Here are some pictures of me at BEA:
My book signing at BEA was a piece of cake, my editors took care of everything. No preparation was involved at all, I just walked in and it was done. This was a special event and I know that all future book signings will mean more work and preparation on my part.
ArcheBook Publishing has created a wonderful guide for authors to help prepare them for book signings (link here). This valuable tool includes information on:
- Bookstore Flyers
- Book Signing Announcement Flyers
- Book Signing Planning Guides
- Bookmark Templates
- Postcard Templates
- SamplePress Releases
- Media Relations Guidelines
I would recommend reading the entire guide, but here are a few tips from the Book Signing Planning Guide section:
THE BOOK SIGNING PLANNING GUIDE
- Lead-Time- Never schedule book signings with less than two-weeks from the date. Three to five weeks is preferable. From the date the event is scheduled, the bookstore manager needs to place an order for your books in plenty of time to allow them to arrive prior to the event, and hopefully sell some before you arrive.
- Scheduling-Try to schedule your signing on a SATURDAY, the busiest retail day at the bookstore. The event itself should be scheduled for a minimum of one hour, preferably 90 minutes to two hours.
- Order Books-Ensure that the bookstore manager has the correct ISBN for your book. This is critical! There are many books out there with similar, and in some cases identical, titles. You don’t want to show up for the event, only then to discover they don’t have your book in stock.
- Promotional Aids-Inform the bookstore manager about your Posters and Announcement Flyer. Provide him/her with a copy of the PDF files for printing, or provide them with printed versions, at their discretion. Important: make sure you follow up with the manager if you are relying on them to print the poster or flyer.
- Press Release-It is also common for bookstores to do a Press Release or perhaps even a small community Notice/Advertisement about the upcoming Book Signing. Donít forget, you are giving them an occasion to garner attention from the community and get more traffic into their store. If they donít mention this, suggest it!
EVENT AND SET UP
- Set-Up- The bookstores themselves will typically dictate where your signing table will be stationed. However, if you have any input into that, try to get the table near the entrance/exit, i.e. a high traffic area. The bookstore should provide all the necessities you need, but never take that for granted. It would be wise to have certain items available just in case.
- The Event: the Book Signing is meant to be an opportunity for people to meet you, talk to you, give you feedback about your book (assuming they’ve read it), and most importantly as far as the bookstore manager who’s hosting you is concerned to sell books! Realize that your demeanor should be polite, diplomatic and upbeat, and always endeavor to keep your conversation focused on all the great reasons the person you’re talking to should purchase a copy of your book and enjoy it. Thatís your job at those events, not merely to bask in the attention of adoring fans. That happens too, but job #1 is to promote your work!
- After the event- Don’t just abandon the bookstore manager. Offer to help them take down signs, and tidy up. If they have extra copies of your book left over, encourage them to prominently display it in their store. Continue to emphasize how you plan to send them more business to buy your book.
- Thanks-Be sure to write the manager a Thank You note or Email after the event. If you have a new title coming out soon, mention it, and your desire to come back again.
My second signing will be in a few weeks. I am now beginning preparations (no procrastination on this one) I have a lot of work ahead of me and I am not sure I will get it all done, but I know thanks to this guide I will be better prepared.
Be sure to look for me at the Borders Books in Pico Rivera on June 27, 2010 at 1pm. I’ll be the one with the pear tree.
Writing on the Sidewalk