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
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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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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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ALWAYS Sign Your Books!

Filed under: Author Tips,Book Signing Tips,Promotion,Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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There is never a good reason for an author to not sign their book! Never!

Ask any book store manager. If two identical books are sitting side-by-side and one is signed by the author and the other is not, guess which one sells first? Signed books sell quicker!

AuthorsSignYourBookDon’t wait for someone to ask. Just sign it! Many people think because you wrote a book, you are unapproachable. Prove them wrong.

Talk to people. It builds relationships. Be exceedingly FRIENDLY! Book signings are certainly no place to be shy.

If you are sending books for reviews; sign them.

Obviously you are expected to sign your books at a book signing, however you must seize every opportunuty to sign your books.

I often will sign a bookmark for someone who lingers at my table but does not buy my book. Remember your mission: “Spread good will!” Many people will come back to the store and buy your book after you have left.

Give copies of your book cover to everone. Have extra book covers printed. Be sure you sign them! They make great giant book cover “postcards.” Sign and send them to friends, clients and book stores. Ask your friends to give (or mail) your signed book covers to their friends.

On second thought… sign EVERYTHING!

Print out and give away a FREE “Recommended Reading” list. List several catagories and make sure your book and website are listed in the first topic. Sign your name beside your book title and name to call attention to it. Don’t be afraid to list other competing titles.

As an author you should ALWAYS sign your books, even if you sell or give them to your friends or trade books with other authors. (I believe your friends should BUY your books to help support you in your author efforts.) Some people are too shy to ask for your autograph. Sign it anyway! Simply ask, “Here, let me sign that for you. Whose name would you like in it?” Always ask.

By the way, when you sign your book, ever assume the book is for the one who is buying it. In the beginning, I wasted several books by assuming that the book was for them. I also always ask for the correct spelling. Even John can be spelled, “Jon;” “Kelly: Keli, Kellie, Kelley, etc.”

If you sell your book by mail order be sure to include a blank on your order form for the person’s name to which the book should be signed. Remind them to PRINT the name. I also ask if they would like for me to write a date under my signature. Many people like to remember when they met you.

Authors often trade books with other authors. Remember to sign your books to them and ask them to return the favor.

Come up with a special way of signing your name every time you sign your books. For many years, I have signed books, “Sally & Jim, Celebrate Love! Larry James.” While signing, I always mention that my website is CelebrateLove.com; that there are lots of free relationship articles there and I would love to hear from them by e-mail telling me what they thought of my book. I also add, “If you like it, please tell your friends.”

Be creative in the ways you sign your books! My friend, Steven Andrew Guerrero, author of “Gentlemen, Start HER Engine,” signs his books: “Larry, Always race to win! See you in Victory Lane!”

Adding something special like, “Happy Birthday,” or “Happy Anniversary,” etc., will also make them very proud to show the book to their friends. Signed books are treasured much more than non-signed books!

Be shameless! You are an author now. Some people collect autographs! Give them freely! Don’t be sky. If you proud of what you have written. . . show it!

Sign your books!

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

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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.

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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, April 1, 2014

Authors: Sign Your Kindle Books Electronically

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

If you’ve got a Kindle book available on Amazon, you can now sign it electronically for buyers with an online service called Authorgraph.

SignKindleBookBecause you sign each book individually as you receive requests, you can write something different (if you want) for everyone who makes a request. While you might write something generic for a stranger, you can write something personal when you get a request from someone you know.

What is an Authorgraph? – It’s a personal, digital inscription for an e-book. It is sent directly from an author to a reader’s digital reading device. Authorgraphs are viewable on a wide variety of platforms. Every Authorgraph goes only to the specific reader that requested it so an author can write a custom message for each reader. In addition, readers can include a short message to the author in order to provide a bit more context for personalizing the Authorgraph.

Be sure to watch the video screencast explaining how it works at: http://www.kindlegraph.com/about. This service was orignally called Kindlegraph before the author changed the name to Authorgraph in November 2012.

Update: There are several other software programs that will allow you to sign your books electronically. Do a Google search for “Sign Your Kindle Books Electronically.”

