My friend Becky Palmer is getting ready for her very first book signing. I’m so excited for her. I remember my first book signing, it was about 10 years ago for my (out of print novel) Note to Self. Anyway, if you happen to be in the area Becky Palmer will be at the Smyrna Library on May 17th from 11AM to 1PM. She will be signing copies of her latest novel The Baltimore Butcher.
She asked me for some tips and I figured this would be a great chance to give everyone some tips for your next book signing.
- Smile. You want to seem approachable.
- Make eye contact. Let the person standing in front of you know that they have your full attention.
- Know your pitch. This is the biggest fail for some authors. You need to be able to tell people what your book is about. You can just stand there and say, “Ummm, it’s about…you know…stuff. And what happens…it has some scary parts…and some funny parts….” So please, please, PLEASE know your pitch. Memorize it. Practice with other people (friends, family members, your pets). Next time someone asks you “What’s your book about?” you need to be able to have the answer ready.
- Handouts/freebies. I’ve done just about everything when it comes to handouts and freebies. I’ve printed excerpts of my book and handed them out to people. Sometimes people throw them in the trash, other times people walk around the store, read the excerpt and turn around to buy my book. It’s an expense but sometimes it’s a necessary one. Also have bookmarks, business cards, stickers (if possible) to hand out. Business cards are essential because you never know what contacts you’ll make at these events. A book signing can lead to an invite to a school, library or book group. Make sure it has your information printed neatly and clearly (no crazy fonts that only you can read). The stickers are great because I can offer them to kids if they’re crying and they often cheer them up. And sometimes I’ll have a bowl of candy or chocolates (people love candy).
- More freebies. I’ll also have fun gifts with purchase. I’ve given away stickers, crayons (with the cover of my book on the label) and everyone’s favorite…lip balms (with the cover of my book on the label). People love free stuff. 🙂
- Ask questions. If you have a person checking out your table, talk to them. Don’t just sit there staring at them. LOL Ask them if they’re having a good day. Are they avid readers? If so, what kind of books do they like to read? In case it’s not in the genre that your book is in, ask them if they know of someone that likes mystery, fantasy, horror, etc (whatever genre your book is).
- Have a good pen with you. I recommend a Sharpie pen (black or blue ink) to sign copies of your books.
- Plastic holders. You want to make sure your book is propped up and displayed so everyone can see the cover of your book. (I got some awesome ones at Staples).
- Depending at what time you schedule your book signing, pack a lunch or a snack. I always do and it has been a lifesaver.
- Create events on facebook and invite your friends and family. The more the merrier!!
I hope these tips help. Happy writing!