As I sit here planning out for my next book signing a thought occurred to me. Are book signings really necessary? The answer. Absolutely! As an independent author especially.
When you are an independent author, or even an author who is published by a small printing press, you receive little to no publicity. The only publicity you get is the ones you create for yourself.
This is where book signings come in. Of all the publicity I have used, facebook ads, twitter, giveaways, paid Amazon promotions... The one that I have gotten the best results from is book signings.
Sure, they aren't always successful. Sometimes you sit around for a long time, with not a single person buying a book. But that is o.k. When that happens, you are learning two things. One, you aren't always in the right spot for a book signing, and now you know that spot isn't one that is going to work for you in the future. Two, you still are interacting with those who come to your table to see what it is you have to offer, and if you are like me, you aren't very good at selling yourself, or your book. This will give you practice. Help you learn to interact with not just people, but potential customers. Every interaction is a learning experience. There is value in that.
Something else you learn is how to perfect your presentation. When I first went to a book signing. I had a table and my books just lying on the table. Oh, I had some business cards and some book marks, but for the most part, just me and the books.
After seeing others do author signings I saw that things like a colored table cloth for the table would be a much better presentation. Having a sign-up sheet for a newsletter should be something I am doing. After all, you don't just want to meet customers and sell them your book. You want them to know when the next book is available, or even what your next project is. You want to KEEP them as customers. Or better yet... Fans!
So get out there authors. Find a great location, and stick with it. Every opportunity for you to get out there and see your customers, interact with them, and make them come back, is an opportunity worth taking.
As a side note. I will be doing my book signing at The Game Room on W. Sylvania in Toledo Ohio on Saturday September 2nd from 1 to 4pm. Hope to see you all there!
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