How to Have a Successful Book Signing

Once you’ve approached bookshops and have a signing planned, what steps do you need to take to make the event a success...?For many authors, meeting their target audience and selling their book directly to them is enjoyable and profitable. But once you’ve approached bookshops and have a signing planned, how do you make it successful?

Follow these 9 top tips for book signing success...

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    1. Market yourself prior to the event by running a social media campaign to inform your followers and create a build-up to the event.
    2. Set-up your area. Have visuals including posters, postcards, and bookmarks. Fan them out on the table or place a few near the till. Have plenty of pens for signing and a glass of water in case your throat gets dry.
    3. Become familiar with bookstore staff. Learn the names of the staff members. Find who is responsible for your genre, give them a free signed copy and tell them a bit about the book. That little bit of extra effort should help them help you.
    4. Be active! Don’t get stuck behind a table. Place yourself in a busy part of the store, stand up and walk around, pay attention to people browsing in your genre.
    5. Be friendly and outgoing. Introduce yourself as 'today’s featured author’. Most people are impressed that they found themselves face-to-face with an author. Use your charm - no need to be modest! This is your book. Talk it up.
    6. Create a pitch and customise it for each browsing customer you approach. Find aspects of your book that appeal to people based on their interests, age and gender. Is Christmas coming up? You could pitch the book as a gift.
    7. Place the book in the customer’s hands. People are always more likely to buy a book once they are holding it. If they refuse the book, give them a free bookmark, no one will turn that down.
    8. As marketing pros would say: "Close the sale". Offer to inscribe the book as a means of adding value as well as a personal touch. Always sign the title page, never the cover or a blank leaf. Check how names are spelled.
    9. Know when to quit. Never push the sale too hard. If someone is getting uncomfortable or is uninterested, leave them with a smile. You don’t want to come across as pushy or rude.

      Want to Know More?
      For more information about marketing your own books, look for Sell More Books! by Debbie Young, a SilverWood Original, available in paperback and ebook editions. With her invaluable handbook, especially written with self-publishing and indie authors in mind, Debbie becomes the cheerleader on your bookshelf - dispensing helpful, practical advice on how to promote your book.

      Sharing information and offering support are part of the range of benefits that come as standard when you sign with us. SilverWood authors can request a more in-depth factsheet which offers more comprehensive information on How to Have a Successful Book Signing.

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