Sunday, October 21, 2012

5 Steps to an Awesome Book Signing

Last Friday I had my first author event ever. 

A few weeks ago my daughter took a copy of The Secret Underground to school and told her teacher that I wrote it.  Her teacher bought it on Kindle, read it, loved it, and asked if I would like to sign and sell books at the school Read Night. I almost told her no. I'm not the sort of person who loves meeting people, and I get terrified at the thought of having to sell my own books. I worried the night would be miserable.

It wasn't.  In fact it was really fun. We sold a lot of books and I got to meet so many great kids and their parents.  I thought I'd share a few of things that made it a success and might work for others doing book signings.

1. Spread the word.

My idea of spreading the word was putting a little post on Facebook the day before letting people know I'd be doing a signing.  My husband's idea of spreading the word was sending emails to everyone he knew, telling them about the book and how sales benefit Jayden, and encouraging them to come(without telling me).  WAY more people came because of my husband's emails.  He's the sweetest man ever.

2. Have a cheerleader.

My daughter's teacher is my favorite person now. She set up her room for the signing and stayed with me the whole time, chatting when it was slow (which wasn't very often) and talking up the book whenever someone came in. The majority of visitors were people I'd never met before and it REALLY helped to have a respected teacher telling everyone how much she loved my book.

3. Give something away.

I had some bookmarks made with information about how to buy the book, and a little blurb about Jayden.  Since this was a huge school event with at least a dozen activities in different rooms, most of the people weren't coming to see me. There were a lot of kids walking around without their parents, and since I didn't have a cool game or a fun art project for them it was nice to be able to give them something fun.  You'd be surprised how cool a free (promotional!) bookmark can be.

4. Keep it short.

I only signed for an hour.  It was busy almost the entire time.  I've heard of signings lasting two or even three hours.  Those long signings might work for a bestselling author, but for a tiny debut author like me an hour seemed just about right.

5. Give some profits to a good cause.

I'm fortunate that all the profits from this book go to a fantastic cause.  I know many people buy it just to support Jayden. I've heard some authors donate a portion of profits from signings to favorite charities.  I think that's an awesome idea.

I'm pretty sure I was spoiled and I'll never do another signing that's so well attended or fun.

Have you been to book signings?  Have you done your own?  What are some things that made it fun?


Wen Baragrey said...

Ooh, how awesome does the book look in print?!

It sounds like a fantastic signing to start off your career. And now you'll start building up a readership :) It looks like so much fun. I so wish I could've been there! :)


Keisha Martin said...

Hugs, Natalie your awesome, I know I have said this to you so many times, but you are genuine and what you are doing is wonderful I can't wait to get a copy of your book soon.

Stephanie Thornton said...

What a wonderful first signing, and it looks like it was so much fun!


Jessica Nelson said...

Yay!!! Awesome daughter of yours. ;-)

AOlson said...

What a party!!! That's awesome! I love that you have a new favorite person.