Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Using Social Media to Boost Book Signings

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Whether your book is a nonfiction marketing tool for your brand or business, or the newest release in your writing career, staging book signings can help build your audience.

It’s an age-old practice that has changed – as with almost everything in the publishing industry – due to social media and other online tools. Not only do platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ make it easier to promote your signing, they also provide new opportunities for maximizing the return on your investment.

A&SNetbooksigningsBook signings, which can include an informative or interesting presentation or demonstration, have always held more value than meets the eye. Here are three benefits that may not have occurred to you:

• They get your book into shops that might not otherwise carry it. Bookstores are choosy; their numbers are declining (there were reportedly 10,200 nationwide in 2011) and they have many books from which to choose – more than 730,000 new titles a year, including traditionally and self-published print and e-books.

• The store may create a special display featuring your book – especially if you ask! If that happens, you just got valuable free merchandising.

• The store will likely promote your book signing, including sending announcements of the event to its customers and local publications. Anything the store does in that regard is also great marketing for you!

While it’s nice if the store promotes your book signing, you owe it to the shop and yourself to do all you can as well. The more people who come to the event, the more books you sell and the more likely the store will invite you back again. This is where social media can help.

Here are some tips for spreading the word online:

• Get into local social media groups and “communities” that are built around shared interests relevant to your book. For instance, if you were doing a book signing in the Tampa area for a marketing book, you could join LinkedIn’s Tampa Bay Marketing Professionals group. (Do not simply start announcing your event though!) Instead …

• Share a short article with useful information that links back to your website, where the event announcement is prominently displayed with details about your valuable presentation.

• Join in a conversation on any of the platforms, or start a new one, and casually mention along the way that you’ll be in that city speaking and signing books.

• For groups on any of the large social platforms, let the group’s manager or administrator know you have an event coming up that will be of interest to his/her members and ask if he’ll share that information or allow you to.

• Buy ads – for very little money! – on LinkedIn or Facebook announcing your event.

• On LinkedIn, click the “Promotions” tab near the top of the group’s page and you’ll be taken to another page where promoting to that group is welcomed.

• During your event, be sure to have someone take photos that you can share on your social media networks. Photos of you engaging with readers or enthusiastically giving a presentation not only give you more visibility, they make your event look like fun!

One last word of advice: Don’t get discouraged if throngs of fans don’t turn out – believe me, it happens to even well-known authors! Instead, remember all that you’ve accomplished simply by arranging the event.

If traffic is slow, you can make good use of your time by introducing yourself to some of the shop staff and engaging them in conversation. They just might remember the friendly author they chatted with the next time they’re asked for a book recommendation.

BONUS Articles: 40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
How to Book a Book Signing And Other Important Stuff!
Book Signing Strategies
Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

How to Book a Book Signing And Other Important Stuff!

Filed under: Author Tips,Book Signing Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

If I am driving by a store where I’ve never had a book signing, I drop in. First I ask someone to check their computer to see if they are stocking my book. (They don’t know I am the author yet). If so, I ask where to find it and bring it back and tell them I am the author and ask if they would like for me to sign the books. They usually say yes and become very helpful knowing I am the author.

If they do not stock my books, I tell them that books by Larry James are great books and tell them that I should know… I am Larry James – as I hand them my card. This usually gets a smile. I then ask for the name of the CRC (Community Relations Coordinator or person in charge of buy books & booking signings) and request that they ask the CRC if they have two minutes to come out and meet Larry James, an author.

BOOKaBookSigningIf the CRC is not available, I ask when is the best time to call? They will often offer the CRC’s schedule. If not, I ask for it. Although it is better to present yourself and your books in person, calling for an appointment works too. However when they hear you ask for two minutes, if the CRC is there, they will almost always come out to meet an author.

Honor your word. Be sure to keep your conversation to two minutes. If they show an interest and the time goes past two minutes, I usually smile and say, “My two minutes are up. We are on your time now and I’m happy to continue the conversation or I can schedule an appointment to come back later.” I’ve never had a CRC ask me to come back later.

I begin the conversation by introducing myself and showing them my three relationship books. Asking to do a book signing comes after they have heard my audio bio or introduction to my books.

If they are not currently carrying my books, I give them a flyer that tells where they can order; Ingram, Baker & or my publisher, Robert Reed Publishing.

If they currently have books in their store, I show the CRC that I have signed the books, request that they keep a good supply on hand, and let them know that I am a local author and appear on numerous radio talk shows, present relationship seminars locally and nationwide and am a shameless self-promoter, with finesse, of course. I also mention that Barbara Walters interviewed me about my book, “How to Really Love the One You’re With” on ABC TVs “the View.” That usually gets their attention. I tell the CRC some of the unusual things I do when I do a signing (Read 40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!) and ask them how soon they would like to schedule a book signing and/or seminar with me.

