How to Talk Your Way Out of Trouble at a Major Book Signing Event

Jim Green

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You may have read the article I posted recently on receiving an invitation out of the blue to address a targeted audience of 500 couples and thereafter engage in a book signing ceremony.

It sounds too good to be true and it almost turned out that way.

I arrived at the venue to be informed that my books had failed to show.

Oh, 500 hundred copies of a book had arrived okay but not my book “Your Retirement Masterplan”.

Someone at the distribution warehouse had highlighted the wrong ISBN, clicked, and provided the dispatch department with erroneous delivery details.

So what do you do when you are confronted with a nervous client, an inflamed public relations consultancy – and 500 copies of some other author’s book?

o I assuaged the client and their PR representatives and assured them that events would pan out satisfactorily;

o I requested permission to re-jig the program and tag a 30-minute Q & A session onto the end of my talk;

o I telephoned the warehouse and demanded they courier PDQ 500 hundred copies of the correct book (fortuitously, the warehouse was only 25 miles away from the venue).

As it happens, the Q&A session went down a bundle with the audience and lasted for almost 60 minutes which was just as well because that’s when the copies of my book arrived.

Hardly a JIT delivery but welcome nonetheless.

What goes around come around and all in all I was pleased with the day’s work - and I got what I set out to achieve.

1. I earned 10 percent in royalties from this bulk book purchase

2. I got to sign 500 copies individually

3. I got the opportunity to pass around my business cards

4. I got to address the retirees in a 20-minute talk on the third age adventure with the added bonus of a 1 hour Q&A session.

5. I got the opportunity to promote my next book

6. I got 500 potential new customers for my future books

7. I got an all-expenses paid trip to the venue

8. I got a substantial appearance fee

9. I got exposure from local television covering the seminar

Best of all to come out of the crisis was the fact that I won the trust of both the client and the consultancy and ended up with an invitation to repeat the exercise (minus the wrong books factor) on four separate occasions during 2006.

What helped me talk my way out of trouble at this major book signing event is the fact that I spent the bulk of my working life at the sharp end of marketing and I had seen it all before – and worse.

Jim Green is an online entrepreneur and established author with an ever-growing string of niche bestselling non-fiction titles to his credit.


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