Sunday, April 10, 2011

10 Things to Do to Prepare for a Book Signing

This morning I attended a workshop and book signing with Tom Seymour.  Tom's book Wild Plants of Maine has been stirring up quite a bit of interest.  I went along so that Tom could concentrate on the audience and I would sell books. I don't always get to go to every author event, so I thought I might write a list of things that might be helpful to other authors.
  1.  Prepare your clothing for the event. How do you want your readers to see you?  You also never know when there will be a camera around. Put your best face forward. Business casual works for any event.
  2. Coordinate all book signings with your publisher. Publishers send out new releases, post events on the publisher’s website and on other news and event websites.
  3. Invite friends and family to come. Send out a postcard. The more people milling about you, the better.  Note: Leave your small children or surly teenagers at home.
  4. A week before the signing, confirm with the bookstore that sufficient supplies of your book have found their way into the store. Always bring at least six copies of your book to the signing.
  5. Show up at the location at least 15 minutes early. Give yourself time to set up your materials.
  6. This next seems obvious to me but it must not be or it wouldn’t be on most people’s list. Be polite and friendly. Smile.
  7. Be prepared to give an elevator speech about your book—thirty seconds or less.
  8. Have people print their name for your or spell it. No need to waste a book.
  9. Prepare book signing a tote holding the following:
  • Several pens that you have tried out to ensure that they work and do not splotch, smear or otherwise ruin a book.
  • Bookmarks, flyers, postcards (related to the book) and or business cards.
  • A notepad for things to do later from readers or to collect email address.
  • A bottle of water (although the venue might supply). Be prepared.
  • Copies of your book and maybe a few extra visuals such as a map, artifact or pictures related to you book.
10. Have fun! People who are coming to your event are happy to meet you.  Meet them with a smile and thank them for coming.


alice said...
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DayTripper Diva said...

Nice list of practical tips. Thanks, Nancy!