BONUS Article: How to Make a Kindle Cover from a Hollowed Out Hardback Book

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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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fear of Rejection… How Persistence Pays Off

Dr. Ivan Misner, Guest Author

Back in 1994 I authored the first edition of The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret. I was out promoting the book and trying to get bookstores to carry it. Back then, one of the ways to do that was to go to bookstores and do what I liked to call “drive-by signings” (what can I say – I’m from L.A.).

A friend of mine said there was a local neighborhood bookstore that didn’t have any copies of my book. The store was literally on my way home one day, so I stopped off there. However, I couldn’t seem to talk myself into moving from the seat of my car – I was paralyzed with fear and could not enter the store.

Ivan-MisnerThe “ask” was simple: Would they mind carrying a few copies of my book? My nerves nagged me: What if they say no? What if they say they don’t want the book but thanks anyway for asking?

It wasn’t a big bookstore, and I wasn’t sure that they would be willing to carry a book from an unknown author. I sat there too embarrassed to make any move toward the entrance. I swear I almost put the key back into the ignition, turned it on, and backed out.

I was so close. Then I thought, Okay… if I don’t go in, what’s going to happen? I decided chances were pretty good that if I didn’t go into the store, absolutely nothing would happen and they’d continue to not carry the book. If I did go in and ask, there was a possibility they’d tell me they didn’t want the book; in that case, my position would not have changed.

Then I thought, What if I go in and ask and they say yes? That question made me realize that the only choice, which would most likely lead to a positive outcome, was to go in.

Endless-persistenceDoing nothing would get me the same thing that I had now, which was nothing. So I literally sat in the car and said to myself, Suck it up and go on in. This will be over in ten minutes. Nobody is actually going to get injured. There will be no hospitalization involved. It’s not that big a deal. It’s just a possibility of a “no.”

So I went in. I brought a copy of the book and said, “I’m the author of this book. Some of the stores in your chain are carrying it. I live locally, and I just wondered if you would mind carrying a few copies, maybe three or four. If so, I would be more than glad to sign them when they come in.”

They said, “Oh great! You’re a local author! We’ll get 20. Will you come back and sign them for us?”

“Of course I would be glad to come back and sign them!”

Do Something or Do Nothing

B&NPosterSo they ordered 20 copies, and I came back in a couple of weeks to sign them all. I remember thinking back, that the experience was sort of a nexus point in terms of rejection for me. I could do something or I could not do something. Not doing anything would have put me in the same situation that I began with, which was having no books in the store.

Only taking the risk could result in success.

This is one of the reasons I tell people, “Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to embrace this when it comes to asking somebody to do something; some will, some won’t, so what? It’s not the end of the world.”

I had to put myself in that frame of mind, believing I was facing not that big of a thing. I now do this same thing whenever I’m faced with a situation that opens up the possibility for rejection. I just tell myself that if someone doesn’t want to do what I’m asking, that’s fine. God bless them. I love them. It’s not that big a deal.

A good friend of mine, Dr. Mark Goulston, likes to say: “We have a lot less control over winning or losing at something than we do over trying or quitting something. Always try. You can eventually win. If you always quit, you can never win.”

When people give up, even in their thoughts, it is game over. I make a point to remember that I may not be the most successful man in a room, and I may not be the smartest man in a room, but I am pretty confident that I am usually one of the most persistent men in the room. That commitment to always trying has helped me succeed. I think it is one of the things that consistently helps anyone have long term success.

The whole process has to begin with the old axiom: If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’ll be right.

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

misnerCopyright 2012 by Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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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

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!

Here are some tips and suggestions that have helped me increase the number of books sold at a book signing. Many are my own, and some were suggested by other author friends. Each book store has it’s own distinctive personality. While I do not attempt to do all of the suggested tips at every signing, it is important to adapt as many as you can to fit each store’s personality. Believe me, doing so will increase the opportunity to sell more books.

