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Published Article
by Patricia Fry

Book Signing Tips

by Patricia L. Fry

(from SPAWNews, February 2001)

Are you planning to do book signings to promote your newly published book? Here are a few dos and don’ts that will help make these events more successful.

1. Don’t wait for an invitation. Take the initiative and approach the managers of businesses related to your book topic and local bookstores. Offer to give a presentation or to sign books for their customers.

2 ½ weeks before the event:

2. Send press releases with a photograph of yourself or your book cover to all newspapers within a 40-mile radius. Tell about your book, yourself and what your presentation will consist of. Include your phone number. An editor may want to contact you for more information.

3. Make calls and send post cards to friends, acquaintances, business associates, club affiliates and others who might be interested in attending your presentation or signing.

10 days in advance of the event:

4. Find out if the store plans to design posters and flyers to advertise your signing. If not, do this yourself and deliver them to the store a week in advance of the event.

5. Offer to design a store display of your books.

One week in advance of the event:

6. Know ahead of time what to expect: Will you have a microphone? Lectern? Table at which to sit for signing? Or will you have to arrange for these things yourself?

7. Check the store stock. Will you need to bring additional books to sell?

The day of the event:

8. Dress to stand out in a crowd, but not so dramatically as to distract from your presentation.

9. Be prompt. Arriving a little early won’t hurt and will give you time to settle in.

10. Bring handouts such as a relating article, report or a sample chapter. When I’m signing Quest For Truth, I hand out my article on Meditation Walking. When the event features The Mainland Luau, I give a recipe from the book.

11. Reach out to people—don’t wait for them to come to you. Hand copies of your book to folks in the audience or those who visit your signing table. Walk around the store and hand them to customers.

12. Keep track of the number of books you autograph in case there is a discrepancy.

After the event:

13. Send a note of thanks to the store manager and staff.

14. Attend other signings and note what works and what doesn’t.

15. Realize that signings and presentations will rarely exceed your expectations and hardly ever meet your highest goals. But any time you are given the opportunity to have this sort of free publicity, you are making headway in your promotional effort.

—Patricia Fry is the author of 10 books including A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit and Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book

Patricia Fry is the author of A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit (Matilija Press, 2000).

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