Even though the book signing event might be marked as “one of the most stressful moments of your life” it is actually a very great thing. Believe in yourself and everyone else will follow your example!
After everything is done, your book synopsis has been approved or edited, your book cover is done, and your book is visible on the internet, it’s time to think about one other very important thing when it comes to your book’s promotion – the book signing! One of the most important things while promoting your book is that you HAVE to have faith in your work. If you don’t believe in your book, no one will! Authors mostly think that book signings are only for well known authors whose books are more present than Lady Gaga, but that simply isn’t true.
Book signings are a great way to show and present yourself as an author to your readers. Every author will confirm that his first book signing was terrifying! It’s like throwing a party where you are certain no one will come, but don’t worry about that too much. Invite some friends and colleagues or set up a joint signing with another author whose work is very similar to yours.
If you are an independent writer you will have to do everything by yourself, so here are some tips how to find the perfect place for your book signing and how not to get lost in the whole process.
Where should the signing take place?
First of all, you have to choose where you would like the book signing to take place. A lot of independent and chain bookstores will be happy to have a book signing. Every bookstore is in need of further promotion and in return for their favor you could promote the bookstore on the internet and other media while mentioning your book signing. You can do the same thing in cafes, schools or libraries. It all depends on your book genre and target audience. Choose the one place you feel very comfortable signing your book copies and of course make sure that your book is available there so that customers are able to buy a copy or simply carry a few copies with you. Make sure that you contact the place in time.
How to promote the signing?
Contact the local newspaper, radio station or even television station one month before the book signing and talk to them about it and your book in general. If you already have fans in this area, they will be delighted to come and participate in this. The article in the newspaper, on the radio or on TV should contain a few words about your writing and all of the activities that will be held during the book signing ceremony. Write the announcement for the book signing yourself and make it brief. Be aware that every store, school or library is different so you need to personalize every announcement to its ideal clients and your readers of course. Advertise this event on every social media site possible. Let everyone know that you love your writing and that it’s worth reading and owning a signed copy of it! Remember, the book signing is mostly the promotion of the author and less of the writing, so make sure to be out there!
What to do when the day has arrived?
You are there, in a local bookstore, school or library and people are approaching your desk. Make sure that you don’t just sit there, reach out and touch someone. Talk about your book, read a few chapters you think might be the best ones, talk to your readers and if you are very nervous, be natural, make a joke about being nervous. It’s completely normal to be nervous! After a few minutes everything will pass and you will see that there is no point in being nervous, above all if you are not the only author who will sign his book today.
1. Dress classy but very comfortable – something that reflects your personality and shows respect to your readers. Bring a lot of water and everything you think you might need (a lucky charm, your favorite pen or wear your lucky socks).
2. Don’t forget to bring a lot of pens – in case some don’t work. A bonus tip would be to buy acid free pens so that the signature and the dedication don’t fade with time. Use the time before your book signing to practice your signature and always have a few phrases you can use in your dedication, but don’t use the same one for every reader.
3. Ask readers to spell their names! While reading about problems that occurred during book signings, I noticed that a lot of authors mention misspelled names that can cause a lot of embarrassment and distractions. It isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s better to ask the reader to spell their name even if it is a simple one. That way you will spell the name right and won’t have to worry if it’s Anna, or Ana, Terry or Terri and similar. Always have a few copies of your book with you, so that you can sign a fresh book after misspelling the name.
4. Don’t write dedications that are too long and always write them on the first page before the foreword. It would also be a good thing if you could ask your book designer if he could design some book marks that you might carry around with you and give to your readers. That way you can give a gift to every reader and promote yourself even more.
5. Very important – use a different signature for book signings than the one you use in daily life. Using the same or similar signatures might lead to identity theft given that your book could end up on eBay, a similar portal or in a used book store. Very important – don’t use the same signature on your credit card or similar document as on your book signing. Don’t worry about being un-personal. This is just a necessary precaution.
Even though the book signing event might be marked as “one of the most stressful moments of your life” it is actually a very great thing. You wrote a book, you have people who love your work and read it, so don’t be your book’s first stumbling stone, do everything in your power to promote it and to promote yourself as a writer. Believe in yourself and everyone else will follow your example!