Previously, we discussed how to structure a successful book signing; now that you have the event booked, below are some tips to make the most of your signing to engage with your crowd, and get creative with your event.
Passion is Contagious
The day has come! You’ve arrived at the event. You’ve got your pen ready, smile on, and a fresh stack of books just waiting to be signed. You are prepared to have the best book signing, ever! Not so fast. Previously, we discussed the importance of publicizing your event to bring in local traffic, but for the most part, a majority of your foot traffic from a book signing will come from shoppers walking through the store. So how do you attract their attention? Smile, walk around, and engage with shoppers in the store. Believe it or not, it can be daunting for shoppers to go up and talk to an author. An easy way to set them at ease is to introduce yourself, shift your focus off of yourself and your stack of books and put it on the people in the store. Books are no different than anything else in marketing – you’re really selling yourself.
Another great way to break the ice is with a flyer. I typically distribute a simple flyer with the cover of my book, a blurb, and announce that I’m signing books today. Smile, talk to them, and hand them a flyer. Not everyone may be interested, but if you tell them about your novel, be sure you have your short and punchy elevator pitch ready. The last thing you want to do is take up a ton of their time. Above all, make sure that you share your passion for your book —let your excitement shine through. Passion is a very contagious thing, and is a great way to garner attention for your signing.
Once, I went to a book signing for an author specializing in period romance. This particular novel was set during the 1600s so she dressed in a gown from that time period. She also had a castle backdrop that a neighbor painted (he was an aspiring artist, so not only was she doing the author a favor but the neighbor got to showcase his work as well) – people love this kind of thing! Think outside the box, and come up with creative ways you can make your book signing stand out. If the store will let you, bring in food – this is especially great if it fits your books theme. The key is to come up with creative ways to set yourself apart from other book signings, and draw the attention of passing shoppers.
Learn from the Competition
If you’re still feeling a little unsteady before your signing, consider scoping out another author’s book signing. This can give you an idea of how your event will feel, and what you can be doing to make your event successful. When I attend other book signings, I look for the factors discussed above – anything that would make me walk up to the author if I just happened to be a shopper who came across their event. I look for things I could do at my own signing to engage with the crowd and draw some traffic.
Now that you know how to make the most of your event, engage with your crowd, and be unique, start coming up with creative ways to make your book signing stand out. And stay tuned, because I have some more advice to share with you to ensure your book signing is a success.