Tips for Self Promotion, Sales, and Advertising discussion

Book Signing... Any Suggestions?

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message 1: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 54 comments I'm going to be scheduling some book signings. Does anyone have any experience at that? Any suggestons?

message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert | 34 comments BOOK SIGNINGS

First: Book signings are humbling events.
A B&N CRM once told me that the typical book signing sells just five (5) books. I've felt lucky to sell just one, though I'm proud to say (and let's not curse this, knock on wood) I've never been skunked.

Set up your table in front of the store never in the back unless you're giving a lecture or talk.
Do not sit behind the desk like a punished child. Stand in front handing out promotional material like book marks (I prefer postcards with the cover of my book on the front) saying, "Hi, I'm Robert Mykle author of Killer 'cane." Hand them your postcard. Then say "Oh would you like me to sign that for you." and bring them to your table.

I also stand by the front door and hand them out as people come in. CRMs actually like this.
At the end say goodbye to the CRM and as many of the store people you can even if you sold few or none. These are your front-line soldiers in the fight to sell your books. Treat them well and they will recommend your book in the future and ask you back.


Robert Mykle

message 3: by Thersa (new)

Thersa Great advice Robert!

F.D. I, too, have a reading/signing coming up and have been biting my nails over it. Right now just trying to think of all angles and talking to the bookstore to see what they suggest. As I normally live in Japan I'm going to bring some little Japanese snacks to share.


message 4: by K.G. (last edited Apr 05, 2009 04:47AM) (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments Just for the record... I have Roberts self promotion manual. I knew nothing of Goodreads, or other online sites for information at the time I received it. It was my only guideline, and was a highly valuable tool for me to study. The only thing I haven't done (yet)is break away from behind the table! I'm sooo shy! But my signings are always fun and usually successful. Kathy p.s. notice the Kisses aren't far!

message 5: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Robert wrote: "Do not sit behind the desk like a punished child...."

Yes, people are definitely put off by having an author sitting behind a table, looking small and alone. If you have to sit then do it near the table... off at the side so people can still get to your books and free stuff.

Oh, and you can never have too many bookmarks. For a moment, at the last signing I did on Saturday, I thought I was about to run out... that was one of the most terrifying moments of my life ;o)

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I posted an article on my RedRoom page about the 10 thing not to do at a book signing. Remember, you get to talk in person to readers so have fun.

message 7: by Dr (new)

Dr | 134 comments F.d. wrote: "I'm going to be scheduling some book signings. Does anyone have any experience at that? Any suggestions?"

Dear sir, It has been my great fortune to find out that college students love reading fiction. My method has worked wonders for me. I contact the director of Human Services or by any other title, the social director and schedule a book showing when thousands of visitors are coming to campus to talk to students. The last one I did was during art and business week and It was fantastic. I go to Office Depot and have a 12 X 18 picture of my cover made and frame it, buy a little wooden easel to sit on the table. Hope it works for you, better bring change and a money box.
Dr McGinnis, The Paradise Series Amazon

message 8: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 54 comments Thank you so much. I have cut and pasted your suggestions to a document that I will use as my format. As for the, I haven't heard of them. Does anyone have any intel on them?

message 9: by Penelope (new)

Penelope (PARiley) | 39 comments I have done 2 book signings on my newly released book, Travel Absurdities, and have done what I think is good. My hesitation is I am going to my old home town and have a signing, it is a little nerve raking because I want to make a good impression. I find it hard to figure out how many books one should take. Since my book is about Travel and my adventures I also have a newsletter that I print each month and take a copy with me along with bookmarks and a give-away prize to help my data base grow with the entry names. I also have a cardstock suitcase I designed that holds a list of travel tips and a couple of mints as a gift to all that attend.
Since my book is a humorous one making fun of my adventures it helps to keep things lighter.
Penelope Riley

message 10: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 54 comments Hey... your book sounds better than mine.

message 11: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jazzman) Help!
When it comes to the information age I am (sadly)uninformed. I have a video I did for a tv station here in Charlotte and a radio blog from a blogcast out of Houston. Is there any way a mortal like myself can get it onto Goodreads.Thanks.

message 12: by Penelope (new)

Penelope (PARiley) | 39 comments Thanks, it is the first I have tried to publish and my friends encouraged me to give it a try cause they all like my stories. I am working on 3 more books and hope the marketing and signing becomes easier by then. It is much easier to write the books.

