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I know I don’t usually share advice related to publishing or marketing, but I had the chance to learn a bit about a successful book signing and the information was too good to pass up. If you feel like a book signing is in your distant future (that’s where I’m at!) this can still be a useful post for you. Let it inspire you and encourage you to reach the point where people are lining up to buy your book and get your autograph!
Author KT Daxon explains her book signing. She tells all about what she was glad she did and what she wishes she had done.
Easy Dos and Don’ts of a Successful Book Signing
When I first released my book Broken Tomorrows (a romance novel based on second chances) I was unsure of my exact marketing strategy. I knew that I wanted to get the book out there, but I wasn’t sure how to do it.
On March 25th, 2018 my apartment manager came to me and said, “Hey, let’s do a book signing during our pop-up library event. It’ll get more than just children coming to the clubhouse and you’ll be able to share info about your book.”
How could I say no to that? So, with eight copies on hand, I set up the book signing and hoped for the best.
I wanted to use this blog post to share what I did, and things I wish I had thought of but didn’t do.
Dos of a Successful Book Signing
- DO have at least 8 books on hand to sign and sell. Because the book signing was a last-minute add-on, many people didn’t get the chance to purchase the book online before the signing. It’s always good to have copies.
- DO bring your laptop and set up the PayPal login screen for those who want to purchase but don’t have cash. Most people nowadays don’t carry cash, myself included, and that can mean loss of sales.
- DO set up an area for your book to be displayed on a stand. After asking for advice on Twitter, this was one thing that was mentioned. Get a $5 stand from Office Depot or someplace similar and set your book up for all to see.
- DO bring a pretty table cloth for the area you use. It makes the book pop and the area look more professional.
- DO bring other goodies including; bookmarks, chocolates, pens, etc. The bookmarks are a good thing to have because even if a person isn’t going to buy your book, the bookmark is a reminder in case they choose to later.
- DO arrive at the book signing with 0 expectations on selling a single book. My goal wasn’t to sell per say, but to engage with new readers who had never heard of me. I came with a general elevator pitch of my book, and then allowed the readers to direct the conversation.
- DO arrive with a smile and open mind. Many readers read books because of a few reasons; either they can relate to the storyline, they are trying to escape their own lives, or they want a distraction. My new readers at the signing asked what my book was about. When I told them, “Broken Tomorrows is a unique twist on the love triangle idea with each person simply wanting a second chance.” With that, my readers shared personal stories of their second chances. I was touched and THEIR stories made my night even better.
- DO have a giveaway. Giveaways are a great way to build your email list and have the readers feel involved in the book signing, especially if they are unable to purchase a book at that moment. Engagement is key here.
Don’ts of a Successful Book Signing
- DON’T forget to hire a babysitter. My husband had duty(military), so the kids came with me. It was okay because it was a library event, but you usually want to keep the kiddos at home. Mine got bored once the library event was over.
- DON’T forget to bring cash. If you’re intending on selling copies of your books at the signing, bring cash. Someone will want to purchase a $10 book, but only have a $20 bill. You don’t want to put them in a tough spot nor do you want to lose the sale.
- DON’T forget to have refreshments. Depending on where you hold the book signing, you may want to include some juice and crackers. People begin talking and will eventually get hungry or thirsty. It’s a courtesy in my opinion. Thankfully, my apartment manager took care of this.
That’s all I can think of for now. For me, the book signing experience was one of my favorite parts of being an author. Writing the story is a lot of fun, editing is a total nightmare, but at the end of it all, you connect with your readers. The readers are your end goal, not sales. One day, you’re going to write a novel that touches someone so deeply that it’ll change their entire life, maybe even save it. Focus on your readers and everything else will fall into place.
At the end of my book signing, I told a friend, “If tonight is my reward for writing a novel, I never want to stop writing novels.”
Good Luck and Happy Writing.
Meet KT Daxon
KT Daxon is the author of Broken Tomorrows and currently residing in Honolulu Hawaii. When KT isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, exploring historical places, and spending time with her husband and two children.