Top Ten Booksigning Tips
1. Signing alone vs. signing with a group.
wonder why you sell more books alone when you do a booksigning by yourself??
(But ever wish you had a buddy with you to pass the time?) Some readers won't buy
your book because they feel pressure to buy books from all the other authors at
the table and don't want to hurt any feelings. So they walk away and don't buy
any books at all. Ack!
Solution: Have a sign that says: Additional autographed
copies available (at the till, romance section, wherever you can arrange it away
from the table). Better yet, get an old dump from your publisher, put you smiling
glamour shot on it, fill it full of autographed books and set it somewhere else.
Please be sure not to move other people's dumps around, though. Publishers pay a
lot for store position! Ask the bookstore manager for
2. How to get readers to come to your signing.
Send invitations. Most bookstores will be happy to send
announcements, which not only saves you a postcard, it really looks professional,
too. Supply the book store with labels and they will mail out the invitations for
3. The before and after of booksigning.
A week before your signing,
take in a display poster or sign that announces your signing. Leave up for a week
afterwards so that readers see that you were there. Oftentimes readers will come
in afterward (because they were too busy, shy, etc.), knowing there will be
autographed copies on the shelves. A sign often sells more books.
4. Signing gimmicks.
- Have a group signing by setting, type, issue, etc. (all Seattle
area books, all Regencies, all Harper author, etc.)
- Arrange for a portion
of the sales proceeds to be given to charity. (This is great for getting local PR
in the press). Or have a charity booksigning by adding an optional $1.00
donation by anyone who buys.
- If you are part of an anthology and the rest
of the authors are not with you at the signing, get all there signatures, copy
them onto labels and use them as bookplates. Readers get multiple
5. What some bookstores will do for you.
- Affix handwritten
Post-its to recommend certain books. These are great attention
- Some book stores maintain anticipation lists on their walls
announcing upcoming releases. Send your cover for display. Send an autographed
photo. Readers love to know what authors look like.
6. What to take with you.
- A form for readers to put themselves on your mailing list.
- Aspiring author info. (including the number to call for RWA meetings).
- Your publicity pieces.
- Facts about the romance writing business (listed below).
7. Impressive facts about romance readers you can spout:
- Average reader age: 40.
- College educated.
- Works outside the home.
- Has happier marriages than non-romance readers.
- Enjoys sex more than nonromance readers.
- Smart women read romance to learn how to improve their relationships.
- Nearly half of all books sold are romances.
8. How to reach those remote bookstores/readers.
If you can't make an actual appearance, try
an on-line booksigning or a teleconference. Readers love to ask questions, if
only via the phone or the net. Before the date, send labels with autographs and
autograph stickers to the store hosting the remote signing.
9. Send a thank-you note.
10. No matter how rushed you are, don't make illegal turns in front of
(But that's a tale for another article!)
© 2003 Patricia Simpson