Contributed by award-winning author Judy Azar LeBlanc, a graduate of San Jose University in San Jose, California, and author of Many Faces to Many Places; Things My Father Never Taught Me; The Compromise; and The Unveiling. Learn ten great tips for a successful book signing!
1. Framed book cover on a stand. NOT all bookstores have signs printed for your book signing.
2. A transparent bookstand to show off the books. A stand will show off the book better than just having the books lying on the table.
3. Postcards to hand out—with your book cover, a short blurb, availability, and Web site.
4. Flyers printed on colored stock so that they stand out. Ask a store manager if you can put a few up on the windows. I’ve never been turned down. After all, they want to sell books too.
5. Brochures. This is up to you. I have brochures with me, but I don’t put them out because of the expense. However, every now and then I do run into a librarian or a school book buyer, and I do give one to them.
6. Business cards. Have them in a nice business card holder next to your book cover. Make sure your cards list your Web site.
7. Pens with your book title and Web page printed on them. This tip I picked up at a book conference. When a customer buys my book, I sign it with one of my pens, and then I give them the pen along with the book.
8. Bookmarks. This is a must. Every book should include a bookmark. Have them made with a small picture of your book cover, a list of very short two- or three-word endorsements, and your Web site.
9. A tablecloth. It has been my experience that some bookstores set the table with a tablecloth and some don’t. I always carry one with me just in case.
10. When you are done always thank the store manager and the staff who participated in your book signing. Never leave without a thank-you and a handshake.
This may seem like a lot, but believe me, when it is laid out on the table, it isn’t much. Keep in mind we are professionals, so, with everything we do, we must think like professionals. Last but certainly not least, don’t be shy; greet the customers as they walk by, smile, introduce yourself, hand them a flyer, and tell them that you are a local author who is having a book signing today on behalf of (name of bookstore). Tell them a little about your book.
If you’ve written a book but need to get it published before you can start thinking about your first book signing, Writer’s Relief is an author’s submission service that can help you submit to literary agents. Happy writing and book signing!