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[ Book Signing: Getting Started ] [ How To Make Your Signing A Success ] [ Vital Information ] [ Other Ideas ]

Book Signing

One fantastic way to promote your book is to make appearances! These generally take the form of book signings or readings. Such events provide an opportunity to sell your book, as well as increase your name recognition, and get in touch with your readers.

The most obvious location to do a book signing is in bookstores. The author should make a point of meeting the store manager with a copy of their book in hand. Introduce yourself, explain that you are a local author with a book, and that you would love to arrange a book signing in their store. Make a point of selling yourself to the bookstore.

Once the bookstore has agreed to host the event, you'll want to make sure that it is properly advertised. Make certain the bookstore orders enough copies for the event. Ask them to display the books near the registers for the week preceding the event-highlighting the book in such a way will increase attendance.

But you cannot rely entirely on the bookstore to make your event a success.
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Generate as much publicity for yourself as possible. Write press-releases and send them to local radio and television stations, newspapers and newsletters. Be certain to follow-up the press-release with a phone call; talk it up, sell yourself, and make certain someone is looking at it. Create flyers or posters for the event, and ask the bookstore to display them in the store. Also, if the store posts a schedule of events, make sure that you are on it.

Local radio stations, news publications, and perhaps even television stations will often be willing to interview local authors. Try to coincide interviews with your appearances. Someone who hears you on the radio, or reads your interview in the paper may want to show up for your event!

At the event, make yourself visible-have a prop. If nothing else, have a poster or stand-up of your book's cover. When choosing props, try to find something appropriate to the book as well (i.e. if you're promoting a cookbook, bake a cake using one of your recipes and have it for people to eat!).

When all is said and done, make friends with the people in the bookstore. Building rapport with them can bring you all sorts of benefits, whether it be a second appearance for this or your next book, keeping your posters up for a while, or just having your books on the shelf.

Things the bookseller will need to know about your book:
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The bookseller will need to know some information about your book. Make sure you tell them the page count, dimensions, and format (usually Trade Paper) of your book, its retail price and that there is a standard retail discount for booksellers. Tell them that the book is available directly from PublishAmerica ( , call 301-695-1707, or fax 301-631-9073), and through wholesalers Baker & Taylor and Brodart Co. Of course, they'll need to know your name (the author), the name of your book, the ISBN number, and how to contact yourself and PublishAmerica, Inc.

Other Ideas
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In addition to bookstores, you may want to contact coffee shops, local arts councils, universities, community colleges, and similar places to hold events. Such locations are ideal for readings, and it would be wise to take copies of your books along to sell. You may also be able to get your books into college bookstores by doing readings.

Take advantage of events that are already happening! Local arts councils will often hold literary festivals, or special events of one sort or another. If so, then arrange to be there with copies of your books for sale and to sign.

For all events, make adequate preparations, not only for your display, but for yourself! If you are doing a book reading, practice, practice, practice. The better you come off, the more successful your event will be. And every successful event breeds more success for the next event. Read in front of the mirror or to your spouse every night for the two weeks preceding the appearance. And at the event, make a point of smiling!



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