Marketing books is not for the timid and that includes book signings. Just because you have a table filled with freshly signed books ready to sell doesn’t mean that people are going to flock to it and ask to buy your book. Usually it is just the opposite.
A reserved person around strangers, I have had to learn how to be a seller. It wasn’t easy, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and now successfully sell books at local author signings put on by libraries, at craft fairs, and at bookstores.
I’ve put together some tips for you that I have found to be successful.
- Have all materials ready before you go.
‘Signed by the Author’ stickers on your cover
Books all signed
Bookmarks placed inside the front covers
Pens and Business cards
Poster of your cover
Change if you are collecting the money as you would be doing at a craft fair.
Table/chair if you supply
- Make an attractive table that invites people for a closer look.
Use a tablecloth (I use a plastic one.)
Have an easel or bookstand to display your book/poster
Arrange items so that the table does not look cluttered.
If possible, have a statue, picture, or something else else unique to your book’s topic (I have a 3-foot tall metal knight that sits on one end of my table.)
- Do Not sit down in the chair.
Always stand and be ready to greet potential buyers (I stand either to the side or slightly in front of the table.)
- Engage people as they walk by.
Always have a smile for everyone
Ask a question (Have you thought about a autographed book for as a unique gift for that special person? How much to you know about Arthurian Legend?)
Hand them a book so they can read the blurb on the back cover
Give a 2 or 3 sentence summary of the book
Tell them you would be happy to personalize the book if they purchase it now
- Have some small thing you can hand out to all.
Bookmark, candy, recipe
- Have some item connected with your book to give them when they purchase it.
Recipe, word search, crossword, sheet of historical facts
- Smile and thank them even if they don’t buy your book.
Potential customers may be standing by to see how you interact with others
- Remember to stretch yourself and act like you love being there! Have fun!
In addition to be a writer, Cheryl is a retired high school English teacher. Still passionate about working with kids, she conducts writing workshops for kids in the elementary and middle schools. The kids outline their own medieval stories complete with knights, dragons, magicians, and usually princesses.
Cheryl loves to travel to college football games, to Las Vegas, to visit family, and to see new places. She and her husband recently spent two weeks visiting Egypt where they traveled by local train from one end of Egypt to the other.
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