February 22, 2017
I’ve seen many local news shows interviewing authors in the past few weeks and thought offering some more book signing tips might be helpful.
Here are a few things to think about as you set up your own book signings in the future.
- Bring your own copies of your book with you. You’ll want to do this just in case the copies the store ordered for your signing don’t arrive on time.
- Offer value beyond your book and signature. Come with a small presentation or program that will draw people to your book. One author friend writes mysteries with a cooking theme so she comes dressed with a full apron and holds a drawing for a small food basket (this also gets her reader contact information).
- Invest in a small PA system. With so many bookstores also housing cafes, your book signing may end up close to the espresso machine. If you’re prepared with your own PA system, you can turn up the mic and still be heard when the machine goes off.
- Create the signing space that works best for you and your book. The purpose of a book signing is to meet your readers and to sell books. You know your book better than bookstore personnel do, so work with them to set up your signing space to achieve that purpose.
- Do your homework regarding the community in which your signing takes place. You’ll want to know if your signing is competing with church on Wednesday night, with high school football on Friday night, or even with the hottest new television show. There’s no sense in competing with any of these types of happenings.
- Determine your own promotion strategy. Social media, local media (radio, television, and even newspapers), flyers at related venues/events (libraries, book clubs, writing classes, community bulletin boards, etc.) are all possibilities. Don’t forget to email those already in your database, if you have one.
- Let your audience know you enjoy being with them. Smile, shake hands, listen to people, etc. Your job is to let your audience know you’re glad they took the time to come out to meet you.
Book signings can be rewarding or frustrating. Remember readers buy authors, not publishers, so be sure you create a book signing event that makes people glad they came. Happy writing!
February 10, 2017
People buy books based on the author, not on the publisher. Authors do book tours, personal appearances, etc., not publishers. My point? It doesn’t matter which publishing avenue you take, it’s still up to you as the author to get out there and sell your book(s).
Here are some tips for a successful book tour, including local television interviews, panel appearances, presentations, etc.
- Choose clothes you feel comfortable in. For television, be sure you avoid loud prints or stripes. Be aware also that bright reds and blues, whites and blacks can take the focus away from you. Granted, we’re seeing more variety in what people wear on news shows, etc., but why risk taking the focus off of you?
- Keep your eyes on the interviewer rather than looking into the camera (if there is one).
- Show your enthusiasm about your topic. I say topic because you don’t want to appear to just be selling your book. People will be interested in topics more than one specific book title. Yes, you’ll want your book title mentioned, but you don’t want that to be the only thing you talk about.
- Relate your answers to other people (audience, interviewer, viewer). Use phrases like “I think everybody has felt…,” “Have you ever done something that…”, or “Most people have…”
- Prepare for your appearance by having three to five important points. Repeat these same points in every interview, presentation, etc. While it may be repetitive to do so to you, keep in mind that each audience is new and hearing your points for the first time.
- Keep your answers succinct. Get your audience’s attention with phrases such as “The most important idea is…,” “The scariest thing is…,” or “The biggest joy can come from…”
- Avoid yes and no answers because they are boring and dead end. Use words like “Absolutely” or “Never” instead of yes or no.
- Understand that most interviewers or those who introduce you probably have not read your book. Be sure you have an “elevator speech” answer telling what your book is about prepared (that’s an answer you can give in 30 seconds or so).
- Practice, practice, practice. Writing is a solitary activity. Appearances are not. Since doing a book tour is about as opposite from writing as you can get, it’s important you practice so your discomfort doesn’t show. People buy the author, so it’s up to you to make them want to take a part of you (your book) home with them.
You wrote the book and got it published. Now it’s up to you to sell the book. There’s nothing like the feeling of someone willing to spend money to read your writing, so get out there and let the world see you. And don’t forget to keep working on your next book at the same time because once people like you, they’ll want to read more from you. Happy writing!