Making Your Book Signing GREAT!

October 17, 2016

Making Your Book Signing GREAT!

Debi Stanton, Pen It! Publications, LLC                              


Creating a book display that is welcoming to customers and makes them want to buy your books is often difficult.  This is especially true for first time authors who only have one book to put on display.  So, let’s talk about the best ways to make your display table appeal to customers.


  1.  First and foremost, your books should be the STAR of your display.  Don’t have a lot of frou-frou stuff around that take away from the books.  Only use things that may enhance your book’s appeal.


  2. Eye-catching visual signage is important.  Make sure you have a sign up that depicts the cover of your book and it should contain information on how to buy your book.


  3. Bookmarks are a great way to hand something to a customer who is about to walk away and not purchase.  It may be just enough to get them to purchase at a later date.  Maybe they didn’t bring any money with them today…but they want your book.  Hand them a bookmark that has, not only a cover of your book, but information on how to purchase it.


  4. Props, as explained in #2, should be used judiciously.  If, for instance, you have written a book on Cowboys, you could have a small prop that consisted of a tiny cowboy hat and/or boots.  Or, let’s say you have written a vacationing book.  Buy a small suitcase, maybe a vintage one that has travel stickers on it.  Something that represents your book


  5. Pricing is important.  You don’t want customers to have to ask how much your books are.  Have clear pricing either printed on your books or on a slip of paper.  Often, authors don’t print prices on their books because they discount them at events.  If you have several books, have a price sheet readily available.


  6. Promote yourself by having business cards, information on your web-page, author page on Facebook, or perhaps even your blog.  In addition to having these on your business cards, have an index card printed out with this material.


  7. Stack for appeal.  What I mean by this is have different levels on your table.  If you have a wire bookrack, use it to display your books.  Then perhaps on the other end of your table, put a box beneath your table cloth so that one of your props is raised up. 


  8. Email lists are great.  Have a clipboard with a sheet asking folks to sign up to be on your email distribution list.  Be sure to have a pencil/pen readily available also.


  9. Determine your table design by the event and/or seasons.  Perhaps you are doing a Christmas display or a fall display.  Coordinator your tablecloth and/or decorations so that they go along with the theme. 


  10. Tablecloths are something that are really important to any display.  Be sure that your tablecloth is plain.  You don’t want bold designs that would take away from your book.  After all, it should be the STAR.


  11. If you have the option of where to set-up at the event and other authors will be around, choose your spot wisely. 


    1. Pick a spot close to the door.  Some people will walk in, but only a few steps.  You don’t want to be the last person in line with many other authors.

    2. Angle your table so that it faces the door, so you can be well seen from outside

    3. Be sure to speak to the patrons as soon as they walk by your table, even if it is just to say Hello.

  12. Write your own announcements and make your own flyers.  Distribute them all over town and give some to the place that is sponsoring your book signing.


  13. Don’t just SIT there.  Get up whenever someone comes by your table.  Talk to them, shake their hand, and acknowledge them.  Don’t ever just SIT there shyly. 


  14. Send a thank you note to the person who booked you for the signing once it is completed.  Even if you didn’t sell any books, acknowledge them with a note.


  15. Call the local radio station and/or newspaper and see if they are interested in doing a story or interview with you.  Doesn’t hurt to ask!  Let them know you are doing a book signing soon.


  16. Offer to do a FREE book signing at the local library. 


  17. Have a camera ready at your display.  Take pictures of it and have someone take pictures of you at your display…then post it all over social media:  Facebook, Twitter, etc.


  18. Arrive at least 20 minutes early to allow yourself enough time to set up and be ready to go


  19. Don’t have boxes and totes sitting around where customers can see them. Place them neatly under your table so that your tablecloth hides them.  Don’t have a messy display area.


  20. Finally, if you are at a large book-signing with other authors, mingle.  Talk to them about their books, give them one of your bookmarks and be sure to take one of theirs.  Networking is a great way to find out about other book signings that are coming up.  Ask them if you can add them to your email distribution list and encourage them to add you to theirs.


  21. Instead of doing just a “Book Signing”, offer to read a chapter of your book or to give a brief talk. 


  22. Attend other author’s book signings.  This is a great way to network and also to share ideas.


  23. Most importantly HAVE FUN!  Act like you are enjoying yourself and your mood will be infectious!

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