A&S40+WaysDO – Write your own announcement for the book stores intercom. Make it short and brief. Give them several versions because they usually announce that you are there several times. Don’t hesitate to remind them to make the announcement again if it’s been awhile since the last announcement. They often will get busy and forget. Every half hour should do it. If you do lectures or give speeches about your book and are in town for a keynote or seminar that is open to the public, include information about that too. Let the book store choose to include it in the announcement or not. Better yet, offer to make the announcement over the loudspeaker yourself. Most event coordinators at bookstores do not have skills at public speaking.

DON’T – Don’t just sit at the table they have for you. Most authors do that. Be different! Reach out and touch someone! Don’t wait for them to come to you. I always tell the person booking the signing not to worry about putting a chair behind the table. This will always get their attention. Let them know you will be the store’s official greeter while you are there. Walk around the store with several copies of your book and introduce yourself to everyone. Bring your own name tag, one that let’s people see who you are and what you do. Make it special.

Request at least a dozen books for your table to illustrate you have plenty available. If those you introduce yourself to show the least bit of interest, hand them a book. They will almost always take it. Tell them to look at it and bring it back to the table when they are finished. On average, I more than tripled my book sales at signings by implementing this tip!

DO – Have an attractive four-color bookmark designed by a graphic artist and print thousands of them. You can give them to everyone who comes in the store. List a few endorsements on it as well as a brief paragraph of what the book is about. Leave your contact information off. Put the price and the ISBN number on. Book stores often have their own bookmarks and are reluctant to have you give yours out if they think their customer is going to you direct. (I use a red rubber stamp to imprint my website address on the reverse side of the bookmarks I give out in the store, but not on the bookmarks I “leave” at the book store.)

“Your book signing tipsheet yanked me back from the edge of the cliff! My book was about to come out and I didn’t know what to expect. Now the Chocolate kisses are always at the ready and I cruise the aisles handing people my book!” Elisabeth Leamy,
Consumer and Investigative Reporter at WTTG, Washington. DC, Author, The Savvy Consumer: How to Avoid Scams and Ripoffs That Cost You Time and Money

I often will sign a bookmark for someone who lingers at my table but does not buy my book. Remember your mission: “Spread good will!” Many people will come back to the store and buy your book after you have left. Send the book store several hundred bookmarks and suggest that they include them in the bags of people who buy books before your book signing.

  • BONUS TIP #1: I include bookmarks for all three of my relationship books plus a business card in every piece of correspondence that leaves my office. The utility companies send statement stuffers to you, so why not send one back? When paying bills, slip in several of your bookmarks along with your check.
  • BONUS TIP #2: When junk mail arrives, keep the “postage-paid” envelope and throw everything else away. I had tiny notes printed that say,“You were kind enough to send us your stuff. . . professional speaker, author & relationship coach, Larry James invites you to check out his stuff at http://www.CelebrateLove.com, a site designed to help you fit the pieces of the relationship puzzle together in a healthy way.”Next, I paperclip the note to several of my bookmarks and drop their “postage-paid” envelope in the mail on my next mail run. Hey! Why not? It only takes a minute and “they” are paying for the postage! Let ’em stack up and stuff ’em while you’re watching the game.
“Bonus Tip #2 is sheer genius. I love it! You gave me an idea. I think I’ll put together something that says, “There are much better and much cheaper ways to win and keep customers than this. Check out Michael LeBoeuf’s book, “How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life.” – Michael LeBoeuf, Professional Speaker, Author, How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life:
Revised and Updated for the Digital Age

DO – If you are on a tight budget, use your printer to print out some mini-flyers on white paper. Include your book cover image, a brief description about the book, a brief author bio and customize them with the book store’s name, address and phone number at the bottom. 3 or 4-up on an 8 1/2 x 11 page works well. Cut them on your paper cutter and you’re ready to go. You can also hand out reprints of excerpts from your book or articles with your contact info on the bottom. Remember to include the copyright info.

DO – Four-color postcards which feature your book covers OR the home page on your website are great give-aways. Click here for a great postcard resource.

DO – Get to know the “Community Relations Coordinator” (CRC). They are the ones who will book you again if they like you. I’ve been back to the same Barnes and Noble store three times in the last 9 months in the Phoenix area.

DO – Send the person who booked the signing a brief, hand written “thank you” note. Personalize the note! I’m told that authors seldom do this. I’ve had several people call me to thank me for sending the note.

