I have had three books published and the first two signings were at church related events because the books fit that audience. However, I have a Picture book out this month and the first signing is coming up. How to prepare isn't something the publisher has explained other than to bring books, prepare to read aloud in front of a camera, and that a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Children's hospital. Not much to go on. This is what I have done.
- I have plenty of business cards ready with my contact information. This way even those who don't purchase a book will take away a tangible way to reach me.
- I have books ready to sell. The publisher also has back up cases. We may have too many but I like to be prepared. I also have made a simple order blank to pass out with my business card for those who were not prepared to buy today. Many may want to order for a gift, for their school, or at a later date.
- This particular signing, the publisher is handling all purchases at one station so that all books sold that day from the authors present will get their donation deducted before receiving their commissions. If I were to be there alone, I would need to have a cash box and a way to accept payments and make change. A sign telling buyers who to make the check out to is also helpful and you have covered all bases. Know your tax rate and the laws pertaining to book sales. If tax is included in the price make that known to the buyer.
- Have a table with a nice cloth or an attractive way to set up your books to grab the buyer. Just like the first paragraph grabs the reader, your initial appearance and impression grabs the buyer. This doesn't have to be elaborate but simple, clean, and attractive.
- Dress neatly and appropriate for your setting. Wear your best asset which should be your smile and friendly manner at all times. Again, your first impression is your best. You may not have a chance to change the mind of a visitor who gets the wrong first impression and believe me that bad impression will be remembered when you publish again.
- Have fun. Enjoy the process. Stay in the moment and put your outside concerns away for the day. This is what you have worked for so truly enjoy the experience. Take mental notes if not written notes of contacts you may need in the future. With luck and hard work you will be in this place again.
Feel free to comment and offer your tips to our readers. And check our archives for more articles on marketing or grab a copy of The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson for more excellent advice on self promotion.
Terri Forehand is a Neonatal Nurse and author of The ABC's of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane and Pepper's Special Secret. Visit her website at www.terriforehand.webnode.com or her blog at http://terri-forehand.blogspot.com