Since the release of The Watchers I've had the privilege of touring with big companies such as Costco and also events like Fan X.
Every single one of my signings have broken records.
I want to share with my author friends a few tips that really helped me.
- Sign in places with high foot traffic.
- Meet with the manager a week before the signing and introduce yourself and solidify plans.
- Have something on your table to draw crowds in (free pen, bright colored candy etc.)
- Start a conversation
- Introduce yourself as the author (Some people thought I was just a Costco employee)
- Banners. Make it a big deal
- Have everything set up the night before. Outfits picked out, car filled with gas, etc.
- Have a helper. They can help you draw crowds in, set up, take down, grab food and water, deliver messages to the manager etc.
- Always hold a book and a pen in your hand. Let people know you want to sign a book for them.
- Have signs around the store that say "Author Signing Today!"
- NEVER sit behind the desk unless you absolutely have to.
- Have 3x5 cards handy to get other's info. I made so many good connections with schools, other authors, and editors while signing.
- Pretend to be a full on extrovert. Fake it until you make it, but you have to throw yourself out there.
- Look your best. This includes good hygiene.
- Eat a big breakfast. You will need all the energy you can get.
- Get LOTS of sleep the night before.
- Arrive early.
- Make friends with the store staff and manager. They help sell your books too.
- Wear good shoes and dress comfortable. Its going to be a long day.
- Perfect your pitch to ONE LINE. Everyone is going to ask you what your book is about and they want to hear it in ONE sentence.
- The more "tools" you have the better. Tools are things like cards, banners, swag, bookmarks.
- Never send anyone away empty handed. Give them a card with your name, book, and website on it.
- After the signing, send a thank you card to the store staff and manager
Events are like information overload and most people are there to see rather than to buy.
Apply everything from above as much as you can, but focus more on getting exciting info into readers' hands and just talk with people rather than selling books.
- Have as many helpers as you can pass out cards or swag.
- Volunteer to teach a class or clean up after the event to help keep booth costs down.
- Dress up and be showy
- Talk with your fans! Let them see you are a "real person" and awesome in real life too.
- TAKE PICTURES. Allow others to take their picture with you and have them tag you on social media. I know that sounds super scary, but its great publicity. Don't blink.
- Find a way to take credit cards. I used Swipe and it worked out pretty good.
- Have as many book titles as you can. Some people will want to buy one of everything you have.
- Make your booth so much fun! Dress it up.
- Make a special sale for the event. Discount or do buy one get one free or some other deal to motivate people to get your book right now.
- Get a corner booth if possible.
- Register for the event early.
- Have stuff on your table people can just take for information if they are in a hurry and you are busy with someone else.
- Crowd control. Best way to do this is when you are talking with a fan and another fan starts "lurking" and seems interested in talking with you too, then just open your circle a little bigger. Acknowledge them and include them in the conversation as well. This sounds simple, but takes some skill when you get a big group.