Tips for Self Promotion, Sales, and Advertising discussion

Book Signings... chat

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message 1: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments Does anyone want to discuss new, or old ideas on book signings? What works, what doesn't? I've had several. Some blew me away with the sales. Others... well, I smiled a lot!!! I'm willing to share what I've learned, and willing to learn what you share. Your friend, Kathy

message 2: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 460 comments I am always in a quandary as to what to actually "sign." Besides my name and the date that is.

message 3: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Same here Dee... recently I've been asking people to tell me exactly what they want, and in general it's 'to such-and-such, with best wishes.'

I still can't get used to writing inside books... my hands actually shake when I do it and threaten to revolt.

message 4: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments I usually write... "To Dee, thank you for your friendship and support" to people I know. "To Gina, Enjoy the Read" to people I don't know. Because of the subject of my novels, I write "Bless our Vets" in all of them. Although I write using the name kgcummings, I only sign "Kathy" right under the printed name. I hope you get over the shakes soon Gina!

message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 460 comments Hey Gina,
I fully understand what you mean about "writing" in a book. In college we were encouraged to take notes inside all of our books. The first year I felt like I was doing a criminal act. It just comes with loving books :]

Hi Kathy, Thanks for your input.

message 6: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne McCray I always try something unique to each book. Like Forbidden Magic I wrote "Live the Magic!" and signed my name. Wicked Magic was "Keep it Wicked!" Some are hard to come up with something. One incredibly famous author whose name I can't remember right this minute, said you should always write something, even if it's the hero's name-- "Enjoy bad boy Zack!" I have found myself stumped and have written "Best," or "Hugs," depending on who it is. But usually I have something unique for that book.

message 7: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments hey! I like that Cheyenne! My daughter wrote a book named Chase and always signs it Enjoy the Chase! Kathy

Do you all have "give away" items for everyone whether they buy or not? I have book marks, and/or chocolate kisses.


message 8: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne McCray If I remember I have giveaway items. I forget to bring things with me--I'm really bad about that. But I have bobble-head pens and inexpensive calculators right now. The calculators are great. I've also done traditional pens, magnets, key chains... I just have to remember them! Bookflats/coverflats are good, too, for upcoming books.

message 9: by GW (last edited Dec 15, 2008 07:34AM) (new)

GW Pickle (gwpickle) | 5 comments Kathy & Cheyenne
I use mini candy bars & water bottles with custom printed labels. The labels have the book cover, the name of the bookstore along with the date & time of the signing. If possible, I try to leave several of the mini Hershey candys at the bookstore 4 or 5 days prior to the event. I have the same candy on my table along with my custom water bottle so I can have something to drink during the signing. It also makes a great above the table sign (people do notice what you drink). I usually give the store owner/manager a bottle or two of water as a thank you gift. I also leave some of the left over candy for customers that show up after I leave. The cost for these items is small, 50 cents for the mini candy and a $1.50 for the water. If anyone is interested in these items contact me at
I'll gladly give you the contact info.
As to what I sign, I usually sign "Enjoy the book" and sign it, unless they ask for something specific.
G W Pickle

message 10: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) I have bookmarks, postcards, and fridge magnets to five away. The fridge magnets are very popular. I'd like to get some notecards with envelopes next. For the book that's coming out in January, The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy, I've thought about getting little plastic skeletons that dangle from a card with the book's details on... as that would tie in with the cover design.

message 11: by GW (new)

GW Pickle (gwpickle) | 5 comments Gina.
The same place I get the candy &water bottle labels also have custom printed cards with envelopes for around a $1.25 - $1.50. I've just have'nt got around to trying mailings to promote my book.
G W Pickle

message 12: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments Any suggestions about the person that comes just to chat, and blocks the table for potential buyers? How does everyone get them to move along without being rude? Kathy

message 13: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne McCray The candy & water bottles are cool, but I don't use anything consumable. I'd like to have my promo item there for them to see for as long as they keep it around.

message 14: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Kathy, I used to have the same problem when I was selling antiques... there's always a stand-blocker who prevents anyone else getting a look in. I do the same thing now that I did then, I make out that I need to reposition something on the table and get up for a moment and move to the side... they seem to follow, so they end up at the side of the table rather than the front. They tend to stay there and carry on chatting, but they don't block others from approaching. Also, my husband comes with me, so if they are very persistent he grabs their attention with something and they're drawn away towards him.

message 15: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments Excellent!!! Thank you! I will share this with Mike as he comes with me, too.

message 16: by Nina (new)

Nina | 89 comments I use bookmarks, business cards, and sometimes postcards. For signing, I'll usually put something like "Look for the dragonfly". I also use Gina's idea-if you shift position, the person talking to you will usually move also.

message 17: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5 comments I'm glad i read over these ideas. I'm not sure when or if i'll have another book signing but the bookmarks and the refrigerator magnets are great ideas... especially because i have a friend who could get them done cheaply for me.

in my case as far as signing the book since it is primarily about marriage and love i always ask if the person buying it is single or married .... if married i say "I pray that this book will bless and encourage your marriage"

if single "i pray that this book will encourage you and prepare you as you wait for the marriage God has for you."

thanks for the good ideas. I'm still pretty new to all of this. As a self-published guy i will take any tips i can get.


message 18: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne McCray Since your work is religious in nature, these are great notes to write inside the books. :o) When you start signing lots of books with a long line of people waiting, you might find yourself shortening your note! LOL. Or not. I guess it depend. :o)

message 19: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5 comments Cheyenne,

I know. I know. for now i don't draw too many people so i can write the longer things. and many of the people are those who have heard me preach as a guest at their church... but i will have to shorten it considerably if God ever opens doors for the book to be mainstream.

have a great day.


message 20: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne McCray It's nice when you can relax and write something longer, isn't it? Good luck with the book going mainstream!

message 21: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments Ryan, I am self published by choice. I wish you every success and when I catch up with myself, I will certainly purchase your book. I truly enjoy your genre. Kathy

message 22: by David (new)

David Korinetz | 77 comments Since my novel is set in medieval times, I have a shiny, two-foot tall metal Knight I put on the table, but it is the wizard hat I wear that catches a customer’s eye. My wife and I also give out handouts, with a short synopsis, reviews and the address of my website where people can read the first chapter. We offer one to anyone who stops to take a look and also slip one in each book I sell. They cost 5 cents to produce and I measure their success by the increase of hits on my website with 48 hours of the signing. Sometimes, a person will return an hour or two later to buy a book once they have read the handout.

message 23: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5 comments great tips, David. I am now beginning to look forward to my next book signing.


message 24: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) David, I was thinking of dressing up a bit... not a wizard hat, but a Japanese haori jacket, as the theme of my book is Japanese. It used to go down quite well when I was selling Japanese antiques. I might give that a try.

message 25: by K.G. (new)

K.G. Cummings (kgcummings) | 143 comments hmmm... since my novels are set in the Vietnam era, maybe I'll dig out my old hippie clothes! Just kidding, but I think that the wizzard hat and the haori are grand ideas.

I give a laminated bookmark with a matching colored tassel that has the cover of the book on the front, all ISBN's and purchasing info on the back. If someone doesn't purchase, I still give a book mark of the same quality, laminated, but with no tassel, and the covers of the first three novels on the front, purchasing info with ISBN's on the back. People tend to throw away business cards, but will use a bookmark.

message 26: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5 comments i like the bookmarks and the magnets... my wife thinks i should get some magnets printed up. anything to keep the cover of the book in front of people so that they will think about it again and again... until they purchase it.

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