DO – Write a follow up commendation letter to the CRC’s manager as a fantastic way to thank and build good relations with both the CRC, the book store and you.

“I just wanted to let you know you SAVED my life! I am a new author, and I am having my first book signing very soon. I had no idea what to expect from it, but you gave me the blocks I needed. I feel so much better now that I read your BookSigningTips. Thank you very much.” – Suzanne Kraus-Mancuso, Author, Shirley Temple Identification & Price Guide

DO – Remember to call at least two months in advance if you want to be included in their in-store flyer.

DO – Go to Kinko’s and have your book covers enlarged in color to an 11 x 17 poster, laminate them and have them put them on a poster type board with a stand up thing on the back. Always bring them with you to the signings! Anything else you can think of to call attention to your table is also GREAT!

DO – Ask them for a media list (radio, TV, etc.). Some don’t have them, but the ones who do will usually share it or tell you where to get it. It makes calling the radio and TV stations easier. If they don’t have a media list, ask them which stations they would recommend that might be interested in an interview. When they know you are also doing stuff to promote the signing, usually they do more too!

DO – Ask for a community list, i.e., Chamber of Commerce, Society of the Arts, etc. Send them a news release about your book signing (and seminar or keynote, if applicable). You never know where your speaking engagements may come from. Check first with your meeting planner to get permission, then add a personal note to the news release inviting them to come and hear you speak. (You do accept speaking engagements to talk about your book topic, don’t you?).

DO – Although most book stores will send a news release about your book signing, send your own as well. This increases the chance of getting coverage. Send it at least two to three weeks in advance to all media within a 50 mile radius. Include a photograph of yourself and a book cover. Tell all about your book, yourself and if you are doing a talk instead of just a book signing, include your topic title and a little bit about it. Include your phone number and the contact person, address and phone number of the book store. Editors often will call you or the store for more information.

One more thing. Always “confirm” that the book store will send a news release to the media. I make a note to call them at least “three” weeks before the signing to remind them and make sure they are going to send it. Most media require receipt of a news release at least two weeks prior to an event. I no longer will do book signings at stores who are not willing to send news releases about my book signing.

DO – Send postcards made from your extra book covers (you did have extra covers printed, didn’t you?) and make phone calls to friends, acquaintances, business associates and club affiliates and anyone who might be interested in attending your presentation or signing.

DO – Call the radio and TV stations no less than a month in advance and request an interview the week of the signing. Send them a news release about your book signing. Give them a special invitation to attend your book signing and if you are in town to do a keynote or seminar, invite them to attend at no charge. Remember to send them a promotional copy of your book.

DO – Doing a brief lecture at your book signing? The possibility of having teachers or professors at your book signing is exciting! Ask the bookstore’s CRM (community relations manager) to invite local area instructors who likely have interest in your book (or do some research and personally invite them yourself). If such attendees like your book, they may be in a position to order multiple quantities for next semester. (Thanks to Jeff Davidson, author, The Complete Guide to Pubic Speaking for this tip).

DO – Put several of your books “face-out” when they aren’t looking! I often will also put the books of my author friends “face-out.”

DO – Send them your endorsements. Print them in an attractive large font and on a white piece of paper. They will often use them on posters, etc. Also send several book “covers.” Request that they put up a special display, including poster, at least a week in advance of the signing. Most do, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Send your picture (color is best) to join the book cover on the poster. Sometimes they use it, some times they don’t. At least it gives them an option. Offer to send any additional information they may need.

DO – Talk to people. Many people think because you wrote a book, you are unapproachable. Prove them wrong. It builds relationships. Be exceedingly FRIENDLY! Book signings are no place to be shy.

DO – Ask the manager how many books they would like for you to sign before you leave so they will have some on hand. NOTE: Generally speaking, they cannot return any books you sign, so always ask! If the signing went well or even if it didn’t, and you impressed the manager, they will usually have you sign a bunch before you leave.

