Do’s & Don’ts Book Signing Edition

So…you’ve written a book. And more than that, you’ve gone through the proper steps to get it published! Congratulations!!

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Once the moment of euphoria wears off you’ll probably start to wonder…what happens now?

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If you are anything like me you’ve probably looked up every single bookstore within driving distance, called them and scheduled a book signing.

Here are a few useful tips for your big day. 

Do’s
1. Wear something nice and also wear comfy shoes. Personally, I like to wear a pretty dress at book signings. I also think that it’s cool to see a male author wearing a nice shirt, jeans and a blazer. But that’s just me.
2. Smile. You want to seem friendly and approachable.
3. Invest in plastic holders. You want people to be able to see the cover of your book from a few feet away. Be proud and display your book!
4. Practice your pitch. If someone asks you what your book is about you need to have something ready immediately.
5. Make eye contact.

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6. Chat with people. Ask them what kind of books they like to read.
7. Be yourself! If you’re a smart, funny, quirky person then be that. Unless you can be a unicorn…
8. Be prepared for anything. This is something that makes some people crazy, I’m notoriously prepared for any worst case scenario. I have a first aid kit, advil, pepto bismol, lunch, water, crackers, sunscreen, and an extra dress packed among my stuff. Because you never know what’s gonna happen. The last thing you want is for your zipper to break right before a book signing and no way to fix it. And yes…this actually happened to me.
9. Talk to people about why you write. Share some useful tips on writing. Talk about some of your favorite books and what inspired you to write your book.
10. Freebies! Everyone loves getting something for free, whether its candy, stickers, bookmarks, etc. That’s the best way to start a conversation with people as they walk past your table.
11. Decorate your table and have a theme in mind. For example: For my Frost Series, I have a lot of fairy tale themed things like Cinderella’s glass slipper (it’s a miniature), a little apple (it’s soap), and a little Snow White and Evil Queen doll.
12. Have fun! Invite friends and family to your big day. 

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Don’ts
1. Don’t stick your hand out and force people to take your business cards or bookmarks. No one likes being attacked by someone desperate to sell their book.
2. Don’t yell at people. Seriously…I’ve seen this and it’s just not cool.
3. Don’t give people a creepy wide-eyed stare. That never works.

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4. Don’t spend the entire time trying to sell your book. Engage with people. Ask them what brings them to the bookstore or convention. If you’re at a convention and your potential customer is wearing a costume, ask them about it. No one likes the desperate salesman.
5. Don’t over-decorate your table. One time at an event I saw a woman wearing a neon pink boa, a plastic silver crown, and looked like Tinker Belle sneezed on her face (she had a lot of sparkly makeup on) and her table was also neon pink with a whole bunch of other stuff on it. You could barely see the book.
6. Don’t be nervous. Writing is a solitary job and this is the one time you get to go out and meet people. Talk about your book and tell them what it’s all about.
7. Don’t write another book while you’re sitting at the table. You’re promoting your book not a writer on display like in some strange zoo. You will give people the impression that you don’t want to be bothered while you’re ‘working’. Save the writing for home.
8. Don’t frown. People will assume you’re not a nice person and no one wants to talk to someone who looks like their having the worst day ever.
9. Don’t spend all your time on your phone. I always have my cellphone close by (because I have two little ones and I have to have it in case of an emergency), but it’s always on MUTE.
10. Don’t forget to promote your event! That means create flyers, postcards and advertise the event on facebook and twitter. Be sure to let everyone know. 

Good luck!! And I hope you sell tons of books!!

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