Notice, I didn’t say, “Would you like to schedule a book signing with me?” I said, “How soon…”

It is important for the CRC to know your experience and to experience some of the excitement you have about appearing in their store. Bring any collateral material that demonstrates your ability to promote your book; book marks, flyers, large posters of your book covers, extra book covers, awards, special newspaper coverage, endorsements from celebrities (or others), etc.

If they are hesitant to invite you to do a signing or a seminar and you are a member of a local authors group, offer to be the coordinator to have several of your author friends participate with you to make it a group signing and a special event.

I let the CRC know that I will do my best to schedule a local talk show (Read Radio Station Checklist & How to Be a Great Radio Guest) to help promote the event. I never promise that this will happen, but I do promise I will do my best to make it happen.

I also ask them if they would share their media list with me so I can send a news release to the media. Often they will tell me that “they” do that. I respond by saying, “So do I. And I duplicate your efforts because it’s better to have two book signing notices appear on the editors desk than one.”

My experience has been that an editor will often print more of what the author says about the book and the signing than the store. The news release from the store is a confirmation that the signing is actually scheduled. I will often send one of the store’s news releases with my own.

If they don’t have a media list, that is a red flag. Some book store CRCs do not do much to advertise your signings. I ask them exactly how they intend to help me promote the event; posters, special book table featuring my books for at least a week before the event, new releases to the media, etc.

If the store begins to set up the autograph table after I arrive, has no poster or special book table for pre-publicity, that is a sure sign the store is not fully engaged in helping to promote the book signing or the author.

If they are not willing to fully participate in the promotion of the event, generally speaking, I will most likely back off from doing the book signing and let them know – in a kind and loving way – why I am no longer interested. I usually slip in the words “partners” and “working together” somewhere in the conversation.

Once a book signing is scheduled, I maintain “frequent contact” with the CRC to make sure everything is still on track; books ordered and received, book table and poster prepared, media informed, etc.

I showed up for a signing in San Diego and was surprised to learn that the “former” CRC had only send in a news release – I had a copy of the newspaper that mentioned the book signing – but soon discovered that the new CRC knew nothing about the book signing. No books had been ordered, but since I was doing a relationship seminar the next day and had already been on a radio talk show that morning where I mentioned the signing at the store, the CRC felt so bad about this that she allowed me to bring in books from my car, sell them and keep all the money for myself. Talk about incentive! I sold 37 books in two hours that afternoon.

It is important to understand that the purpose of book signings is not necessarily to sell books, but to make the book store customers and CRC AWARE of your books.

Another important point to understand is that books DO NOT sell themselves! People SELL books! It’s equally important to spend some of your time at your signing to smooze with the people who take the money from the customers who buy your books. Get to know the staff at the book store. THEY can help you continue to sell your books LONG AFTER you have gone!

Book signings are an opportunity to build relationships with the book sellers. I consider book signings as an opportunity to SELL the book sellers on recommending MY books when someone asks for a good relationship book!

BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
Book Signing Strategies
Book Signing Tips From A Road Warrior
How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest! – FREE eBOOK Download
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
How to Schedule Book Signing Events

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Signing Strategies

Filed under: Book Signing Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

L. Diane Wolfe, Guest Author

Do the words “book signing” terrify you? Fear not! I thought writing “The Circle of Friends Series” the best part until I began making public appearances – now I cherish getting out and meeting the readers. As a book signing road warrior (150 stores in 2 years), I would like to offer you a few fresh ideas to help get your campaign off the ground.

I recommend before you start your book signing adventures a few books to help you hone your interpersonal skills (useful when dealing with store managers and the media).

booksigningsWhen you are ready to begin prospecting for venues to sign in, research every bookstore in your state. Once you create your signing strategy, open your calendar and start making calls. When I get the manager or owner on the line, I give them my pre-planned “commercial.” I tell them my name, book title and genre, a brief description of my book, and finish by asking what information they require to consider an author for a book signing.

Many managers simply have asked for my ISBN and booked me on the spot, while some ask for additional information. For those that request printed information, I send my sell sheet, business card, sample reviews and a cover letter in the mail. I always keep track of every contact and I follow-up within a week to set up a signing time. When I call back, many accept my request. A few pass on the opportunity. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a negative response. Politely thank them and go on to the next call.

Before the Signing:

With the date set, I send the store bookmarks and a poster or flyer for promotions. Then I conduct media research. I contact the features department of the local newspaper and producers of radio and TV news programs. (You’ll find that many stations are eager to feature someone interesting!) Many media sources have online event listings, so request that your appearance be listed. If you have a Web site, update the information too. I keep the bookstores abreast of all the articles and appearances so employees become excited about the signing as well.

At the Signing:

I have one rule: Never sit! Roam the store, greet customers and place either a copy of your book or a signed bookmark in their hand. Set up colorful posters, a copy of your press kit, bookmarks and a big bowl of sweets on your table. Consider taking pictures of the individuals who purchase your book to make the event memorable. When the signing is finished, give each employee a signed bookmark and autograph any remaining books. Let them know that you appreciate any hand selling that they do for your book. When I follow these steps, managers, without fail, ask me to return soon!

