It is hard work to set up a book signing . Once it has paid off, the work doesn’t stop there. It is still important to make a good impression on your fans, bookstore shoppers who may buy your book (and, potentially, become new fans), and the bookstore, itself.
Make sure that you bring an easel and a large poster of yourself and your book. If you have a positive newspaper clipping, put it in a frame, and keep it at your signing table; if you do not have one, create a flyer with some blurbs from online reviews and frame it. Bring some promotional items to give away, like bookmarks. If the bookstore has not already placed your book (or books) by the registers, it is prime real estate for an impulse purchase, especially when the store is promoting you, so ask them if it is possible for them to do so.
For a Signing:
- Don’t forget to bring pens! It is a signing, so it is important that you are able to actually sign copies of your book, without looking unprepared by relying on the bookstore.
- After the signing, sign any unsold books so the store has autographed copies .
For a Reading:
- Don’t wing it! Make sure that you have selected your passages in advance.
- If you have not read the passages that you have selected to an audience before, rehearse the passage at home a few times. After you are comfortable with it, try reading it for friends or family members.
When the signing is over, don’t forget to give the people who have graciously accommodated you some recognition. Thank the manager who helped you schedule your signing, and, if it is appropriate, offer to take pictures with him. If it is a small bookstore, ask the manager if he or she would like you to write up a blurb for their newsletter or website.
A little preparation can go a long way towards your success with readers, shoppers, and the bookstore. While it is important to be prepared, don’t get so caught up with the details and making sure the event is perfect that you forget to enjoy the moment that you have worked hard to get to.