I love book festivals and signing events. I’ve even held a book signing in a local bar – a glass of wine complemented the experience nicely! But success at these events doesn’t happen automatically. Here are a few rules to remember:
· Be pleasant. No matter how many snot-nosed kids are placed beside you or if an onion and cheese sandwich gets slapped beside the pristine stack of books on your table don’t let your annoyance show. You are providing entertainment and those potential readers are your audience. Smile and be grateful to them for being there.
· Be reasonable. Don’t accost people to buy your book. One author grabbed the arms of passersby, insisting that they would like her book. Guess what? They hurried away as soon as she let go. People don’t want authors to act like used car salesmen or carnival barkers.
· Be helpful. If it’s a book fair with a variety of books, ask the reader what type of books he enjoys and steer him to the right authors. If you write high fantasy and he likes historical non-fiction, don’t try to convince him otherwise. He will probably ask about your book out of courtesy, either now or when they stop back to thank you for your help, and if someone in his family would like your book, he will get it for them!
· Be sociable. As a corollary, meet the other authors as the event begins. Find out about their books and they will ask about yours. Now you can be helpful in directing readers to them, and I assure you, they will do the same – at the event and afterwards.
· Be prepared. Regardless of what the organizers or bookstore has said will be waiting, have everything you need. This includes:
o A folding table. At one event, the tables did show up. As a result, I was one of two authors who were prepared to set up.
o At least three Sharpies to sign books. You can lose one, have another run dry, and still keep signing books.
o A signup sheet for your mailing list.
o A table cloth so that your area looks nice. Make sure the color doesn’t clash with your book cover.
o Eye-catching signs about your book and clips from reviews. These should be freestanding.
o BOOKS! Even if the organizer is providing the books, have extras handy. I would have been finished signing books at 1:30 at an event that ran until 4 if I hadn’t had more books in my car.
o Scotch tape, duct tape, and a pair of scissors. Just because.
Providing a great experience to readers at book signings creates buzz toward the viral recommendations you need for your novel. Now, relax and enjoy yourself. A book signing is your time to shine!
Terri-Lynne Smiles’ is the author of the debut novel Foreseen, book 1 of the Rothston series. The first two books of the series are available through most online retailers.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Science, Fantasy, Thriller
Rating – PG-13