Any day now, I’ll be getting my box of books from Publishing Syndicate. And when I open that box, I’m going to find…
So generally, when I have a box full of books, I have a giveaway or two for all you lovely blog readers. And I send a book to the parents and maybe a writing friend or two. And then I put the rest of the books here:
Er…that’s my office, under-the-daybed storage area.
Now honestly, I always have great plans. I think, “I’m going to have a book signing! I’m going to take these books out into the world and sell ’em!” Except that I don’t quite get ’round to it.
But this time, friends, is different. This time, I happened to see something about our church’s Fall Festival on the day I got the email saying my books were forthcoming. So this time, I actually did something.
I signed on for a booth at the Fall Festival (September 28th). I’m going to sell Not Your Mother’s Book on Home Improvement and donate the proceeds from the sale to the church’s building fund. (See how great that connection is? Home Improvement–Building fund. Proceeds to church–Heavenly rewards)
Yep, it’s all swell, right? Except…
Except I’ve never done a book signing at an event. And I’m a wee bit nervous about the whole thing. But I know that many of my blog readers have done book signings/sales, so I was wondering if you could help a writing sister out?
I would so appreciate anything you pass along. I’d feel much better about the event if I went to the festival armed with great tips and advice.
And books. I’d really like to have that box of books with me.
I don’t really have any advice regarding the signing – sorry! – but I do think what you’re doing is FANTASTIC! You’re going to do great! 🙂
Aw, thanks, Madeline! I only have ten books, so let’s hope so! 🙂
I’ve never done my own signings, but I’ve been to several. It’s always nice to have a little something to give away for free, and a fall festival is the perfect time to set a cute bowl of candy out. By the way, let me know the address of your church so I can stop by and see you! You’ll do great!
Oh, don’t worry, Deb–you’ll have the date, place, a map. Well, pretty much everything but Mr. Hall going to fetch you. 🙂 And candy! Brilliant idea! (I better get two bags–one for me and one for them.)
Cathy–Make some cute, self-serving book marks (with your blog/website name, some of your publications, etc.). Have a bowl of candy on your table. Bring Cathy-on-a-Stick and offer to take pictures of people with the stick woman…
I have business cards but bookmarks are better, so okay! I don’t know about Cathy-on-a-Stick, though. These are church people–they may not be quite ready for the pic-on-a-stick shenanigans. 🙂
I think Sioux is right. Cathy on a stick is an EXCELLENT IDEA! 🙂
MAKE a big sign that the proceeds are going to help the church. You almost have to pretend like you are in a marketplace–make eye contact, smile, ask people how they are, or they may walk right by you. 🙂 I agree that having giveaways–candy, cookies, have a pumpkin, have a jar of candy where people can guess how many are in there and the winner gets. . .the jar of candy–something to bring people over to talk to you–then you can tell them what you are doing. 🙂
I’m not exactly a smashing success at this whole book signing thing (yet), but I’ll throw in some suggestions. First and foremost, I second what Sioux wrote about the bookmarks (I love http://www.overnightprints.com/). Then tuck those bookmarks in every book you sign and hand them to every person who stops long enough to say hello. The bowl of candy is also a good idea. Smile and talk to anyone about anything…at all. But have at least one responsible person with you to act as your “business manager” (accept payments, run for snacks/drinks, helps to move along anyone who is monopolizing your time while other potential customers walk past). Make sure you have a small table top easel to display one copy of your book ($5). Some signage that gives the price & says the sales are being donated to the church would be nice. Always settle the payment BEFORE you sign the book (Trust me, I learned this the hard way). Always ask every person how to spell their name (even if it’s Ed or Al….trust me, another hard lesson I’ve learned). Be prepared for the quiet times…aka being all alone with no customers. It does not mean that you are unpopular and unloved….I swear!
Trisha, it sounds to me like you’re quite the pro–thanks! I’ll check out that link and I just signed the Beneficent Mr. Hall on to be my go-to guy. They don’t call him Beneficent for nothing. 🙂
Alas, no advice from me as I’ve never done a book signing. I do, however, have lots of moral support to send your way! 🙂
Aw, thanks, Lisa! That’s pretty important, too! 🙂
I would definitely push the Cathy-on-a-Stick photos. “Buy a book, and get your picture taken with Cathy-on-a-Stick!” That’s not something they can do every day.
I’m in that book, under my real name. I’m the plier-lamper.
Ha! That’s true, Val! And I can’t wait to get this book–I have a feeling I’ll know quite a few names but I’m reading yours first. (Well, after me, of course.) 🙂
I always have freebies, such as M&M’s for women 🙂 or pencils for the kiddies. What a lovley gesture on your part. I’m sure the church will PUT you on the building committee as the door buyer.
Hahahahaa! Linda, they’ll run if they see me carrying a hammer! (I’ll bring something for the kiddies, too–great idea!)
Good luck with your signing. It’s so generous of you, and I’m certain your church building fund will appreciate it!
I read your story, and I have to say it’s aDOORable!
As far as advice, I agree with Sioux about bookmarks; they are conversations starters and come in handy. You can make them yourself out of cardstock. The ones I made included copies of covers of books with my stories, along with the address of my blog.
It’s also a good idea to have a dish with candy or mints. If you can think of a candy that ties in with your story or the Home Improvement theme, that would be awesome–miniature Paydays, Shockers, or jawbreakers even.
A Sharpie comes in handy for signing all those copies you’ll be selling, and don’t forget your camera so you can post photos of your signing.
I’m going to look into a generic bookmark today. But one thing I do have is plenty of Sharpies and felt tip pens–fine to medium to bold point. I’m kinda weird when it comes to writing in colors. 🙂