I also found you have to develop a thick shell because not everyone thinks your book is good and some are very bold to tell you so before they even open the book.
Penelope Riley, Travel Absurdities

message 13: by Thersa (new)

Thersa Kgcummings wrote: "Just for the record... I have Roberts self promotion manual. I knew nothing of Goodreads, or other online sites for information at the time I received it. It was my only guideline, and was a high..."

Kg, that is an awesome booksigning picture! Silly question, but did you provide the table cloth? I love it and it really adds a nice air to the table. Sets the mood so to speak. However, in my case I could never set a bowl full of Kisses that close to my free hand. Can you imagine me getting chocolate all over people's books? Yikes.


message 14: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 54 comments Chocolate??... did someone say chocolate?

message 15: by Thersa (new)

Thersa I wonder if there is some study comparing the number of people who approach book signing tables laden with chocolate versus those with none. You know, when all other factors or equal.


message 16: by Joseph (last edited Apr 08, 2009 07:10PM) (new)

Joseph (jazzman) I have great news for you about book signings...They're fun.
Please try to remember that in almost all cases,the audience is in awe of you.Also, they are rooting for you;hoping you will succeed. And you will. You know about writing from the inside...the thrill of discovery...the wonder of sitting at a desk and creating a world of your own. Let them in on that little secret. Make them part of the process.They won't forget you. Best.

P.S. What's the worse that can happen. If for some reason things don't go as planned, go out with another writer,have a drink and share your horror story.All the greats, regardless of discipline, have a horror story to tell. That's how they become great. Just like a seasoned comedian or musician, we eventually get the hang of it.That's when the world takes on the most wonderful blue hue.

message 17: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Hendrix (sheilahendrix) I've had a couple. I'm supposed to do another one in June at Little Professor Books and Cafe. I really enjoyed it.

message 18: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments Thersa, my second signing was on a bare table. I sold books, and had traffic, but when I saw the pictures, all I could think was, "YUCK". I had the table cloth, then decided to display my poetry awards. I've had people walk across the room just to see what they are all about, then end up buying. I like the kisses because I can unwrap them and pop them in my mouth without geting my fingers dirty. And, tee hee, just for the record, when I go to book signings, I linger more at the tables with candy... gimme dah sweets and no one gets hurt! My last signing was outdoors at a fund raiser picnic! Food was great, everytime I took a mouthful, someone walked up to my table and we had good laughs. Even though I stay behind my table, I do well, especially when I recognize buyers of my earlier novels from previous signings. Whatever, try not to be nervous. It's like a birthday party, and you are the guest of honor!
All the best, Kathy

message 19: by Penelope (new)

Penelope (PARiley) | 39 comments How do you decide how many books to take to a signing? The first 2 I have had I took all I had on hand but they were local or I drove by car to them. My one I have in Washington State (I live in Florida) I will be flying to and will have to ship the books. Any suggestions.
I like your reasoning on the candy kisses. I am afraid I would be eating most of them though.

message 20: by Thersa (new)

Thersa Kathy, I like the birthday party analagy. And a book signing outdoors is such a wonderful idea. A picnic BBQ mood. That coupled with a reading would be a blast and a half.

Penelope asked a good question. I guess my publisher has spoken with the bookstore and will be providing books but the number (I caught wind of) sounded smaller than I expected. ('Cause really, my mother in onboard as people-rounder-upper and just yesterday she got the two young men who are reflooring my parents' kitchen to promise to go.) And I remember Gina ran out of books recently. I heard about another author friend who ran out of books, but had some in her car. That saved the day evidently.

The overly optimistic,


message 21: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (fdcrandall) | 54 comments Every one of you have been so great. I have a wealth of information and I feel ready to go.

message 22: by Penelope (new)

Penelope (PARiley) | 39 comments With today's economy the bookstore out in Washington state says they order a certain number in and the author brings more in so obviously the airlines will not want them in my carry-on and I will have to have them drop shipped. My marketing guy said 75 books and I thought that was high. I always keep about 40 on hand but hate to ship all the extras. Shipping is so high, and I will be having to take them on a cruise ship the following week. I had it lined up to do a signing on the ship then the cruiseline backed down and said I could sell to my group but not the general public. Guess what will be discussed around our table of 10.

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