Tips for Self Promotion, Sales, and Advertising discussion

Walkabout book signing advice please

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message 1: by G.R. (last edited Jan 11, 2009 08:15AM) (new)

G.R. (grcollia) I've been told that I can do a sit down signing or a walkabout one... whereby I walk around the store, talking to people and trying to get them interested in my book The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy.

Has anyone done a walkabout one? Any tips about what I could say to complete strangers as they browse around Waterstone's? It's going to be the day before Mother's Day, so apparently there will be a lot of people in the store.

Any advice for someone who's not a natural ice-breaker?

message 2: by Ali (new)

Ali | 7 comments Hi Gina,

Be confident...maybe walk around the store introducing yourself and invite the customers over to where your table is for a brief reading from your novel? That should open the floor to discussion about your novel as well as bring you some sales!

Good luck and Congratulations!
Ali :)

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert | 34 comments Gina:
As any author will tell you book signings are humbling events. The average book signing sells 5 books. Bookstores are less and less willing to do book signings. But when you do get one make it work.
FIRST: Have the store set you up near the front entrance so people see you.

SECOND: Do not sit in the back.

THIRD: Do not and I mean do not sit behind a table with your books. (Unless you have a line of customers in front of you.) I've seen so many authors behind tables with a bored look on their faces. They look like their being punished. Stand in front or to the side of the table. Greet averyone that passes. I have postcards with my book cover that I pass out as people pass by my table and say, "Hi, My name is Robert Mykle and I wrote this book Killer 'cane," If they pause, I say, "Let me sign that for you." And that brings them to my table where I sing the back.
If it's real slow I stand by the bookstore entrance and hand out postcards.
I'm a shy person but I've forced myself to do this.

At the end of the signing make sure you say good bye to the CRM or MAM, whoever "Hired You". Thank the people in the store even if you didn't sell a book. They will remember you and perhaps recomend you book.

Booksellers are the front line troops for your book. Treat them well.

Robert Mykle

message 4: by Kgcummings (new)

Kgcummings | 143 comments Thank you Robert. I remember those words well from reading your manual. There hasn't been a time before a booksigning that I haven't referenced back to it for a refresher. I asked my daughter where she got it, and was told she attended a writers conference in Florida. She was at your workshop there.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

message 5: by Nina (new)

Nina | 89 comments Great advice. If you have postcards or bookmarks, use them as you walk around. I strongly agree with taking time to thank the staff before you leave. I did a book signing at an independent bookstore that had not ordered my book, the contract was that I would bring my own for the sale/signing. A few days after the signing somebody came in and asked for my book-the bookstore actually called me and asked if I would bring them a copy for the customer. The manager told me the only reason they called was because I had been so friendly.

message 6: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Thanks for the advice everyone :o)

I'll be sure to take some bookmarks. I never know what to do with my hands, so carrying them will give me something to do with them... and a pretty or unusual bookmark is a talking point.

message 7: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Esther wrote: "I'm painfully shy around strangers; that's why I live behind my keyboard ;o)"

Me too. That's why I'm cultivating an 'other' me. She's outgoing and can talk to strangers... at least she will be able to when I've finished putting her together. I've got a talk coming up next Wednesday that's two hours long. I think it will either kill or cure me.

message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert | 34 comments Good Lord Esther, you're a teacher. There can't be a more critical group than a room full of students!!
Forget shy!

message 9: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) Robert wrote: "Good Lord Esther, you're a teacher. There can't be a more critical group than a room full of students!!
Forget shy!"

I'm the same, Esther...a teacher who has no problem in front of a group of kids, but give me my peers and my stomach is in knots. Students are way more accepting that adults. I've gotten a bit better over the past few years - had to force myself - since I've been involved in teacher training...but haven't had to do anything yet for my book - I've only had my printed copies a few weeks now.

message 10: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Esther wrote: "Let me know how the talk goes next Wed, Gina! I really think it's great that you're getting out there with your work."

Well, I gave the talk and did the walkabout book signing. I'd really recommend doing the walking about and talking to people. I did a sit down one before, with no walking, and people were a little apprehensive about coming up and talking to me... and I felt a tad chained to my post. With a walkabout one, however, you can catch them while they're browsing, offer a free bookmark, and strike up a conversation... away from the book display and signing table. The signing went so well that the bookstore have agreed to act as a reference for other branches, and I sold a good amount of books. Considering the fact that the Utamaro book is GBP 22.48, and it's a specialist book, I think it was an excellent day.

The talk went exceptionally well... I really enjoyed myself. I even got a written endorsement from the museum, which I posted on my blog here:

message 11: by Kgcummings (new)

Kgcummings | 143 comments
soooooooo happy for you Gina! May success follow you every step along the way. Your friend, Kathy

message 12: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Kgcummings wrote: "
soooooooo happy for you Gina! May success follow you every step along the way. Your friend, Kathy"

Thanks Kathy. Isn't it wonderful when an event goes really well. :o)

message 13: by Elise (new)

Elise (elisechidley) Hi Gina, I'm impressed! Sounds like you did a great job. Well done!!

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