60 Books in 2 Hours! – I recently utilized many of your tips for David Fleming and Samantha Storms’ first book signing for their illustrated children’s book, “Miss Mouse’s House.” The book store owners were blown away by the success of the signing. Another book store owner came and was so impressed by the book and the event that she asked the author and illustrator to appear at her store. Thank you for providing the tips.” – Kara Fleming, VP, Children’s Book Division, Country Place Books

DO – Bring a camera and have your picture taken with the manager or Community Relations Specialist and other key people in the store. If you want to call attention to yourself, pay attention to other people. Most people don’t do this. You may want to use several of the photos in publicity in the future.

To take this idea a step further. . . make sure your book is in the picture! Next, buy an inexpensive frame, and mail the photo in the frame along with a handwritten, personal note suggesting they hang the picture in a conspicuous place in the store. You might also suggest that they start an “Authors Photo Wall (or Hall) of Fame.” The Community Relations Specialist will be more than happy to have their picture with you hanging in the store and you and your book will get more frequent recognition.

DO – Have a Polaroid camera handy at your table. When someone buys your book say, “Let’s have our picture taken together!” Have someone from the store take a picture of you and your new customer. Give it to them and sign and date the back of the picture. Suggest they use it for a book mark. This increases the odds that your book AND the picture will become more of a conversation piece.

Someone suggested taking a picture with a digital camera, getting their e-mail address and asking permission to send them the picture by e-mail. This will also help build your e-mailing list for future book announcements or for your eZINE.

DO – To help call attention to my book “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers,” I put a crystal bowl on the table and fill it with small, individually wrapped packages of “Red Hots.” Dove chocolates are another favorite. People will stop and read the book poster (while they are unwrapping the candy) and look over your book marks and books. Ask them if you can take the wrapper. . . Contact!

Another variation of this idea is to have custom-made fortune cookies made with a brief, clever saying relating to your book on one side of the fortune inside and your book title and website on the other.

“I’ve read hundreds of articles on the Net about marketing books, yours was fantastic. Thank you. Just wanted you to hear, one more time, that your work is appreciated by all of us toiling in that dark pit of the abyss known as self-publishing. (Note to self! — Be optimistic at all times!! — Confidence sells!!!)” Steven Grant, Author, Meet the Goat Kids

DO – Have a local printer make a small booklet (3 or 4 pages) featuring the first chapter or excerpts from your book and hand them out at your signing. Ask their name and sign the booklet. Remember to list your name, address, 800 & local numbers, your e-mail address and your website.

DO – If you are in town for a keynote or seminar, bring some seminar flyers to hand out. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just who, how, what, when and where will do! Invite the Community Relations person to attend your seminar for free. Many won’t take the time to come, but it’s a nice touch!

DO – Have copies of reader’s reviews available at your table. Hand them to anyone who shows the least bit of interest in your book and say, “Here’s what other people who have read my books have to say.” Make extra copies for give-aways. One of my books is called, “LoveNotes for Lovers,” so I say, “Here are some LoveNotes from some of the people who have read my books.” When someone begins to read the reviews, remain quiet. Amazon.com is a good source when people post impartial reviews of your book. Most people hold Amazon.com in high regard. If no reviews are posted, send the link to your book to your friends and encourage them to post reviews.

DO – Have extra copies of your book cover printed and have a stack available at your table. Make sure everyone leaves the book store with a giant book cover “postcard.” Ask them to mail it to a friend. Be sure you sign the book cover whether they buy your book or not. They also make great follow-up “postcards” if you have a guest book at your signing table that asks for an address.

DO – Call the local newspaper and request that someone come and take pictures for the “feature article” you will also request. Suggest that they interview the book store manager or community relations person. If they like you, they will almost always say great things you and your book.

I did this at a signing in Topeka, KS (my former hometown) and even though the article came out after I left, it was great PR, the store loved it, and follow-up sales were great. Remember to send them a promotional copy of your book.

“All I can say is… Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You single handedly educated me on the fine art and protocol of book signings. I will forever remember and admire you for your commitment not only as an author, but FOR authors as well. You are a modern day Saint!” – Jolene A. Savage, Topeka, KS, Contributing Author, Power Tools

DO – Get there no less than 15 to 20 minutes early and if you can, stay late. At a signing in Tucson, I sold more books in the extra 30 minutes after the signing than in the previous two hours.

