Plotting Success For A Book Signing


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There is is, the first ‘yes’ you have a book signing. In the eurphoria of the moment (next to the fabulous one when you actually received your copies in the mail), this sounds great. But then, thoughts run to thinking of all the negative things that could happen. And there are so many negatives with the biggest one along the lines of, will anybody show up at all? If they don't, I'm just going to be sitting there.

Once you come to understand that you are central to the success of the book signing, you'll be a lot happier.

Plot, like a novel, all the things you are going to do to make it successful. Don't get caught up in the whole philosophy of one thing you didn't do will not make it a success. That's perfectionism and since you can't control the world, then chances are a book signing will be no different.

Step one: Work with media to cover your book signing, at least in brief. I've talked to all kinds of authors who told me they just sent an email or faxed it in and the newspaper never carried it. When I've been developing book signings for authors, I've emailed first or faxed first and then picked up the phone. It's surprising how far you can get in a thirty second phone call. I've had promises to have these events in briefs and in local news. What a success!

In other words, emails and faxes don't replace true human voices.

Try a few different types of media. Don't hesitate to go to the small ones. Recently, I saw an event in a magazine that comes out in our area but I didn't see anything about the event in the newspapers or on the news. So don't count out the alternate routes.

Step Two: Develop a press release and sent it out online. Use and any of the other ones that come up under free press releases. They offer a fantastic service, especially when the topics are searchable. Craft the press release around the event.

Online, people run into press releases all the time. The more press releases with slightly different appeals will aid you in your efforts to get your name and book out there.

Step Three: Consider making a 10 percent donation of what you receive to charity. That way, you can invite that charity to send their local members to the event. This kind of circle of friendship can only help in your effort to get your name out. Try to choose a charity that is reflective of either local or national concerns.

Step Four: You've called the media. You've made up press releases. Make sure to put up all the information on your own website about the event. You never know who is going to stop by.

Step Five: If you are local to the area, start hanging flyers at grocery stores or wherever there is a community bulletin board. There are often bulletin boards in schools.

Step Six: Don't relax yet. Get together your marketing. Invest in a huge, cardboard version of your book cover. Put glass over top of your latest newspaper articles or reviews, as in frame them up.

Step Seven: On the day of the book signing, meet all the staff you can and let them know who you are.

Step Eight: OK, it's show-time. Get out of the chair! Go meet the people. Try to get a copy of your book into their hands. Interact. Don't be shy. People don't expect an author to come over and talk to them. Be different. Strive to get the books into customer hands and break some records.

Remember to try smaller bookstores at first until you get used to being ‘a person of interest’. Think of out of the way places to have book signings and then when you're feeling on top of things, go to the biggest bookstore you can think of and try there too. You may well find that smaller is better or that cafes and ice cream shops offer more flexibility. There isn't any correct way to sell a book but certainly, holding book signings every month gets your book into people's hands. Good luck! Enjoy!

Robyn Whyte is the CEO of Stargazer Press, a seriously independent press. We are known for our fine novels, great for gifts. Drop by to and have a look.


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