As an author looking to market your brand, a book signing is well worth it. Readers enjoy meeting authors in person, whether the author is a best-selling favorite or an up-and-coming writer just stepping into the world of publishing. Connections made at in-person events help readers feel invested in your work and can increase your fan base for years to come.
At your book signing event, be happy, be positive, and let people know you’re glad to be there. If people are passing by, invite them to take the materials you have available. Thank everyone who buys a book, and be sure to place a bookmark or flyer in each copy you sell.
Author book signings come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of a Book Signing
1. Provides Publicity and Exposure: Book signings help grow public recognition of an author and builds your marketing platform.
2. Can Increase Book Sales
3. Raises the Value of Your Signed Books: an author’s signature increases the value of your books.
4. Lets You Connect with Your Fans: interacting with readers and create new ones, hearing their feedback on your work, or letting them know what you’re planning next.
5. Supports Your Book Signing Host: The library or bookstore that hosts your book signing also benefits from the event.
The biggest disadvantages of book signings are the potential costs and logistics of the event. Planning and attending the event takes time and preparation. Book signings are more than just opportunities to scribble our names on paper. They’re celebrations of our books even existing.
I’ve been to book signings where some authors seemed to bring every single piece of collateral material they own. I’ve also been to others where the author had an empty table, no books and a single sign up sheet for their newsletter.
- Perfect your signature and know what you’re going to write – you might pick a memorable quote or phrase.
- Have a free item for a draw
- Offer previous work
- Ask attendees what they want you to read
Book signings do not typically sell great numbers of books, unless your name is Grisham or Rowling. So think about what’s involved and what you want to get out of it and in most cases one should not be surprised if you earn less than minimum wage. At most book signings the vast majority of authors sell eight books or less. On a good day, one might sell nine or ten books. Authors who sold more than eight books typically had a multitude of networks that showed up to give support. Know that the purpose of the book signing is not necessarily to sell books, but to make the readers aware of your books.
Here’s a tip that does not cost any money…
Talk, talk, talk. Regardless of how many people show up at your book signing, don’t be afraid to smile, wave and greet them, and give out a cheerful, “Hey, come over here and check out my books!” Surprisingly enough…they will and they might even find you interesting enough to buy your book.
And just because your friends did not show up at your book launch or book signing it’s not to say that you no longer have friends and that they have no interest in supporting you. The people in today’s world are tired, exhausted from the day to day grind and were without a doubt high-fiving you – from the comforts of their home, with an electronic device in one hand and television remote in the other. They hadn’t forgotten about you – it was simply too much bother to attend.
So, a “successful” book signing is when you show up, your books are there, you have a place to sit, you mingle with your friends and you sell just one book – even if it wasn’t to your very-best friend.
“Linda has published twelve books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”