What I learned attending authors’ book signings:
- Come with an army of books to sell. You never know how many sales you will get in those few hours.
- Have something to offer your customers. Whether it’s a treat or bookmarks show your readers you appreciate them taking the time to come out to see you and hopefully to buy your book.
- Smile and acknowledge everyone who approaches your table. If you are caught up in conversation with one of your readers, take a moment to acknowledge the people still in line waiting to see you. Their time is precious too.
- Have a stack of business cards and other contact information available to your readers. This will establish a personal connection between you and them that will encourage them to look you up and read more of your work when they get home.
- Have a banner or signs with bold printing showing the title of your book and your name as the author on the display table. It is meant to attract their eyes to your table and hopefully they will be curious enough to approach you.
- Be prepared for the unexpected. To quote Depeche Mode, “People are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully.” Not every fan who approaches you is going to have a conversation with you that interest you or meets your expectations. You may find yourself talking for what seems like ages with someone you find utterly annoying before getting to the next reader. Suck it up buttercup. Next!
- Remember your manners. You know those things your parents taught you were the lifesaving social graces to getting your way with things in the world? Well, maybe not your parents did, but certainly someone’s parents out there. Thank people for coming to see you and remember to that one person your words with them in those moments may make all the difference in their lives. Authors have been known to have that impact on people. (This is especially true when you write books on topics that people can relate to themselves.) Say, “Please take the time to check out my (book, blog, Instagram account) and thank them in advance for doing so.
- Bring a friend or your greatest support buddy. It can look like a zoo with a sea of people crowded around the table hoping to get a selfie with you or maybe awaiting your autograph. It’s great to have a second person around to socialise with other readers waiting to speak to you. But in the same breath, don’t wait twenty minutes to acknowledge the next person in line. I can’t emphasize this enough. It could cost you a sale or worse, a reader.
- How would you like me to sign that? Best wishes and X’s and O’s are nice, but not everyone is going to want a standard inscription. Making it a personal experience by asking what they’d like you to write will impact how they think of you.
- It’s not all about you. Well, it is and it isn’t. The reader wants to feel that you see them too and that you are not just awed by their recognition of your presence in the room. When you greet them, ask their first name, take a moment to learn something about that person. Make it a moment that person will (hopefully) take away smiling.
Did I mention I’m gearing up for my first author signing? Stay tuned for times and locations.
I’ve done my homework for the day. This is me signing off.
#amwriting #coffee #writerslife #workingonadeadline.