Book signings are a fantastic way to create buzz, market your book, gain readers, and strengthen your platform. However, there is a right and a wrong way to organize and conduct book signings. Here, we’ll explore some of the dos and don’ts of organizing and conducting your book signings.
Do: Make sure there are enough copies of the books available.
If you’re able to, bring your own books, or make sure that the bookseller has ordered enough copies for the number of people who are expected to attend. After all, the bookseller’s goal for the signing is to sell more copies. Your goal is to boost your platform.
Don’t: Come empty handed.
It’s difficult to have a successful signing with no books to sign.
Do: Market the event yourself.
Post on social media in the weeks before the event. Making a Facebook event page is a great way to generate buzz.
Don’t: Expect turnout without doing any promotion first.
It’s going to take more than a few posters at the bookseller’s location to create a guest list.
Do: Give books away to reviewers, those who might hire you to speak, and media.
Giving books away to the right people is a great way to invest in future opportunities, and increase your chances of being advertised in the media. Who knows, a reporter might even write a glowing book review. In a future blog we’ll talk about giving books away as a means of increasing your platform.
Don’t: Give books away to friends and family.
While it’s tempting to share the fruits of your labor with your loved one at no cost to them, doing so is cutting yourself off from a significant profit area. In addition, if you give your book away, in effect, you’re telling your friends and family what you think it’s worth.
Do: Bookmark and practice a section of your book to read aloud.
This should be a part of the book that you’re proud of and feel confident reading aloud.
Don’t: Turn to the first page and “wing it.”
Readers are always going to start reading on the first page. They came to see you in person for a reason–they want to learn more about you. Confidently reading a meaningful passage of your book is a great way to give them what they want.
Do: Explore the space.
Interact with readers and other writers if they are in the same venue.
Don’t: Be a sitting duck.
You’ll be sending the wrong message. Sitting without engaging readers is a surefire way to let readers know you don’t care about being approached.
Do: Bring a sign-up sheet for a mailing list.
Book signings are a great opportunity for you to market your book, and create a following. We call this following your platform. Continue marketing your book to attendees by following up with them via social media and email. Simply put adding to your email mailing list is your main purpose for a book signing.
Don’t: Come unprepared for a follow-up plan.
If you haven’t already created an online marketing plan, complete with website and social media pages, you are drastically limiting your marketing efforts. Your point for book signings is not to sell more books—it’s to help establish and increase your personal brand.