After my last blog, I received numerous questions about book signings. Here are 9 steps to hosting a successful signing.
Number 1: All you have to do to obtain a signing event is to call the bookstore. Ask for the person in charge of consignment and events. Usually, it’s pretty easy to find that person and get them on the phone. You’ll express an interest in holding a signing at their store. The person will ask you to send her an email about your books with available dates.
Number 2: As soon as you get off the phone, write a good email. State your purpose: Further to our telephone conversation this afternoon, I’m writing to request a signing event at your store. I enjoy shopping there and I think it would be a great place to sell my books.
Signings are usually held on Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm.
Describe your novels adding any reviews. Attach book covers. After which say you are looking forward to attending at their store.
Number 3: Using their form, fill in your information, their information and list of your books with the ISBN numbers. Send this to them with your introductory email as well as in an email on the Monday before your signing. They will appreciate your efficiency.
If you can, have all the books cost the same price. This will make it easier for them to create the stickers.
Number 4: Write a reminder email on the Monday before the event. Send the Book Contract to them again.
Number 5: Arrive to the signing at least 10 minutes early. Enter the store and ask for the proper person. He/she will arrive promptly and provide you with a table, chair, bookstands and bar code stickers to place on your books.
One word of advice: bring a pillow. Some of those chairs are rather hard and sitting there for 3 hours without a pillow will cause a sore butt.
Next, arrange your books on the table, get yourself settled and look for that line to induce people to approach you. I say, "Can I interest you in a novel?" Then I ask, "What do you like to read?"
You can say anything to entice them over but don’t talk money. Get them interested in what you have written.
Number 6: Bring at least 10 copies of each book. If you have bookmarks or business cards, bring them to hand out to people.
P.S. If you can go with someone, that will help. My best friend drives me to all my signings. She helps me set up, gets me a coffee, comes around to look after my books when I need the washroom, and she drives me home (we are next door neighbours). I’m pretty tired after selling myself for 3 hours so I’m thrilled to be able to just sit back and relax and let her deal with the traffic.
Number 7: As soon as you can after the signing, prepare an Invoice stating their address, your address, the date of the signing, and the date of the invoice. Then write how many books were sold and at what price with whatever percentage the bookstore takes on each book and then the total amount sold.
It looks like this: Items sold: 9 books at $20 each at 55% (the store takes 45%) = $11.00. Amount owed: $99.00
Number 8: As soon as you can, write a thank you email and include the invoice.
Number 9: Send a thank you card through snailmail thanking them for hosting your signing and their assistance. This is always a nice gesture and would help achieve further signings at their store.
Hope this answers your questions but, if it doesn’t, please leave a comment and let me know.