DON’T – Don’t complain if you don’t sell lots of books. You must realize that signings and book readings or presentations will rarely exceed your expectations and hardly ever meet your highest goals. Signings make those who bought your book feel good, but they generally don’t sell lots of books while you are there, UNLESS you create a presence WHILE YOU ARE THERE!

I’ve sold as few as “none” to as many as 56 in a two hour period. According to book store managers, on average, book sales for a non-celebrity author will range from about 4 to 7. If you sell more, you’re doing great!

DON’T – Don’t show your disappointment if you don’t sell very many books. It only creates bad will. Book signings and presentations will rarely exceed your expectations. The Community Relations Coordinator (CRC) will often be apologetic if the response wasn’t good. This is your chance to thank them for the opportunity and ask for another book signing in the near future. Nuff said!

“As a former publicity director at Doubleday, Villard and Morrow, I didn’t think there was much I didn’t know about book signings. However your piece on “40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an Event” had a few new pointers for me. Thanks. I’m writing to ask if I may quote a few items from your article in my book.” Jacqueline Deval, Publisher, Hearst Books

DO – Talk about other author’s books; authors you know. I have a story in A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup For the Soul and always ask the manager to put those books on the table too. I sign on page 18 under my name. I know my friends Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, the “Chicken Soup” guys, don’t need my help, but the customers love it! My dear friend, Greg Godek’s book, 1001 Ways to Be Romantic often shows up on my table. He mentions one of my books in several of his books.

DO – Plan to give something away (anything except your book – you want them to buy that). Have them sign a “guest book” or “free drawing” card with their name, complete mailing address (e-mail address, too) and phone number to qualify. Announce the winner at the end of your book signing. People love the idea of a chance to win something free, and it often causes them to linger in the store longer.

DO – Print out a small “Recommended Reading” list. List several categories and make sure your book and website are listed in the first topic. Sign beside your book title and name to call attention to it. Don’t be afraid to list other competing titles. If you publish an eZINE be sure to offer a FREE subscription at the bottom of the list.

DO – Don’t have an e-mailing list? Start one! You’ll be glad you did. Consider sending an “opt-in” eZINE on a monthly basis to your e-mailing list. Design a special sign-up sheet (name, address, e-mail and phone number) for those who may be interested in receiving your eZINE.

DO – Come bearing gifts! Give the community relations person (or the person who booked the signing) a rose, small bunch of flowers or a tiny box of chocolates. They will not forget YOU! Dan Maddux, CEO of the American Payroll Association advises: “If it has your name on it, it’s not a gift; it’s promotional material.” It’s good to remember that.

DO – If you are coming from out of town, always call to let them know you have arrived.

DO – Talk to the community relations person and request a brief meeting with their employees prior to the signing to very quickly give an overview of your book so they can be aware and help sell it when people ask for that kind of book.

DO – I am a professional speaker as well as an author. If there is a book publishing association or National Speakers Association chapter or similar organization in the city of the signing, let them know you will be in town. Attend their meeting. If you know enough ahead of time, request to be on the program.

“Your “40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an Event” is awesome! I recently had bookmarks printed up, due to your having mentioned that, and gave them out at a business networking meeting. The response was phenomenal. Now I have a speaking engagement in February, highlighting my book that I would not have had otherwise. I’ve also used your suggestion of including bookmarks in outgoing correspondence. Thanks for all your suggestions. They’re invaluable!” – Jean Bailey Robor, Author, The Love Poems, Volume One

DO – Instead of doing “just a book signing,” arrange to give a brief talk or presentation. Remember to check with the store prior to your presentation to make sure they have the area for the talk set up prior to you arriving. Will you need a microphone? Lectern?

Prepare handouts for your presentation. It could be an article you’ve written, a report, a sample chapter, a recipe or anything that relates to your book. Remember to list all your contact information and especially your website.

Provide a camera-ready promotional sheet and seminar announcement that booksellers can print 2-up on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. Include a small section of companion books; two or three books that are similar to yours that you recommend reading. In the seminar, refer to those books as you discuss your own book. Pick your book up and read from it. Suggest that the bookseller display your book, and companion books on a special table along with a plastic stand to hold your promotional sheet.

