Welcome back! How’s the weather out your way? Nice and sunny here. More people are out and about at the markets, libraries, and community fairs. It’s the time of year when you’ll see more book signings between now and the fall. At least, in these parts, where winter temperatures can drop below -30C (-22F), there are less signings.
So you’ve called the bookstore or library down the street, and asked if they would host your next book signing. They said Yes! Congratulations.
How do you prepare? What things are a must? Which ones are a no-no?
I hope these helpful tips will make things easier for you.
- Spread the word to your friends, neighbours, and on social media.
- If the store owner or library will allow, put an 8×10 poster in the window of the venue or somewhere inside. I put mine up a week in advance. A small ad in their newsletter, or in the local events section of the newspaper helps too.
- Carry a good float with you. You don’t want to run short.
- Get the Square or PayPal device for processing payments. Not everyone carries cash anymore. Download the app to your cell phone, and plug the device into the headphone jack. It’s that easy to use.
- Round the price to the nearest dollar. It’ll save you from having to carry a lot of change.
- If your book is, let’s say, $15.00, make sure you have plenty of fives. Many ATMs only dispense twenties. There’s nothing more embarrassing than telling a paying customer you don’t have change.
- Are you promoting more than one book? Offer a deal if they buy the set.
- For income tax purposes, write a receipt for every sale, even if the buyer doesn’t want one.
- Make your book table attractive. A dish of wrapped candies acts as a magnet, and gives you a chance to talk to those with a sweet tooth. Acquire a small stand (available in many dollar stores) to prop up your books.
- Offer a business card, bookmark, or book plate to those who walk by your table. My book plates bear the back blurb of my novel. My cards have both titles.
- Turn off or mute your cell phone if you’re not using it with the Square or PayPal device. Talk to your potential readers. If you want them to be interested in your book, show your interest in them. Don’t forget to smile.
- Bring nothing messy to the table. You don’t want to spill liquids on your books, or leave sticky fingerprints on them. I keep my water bottle on the floor.
- Don’t forget your favourite pen and a notebook. Some may come, not knowing there was a book signing. They may want to leave their contact information.
- Best of all, have fun. Get to know your readers, and tell them about your novel. They’ll probably want to know about you as well. Go ahead and tell them!
That’s what a book signing is all about. How do you prepare? Leave a comment below.