Everyone loves a successful acim signing! When I had my very first book signing it was a total flop! Well, maybe not totally, the book store did order six books and I did sell two of them! But success comes after failure only if you try again.
So what went wrong? I asked myself. Several things went wrong. First, I didn’t invite anyone to come to the book signing; I didn’t have any promotional material with me; I barely spoke to the customers because I “foolishly” thought they would all run up to my table to see what the book and author were all about, and the worst thing I did, was to stay sitting behind that little table for the whole two hours! Wrong — wrong — wrong.
Today, because of that failure, I have not had a book signing anywhere that has not been a complete sell-out!
So, how did I go from being a complete flop to becoming a complete success? Here’s how!
Where I live in Arizona, all of the Barnes and Noble Bookstores are independently run, whereas Border’s Bookstores are centralized. That means that each Barnes and Noble bookstore decides independently on who, what, when and where and if they will authorize book signings. In this case, it is important to get to know the “store” and the manager at each store. Establish a rapport with him or her, and give them a little background about yourself and your book. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can have a book signing at their store, or to emphasize the fact that you are a local author.
Because Border’s Bookstores are centralized, that means that the Regional Manager decides on all of the book signings for all of the stores. Here is where you really want to establish a rapport. I made it a point to do so with our Regional Manager and since then, she willingly books me at any of the Border’s bookstores that I want. One consideration in choosing a store is demographics. Apparently, each bookstore sells a particular type of genre more than others. For example, where I live, the community is very family-oriented, so books on fantasy, child-rearing, and especially children’s books are hot items. A few miles further south, there is a university town… and believe it or not, romance books are a hot item at that store!
Although The Regional Manager books all of the book signings for all the stores, each Border’s Bookstore handles the mechanics of the book signing independently. Here again, it is important to get to know the store and the Store Manager because that means they give you a better location, more traffic gets directed to you, and more announcements are made about you over their loudspeaker.
Next, prepare… prepare… prepare. I can’t say enough about this. We are published authors, which connotes “professionals”… Prepare for your book signing just as a professional would: