Sunday, January 29, 2017

Book Signings are NOT about Authors

Book signing are about the readers. Author are successful at book signings if: they excite readers about their book and they make readers think they purchased something important (interesting or exciting).

So, what can you do to improve your books signings.
  •         Don’t wait for people come to you. Greet people near the door and ask “what they like to read.” Fiction writers doing their spiels to customers who say ”they never read fiction” are probably wasting their and the customers’ time. Similarly, customers who growl probably don’t want to be bothered. Everyone else is fair game. I never do as well at book signings where the store owner puts me in a “special” room for book signings.
  •         Keep your spiel short. The classic 1 or 2 sentence “elevator” talk is good. Try to encourage questions.
  •         Study the customers in the store. If possible, visit the store prior to the book signing and analyze the crowd. Develop two-sentence spiels to fit different types. If everyone entering the bookstore is over fifty and you write children’s books, perhaps you should focus on how books make great gifts for grandchildren. My protagonist is a woman. I don’t mention that to men.
  •         Be enthusiastic. Don’t read or do other activities as you wait for customers.
  •         Don’t panic or get angry if the crowd is sparse or if a customer insults your book. I know some authors leave after a half-hour if the crowd is sparse. I find I usually make the most sales in the first ten minutes and the last twenty minutes of a well-advertised signing. Remember, my first comment and forget your ego.
  •         Advertise your signing. Any means is fair gamenewspapers, posters, newsletters, your website and Amazon author page, word-of-mouth. Work with the bookstore owner for best results.
  •         Give customers something extraa talk or reading at a specified time, bookmarks, cookies, gift wrapping, or a discount. I do talks on science in fiction with slides, but the talks are more successful at special events or libraries than in bookstores or at book fairs. I find tying books up with a bright ribbon bow helps sales just before Mother’s Day with male customers.
  •         Try to please the customer and meet their requests.

You’re probably wondering if my book signing are big successes? No, but they’re more successful when I follow this advice, than when I don’t. I bet you can add to and improve my advice on book signings. Please, add comments.

Books you might like by JL Greger:

Discover who killed the set doctor in Murder… A Way to Lose Weight (winner of 2016 Public Safety Writers Assoc. [PSWA] contest and finalist for New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.

           Learn the truth about childhoods in the 1950s and 1960s in The Good Old Days? A Collection of Stories.

 Follow a woman as she uses clues from her past to extract a nuclear 
scientist from Iran in I Saw You in Beirut.