Signings For Fun and Maybe Even Profit
Last week or so on this blog we got to talking about doing book signings. I had my first signing on Sunday and I had a good time. It didn’t matter that the program announcement was incorrect. I was there. People I know and like were there. I had a good time talking with people I had not seen for some time and incidentally I sold some books.
Commercial Break: Murder Manhattan Style is available at http://www.ninthmonthpublishing.com/books.html Please support the publisher who supported me.
Now back to the blog. I’ve had less successful signings before I have some ideas about what helps to make a signing work.
Make it an event. I like to dress in period costume and to invite people I know to attend. If people are already chatting to me, it is easier for strangers to approach and get into a conversation. I’ve known some authors who write about cooking to wear chef’s hats, some historical writers to display amazingly quilts. At her events, Suzanne Arruda has games, prizes and participants get to pretend they are her wonderfully brave heroine, Jade Cameron.
Bring food. This may even attract men. It will attract children who often have parents somewhere in the general vicinity.
Let ‘em know why you’re there. A nametag with “Writer” helps. Offer to sell books. People may have no idea why you are there. The might think you like to sit in bookstores and people-watch. A surprisingly large number of signings I’ve seen consisted of a glum, bored person sitting at a table with books on it for no reason apparent to passersby. They gave off strong “stay away” vibrations and believe me I did.
I had intended to do a brief reading last week but people came in and started buying books. For once, I had the presence of mind not to trip over my own feet and I started selling books immediately.
Check the spelling and endorsement both before and as you sign, no matter how apparently simple the spelling sounds. I have failed to do so with unfortunate consequences. Sorry, Kaythi.
Arrive early, be friendly to staff and be prepared to negotiate sweetly, “I wonder if there might possibly be another place for my mysteries besides in the college astrophysics section?”
Thank the people who let you put on the event. Who knows? Maybe someday they’ll let you do it again.