After the Signing:

Don’t forget the important step of sending a thank-you note to the store staff and those responsible for media coverage you receive. A thank you goes a long way, and you’d be surprised how many authors fail to complete this simple task. In the note to the bookstore, I always include photos taken of the staff at the signing so they remember the day.

Note details of the signing for future reference. Touch base with each store periodically through updates and press releases. This past holiday season, each one of my contacts received a Christmas letter. When the press release went out for my second book, Sarah, I sent a Valentine. These little touches assure future signings for the remainder of my series, The Circle of Friends.

Marketing and promoting a book requires a tremendous amount of energy, effort and research. My publishing representative recommendedbooks and Websites, and I’ve embraced every suggestion along the way, determined to overcome all obstacles and rise above average. I’ve poured all of my enthusiasm into every recommendation because this is my dream. If you haven’t already, go after yours!

BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!

ldianewolfeCopyright © 2014 – L. Diane Wolfe. Diane is an author & motivational speaker. Visit her Website at www.TheCircleofFriends.net

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Building Book Buzz!

When my first book was available in book stores, I called my friend, Mark Victor Hanson (Co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) and asked him for some advice. Since 2008, some 500 million Chicken Soup For the Soul books have been sold. Who better to ask for advice?

BookBuzzIt’s best to start marketing early and roll out promotions in deliberate, timed waves to maximize interest ahead of the book’s publication date. This is often overlooked and was by me. A useful way for an author to approach this is to have a calendar counting down to the book’s launch – beginning at least a year before the book is in the book stores and ready to read.

Mark said, “Make a sign that says, ‘Do something EVERYDAY to promote your books!‘” Very wise advice. He also suggested that radio talk shows are a great place to promote yourself and your books. He said that it is too easy to get distracted when you have a little success; you begin to thrill at what’s happening and often forget to keep the buzz going.

I put several of these signs up in my office and began doing something everyday to promote my book. Next, I began to search for ways to promote it. I made a long list and began.

I visited nearly all of the book stores in my area and began doing book signings. That was in 1995. Since then I’ve done numerous book signings, more than 650 radio talk shows, was interviewed by Barbara Walters on “The View” in 1999 and went on to write 4 more books. Mark was right.

playfulWhile social media is another good way to promote your books, many authors are putting too much faith in the viral power of social networking thinking they’ll tap the viral power of the internet. I often will post a beautiful photo of a landscape and put a quote from my book on it. See the image to the right. Note the link to my Relationship Blog. Too much blatant self-promotion on social media will turn others off. Be creative and crafty.

Some authors will give away a chapter of their book to their mailing list. You DO have a mailing list, right?

Learn to speak about what you have written about. Civic groups, Chambers of Commerce, book clubs, authors groups and many other groups are always looking for speakers. Keep your talk short, about 15 to 20 minutes. I have a Networking book called, “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Way to Maximize Your Personal Connections.” I also have a Website site, http://www.TenCommitmentsofNetworking.com to promote networking and the book and a Networking Blog with over 450 FREE Networking articles. Some are from the book and others are new. There are enough new articles written to make another book. One author I know, began writing her book on a blog and once she had enough articles written, she put them all together and printed a book.

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Larry James with Tara Hitchcock,
TV 3, Phoenix”

I have a talk with the same title, and talk briefly about each of the 10 commitments. Remember, this talk contains the “Ten Commitments” and can be as brief or expanded into a full 3 hour seminar if necessary ~ where you can also sell your books at the back of the room. I usually discount my book a couple of dollars for back of the room sales.

Ask buyers of your books to write reviews on Amazon.com once your book is available on Amazon. Join Amazon’s Associate Program and promote other good books in your genre on your Website and Blog. When someone buys your book, you get a small commission from Amazon.

Print bookmarks and postcards to keep your book title in front of readers. At book signings, give out lots of bookmarks. Ask permission, and you might be able to leave a stack of bookmarks at the check out once your book is available in the book store.

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Click Cover for Info!

My friend, Dan Poynter, is a great resource for authors. Also check out John Kremer. His book is, “1001 Ways to Market Your Books!” Both of these guys helped me tremendously when I first started writing.

Authors also need to understand the difference between promotion and publicity versus marketing. Promotion and publicity is free, but you don’t know exactly how it will go; eg. Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pintrest, LinkedIn, etc. Marketing is targeted and trackable, and you can link it directly to results. AND it costs real money.

Download a FREE 25-page eBOOK – “How to Book Radio Shows and Be a Great Guest!” Click here for details.

BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
Self-Promote or Disappear! ~ A Discourse on the Propriety of Puttin’ on the Blitz!
DIY: How to Build Buzz for Self-Published Books
8 Tips for Being a Great TV Talk Show Guest
Write Reviews for Books on Amazon.com

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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