Monday, September 20, 2010

Authors Get By With a Little Help...

Saturday, I experienced my first book signing. I’ve wanted to be on the ‘pen-holding’ side of the table for so long... And I realized two days before I had no idea what to do. Thank goodness I wasn’t signing alone. Two really great chaptermates (and friends) led me through the steps.

What makes a great book signing? Well...starting with 46 books and selling 43 tends to make you smile. But our book signing was successful because of the readers and those who promoted our book throughout the store.

FIRST-- a great book seller and store are essential. Promotion through the store and their website helps your book signing look professional and reaches readers that frequent the store instead of the author’s website and circle of friends. Our chapter has developed a relationship with a centrally-located bookstore that LOVES romance. They continually work at their relationship with the community and their romance readership is very large and supports local authors.

SECOND-- promotion through your chapter, USE your social media outlets, author newsletter, and any other friends you have to distribute information about the signing. Asking your friends to forward the information is always good and twisting arms of your friends to come works. Our chapter has a very good support system. Even if we’ve already purchased the book, we show up to be the cheerleaders, the gophers, and the sales people who talk about the book.

THIRD-- be prepared. Ahead of time...you might want to know how big the table is where you’re signing. A small table limits how much you bring to display, or if you need a small table or crate (which can store your book signing materials) to use at your side. You’ll need bookmarks and ‘autographed by author’ stickers. (Totally forgot those--thanks Nikki & Wendy.)


FOURTH-- have free food. My chaptermates suggested that we have free cupcakes which were a huge hit. I also had a bowl of chocolate kisses.

FIFTH-- have door prizes and advertise them in advance. Have periodic drawings throughout the signing and collect contact information (either by small registration slips, or a clipboard).

SIXTH-- have fun. Of course, it’s great if you’re sitting next to friends, especially ones you can cut up with. About an hour into the signing, when we had a breather, our store rep came by and said that the customers were mentioning to the cashiers how much “FUN” they’d had talking to us.

AND LAST BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT-- readers. Having friends and family there for support is a must. But the point of a book signing is to introduce new readers to your books and to have the opportunity to meet readers. Getting to know the people who keep us in business is a wonderful opportunity.

My husband attended my first book signing. He summed up the experience over dinner: When performers want to get in touch with their audience, they perform live. Singing, acting, comedians...a live audience energizes them and must give them a great deal of pleasure when the performance goes well. Authors have a very limited time to connect with a live audience. Book signings give them a window into what their readers think and feel.

He’s right. Without readers...there wouldn’t be a need for writers. So thank you for continuing to support our stories. And thanks to everyone who made me have a fantastic signing. It was awesome meeting some of you for the first time. I hope it was the first of many experiences.


QUESTION: When you see an author signing a book at your local store, do you ask them any questions? Volunteer information? Or just tell them your name for a book?

Til next time,




Angi is running a month-long contest. Please send a picture of yourself Holding the Cover of her September Harlequin Intrigue. You’ll be registered in a drawing for several prizes. Visit AngiMorgan.com for all the details.

15 comments:

  1. It was a great signing! Fun to attend but not as much as it was for you to be one of THE AUTHORS :) Great job and I look forward to your next!

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  2. Sounds like your signing was a huge success, Angi! Congratulations! And thanks for all the great tips!

    Before I was a writer myself, I'm not sure I ever went to a booksigning, I'm ashamed to say. Since then, I usually introduce myself and tell them I write, too... and depending on the author and how many people are in line, strike up a conversation about their books and career to date. I love talking to other writers.

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  3. Thanks Kim !
    It was wonderful.

    What about asking the authors? Do you talk or just wait for your book to be signed? Is there something you'd like to ask...?

    ~~Angi

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  4. Angi,
    Wow, you sold 43 books? That's awesome, girl! Congratulations!! I'm so glad you had a great time. I've heard book signings can be torture if you don't have a network of support. I love talking to authors about their inspiration for writing their books, but if there are other people in line behind me, I feel like I need to move along. Thanks for the tips on booksigning.

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  5. Angi, you make it sound like fun. And easy.

    I'm going to be on a library panel this Saturday. I won't have a physical book, but my CP, Liz K, is making small books of Cattitude, and postcards. I really, really appreciate it.

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  6. Hey Maureen,

    I admit that I always attend and buy a book. Talking...if they're a chaptermate, I hang around, but authors I don't know...sometimes I don't even tell them I'm a writer.

    I'm getting the feeling that as the AUTHOR, I should break the ice and ask questions. I don't want anyone to feel intimidated or rushed. I'd rather talk to everyone for a couple of minutes.

    ~~Angi

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  7. Edie -- thank goodness for friends, right? :-)

    So proud of you for Cattitude. And it's always great to have something physical to hand out with your talk.

    Best of luck,
    ~~Angi

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  8. Hey Shea ~~
    It won't be too long before you have to face those booksignings yourself. YAY !!

    I sort of got the impression from those there that they didn't mind standing in line a bit. And we can always copy the example of Suzanne Brockmann, JR Ward, and Sherilyn Kenyon that talking to fans/readers is important. Maybe we should also just have a friend there to tell people in line that they'll all have a turn to talk too.

    WOO HOO for your sale.
    ~~Angi

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  9. Congratulations Angi - sounds like your first signing was wonderful and fun. 43 books - Wow.

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  10. Your experience is like gold, Angi. Thank you for sharing and preparing those of us who have yet to tread a similar path.

    Congrats on selling 93% of your stock! (I'd have forgotten the stickers too! :-D)

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  11. Hey Nan,
    Thank you, this experience really has been wonderful. I don't think I'll ever get tired of looking at my book.

    ~~Angi

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  12. Kylie,
    ask me anything you want, anytime Unsinkable friend !!

    I'll find you the answer.
    I'm glad to share.
    ~~Angi

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  13. Angi, what a great post! Sounds like your first signing was a lot of fun and you had some really supportive people by your side -- congrats!!

    These days, if I go to a signing I definitely ask questions. I was pretty shy about that, though, prior to becoming a writer :).

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  14. Hi Marilyn,
    I've been shy about it forever... I encourage everyone to ask and talk !

    ~~Angi

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  15. SO glad everyone stopped by. Feel free to ask me any questions. Any time.

    ~~Angi
    AngiMorgan.com

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