Provide a 2 to 3 sentence mini-review or endorsement of the books you recommend and include your name and book title after the review. Make them available in printed form and suggest that the booksellers tape them to the shelves where those books are displayed. Be sure to remember to make one for your own book with someone else’s endorsement or review.

  • BONUS TIP #1: Here is a sample endorsement:“Ian Percy is one of my favorite ‘Top 10’ speakers. His words are sprinkled with the flavor of passion, the ingredient that can inspire us to integrate more spirituality into our personal lives and our relationships. The 7 Secrets to a Life of Meaning is highly recommended.” – Larry James, CelebrateLove.com, Speaker, Relationship Coach and Author of “How to Really Love the One You’re With.”
  • BONUS TIP #2: Write reviews for authors and give them permission to use them in their promotional materials. Reviews sell books, create buzz, affect future reviews and provide flap copy. Writing a review for someone else gets you publicity! My book reviews are on the front and back covers of numerous other author’s books. P.S. If you are asked to review a book that you don’t particularly like, rather than focus on the fact that you didn’t like the book, write about who would. There is an audience for every book. Simply state what the book was about, then you can mention who would probably like this book and why.Take your time. Use a Thesaurus. Make it a grrreat one! You don’t have to ask permission. . . just do it. Because of a review I wrote recently, I was asked to write the forward for the book, “25 Words or Less” and “Confessions of Shameless Dating: Using The Power of Effective Self-Promotion To Attract The Right People.”Shameless self-promotion? Perhaps. AND. . . it gives you and your book great publicity! I always end my review with – Larry James, CelebrateLove.com, Speaker, Relationship Coach and Author of “How to Really Love the One You’re With.”

DO – When people stop by your autograph table, as you are introducing yourself, hand them a copy of your book. Many people will not pick up your book, but most will take it if you hand it to them. If they begin to read it, that’s your cue to keep quiet. My book sales at back of the room and at book signings have increased significantly since using this tip.

“While I was surfing the net I found your article on “40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an Event.” Your article has made things so much more clearer than any I’ve read to date. It not only sounds interesting, but also fun.” – Brenda Marlene Woolsey, Author

DO – If you have a laptop computer, make arrangements with the book store for a phone line to the book signing table. Often a 25 foot phone extension wire from Radio Shack will work. (I bring my own). Display your computer in a prominent area and invite customers to interact with your website while you sign their book. ALWAYS hand them something with your URL printed on it. This is a sure-fire attention getter!

DO – Communicate with the book store by writing on postcards that show your book cover OR have numerous extra book covers printed and use the front part of the cover as an oversized postcard. While they do require extra postage, they keep your book in front of them as a constant reminder!

DO – Always place a stack of your books at the check-out. Ask the cashier to remind anyone who shows an interest in your book that you are in the book store and will be happy to personally sign it.

DO – Ever have a signing and there is no poster telling the store’s customers you were going to be there, or no publicity in the newspaper, or the store didn’t remember you were coming, or they forget to order extra books? Whatever you request the CRC to do, very tactfully print an itemized list for them to follow. Print a checklist for yourself containing these items so you can follow-up with your contact and make sure each item is accomplished prior to the book signing.

Double-check to be sure the store plans to design posters and flyers to advertise your signing. If not, do this yourself and deliver them to the store at least a week in advance of the event. I have saved several book signings from disaster by always having an extra box of books in the trunk of my car in case their book order didn’t arrive in time or they forgot to order. In one case, the CRC was so embarrassed that she let “me” sell the books I brought and keep all the profit.

DO – Attend other author’s book signings! When they have a spare moment, introduce yourself. Find out what works for them and what doesn’t. Exchange tips. Print out this list and give it to them (a little shameless self-promotion for me, eh?).

DO – Ask the person who books the signings to write up a recommendation of your book and put it and the book in the “Staff Recommends” section of the store. Barnes & Noble have these as do some independents. Some stores also have a “Local Authors” section. Be sure your book is displayed there in your hometown book stores.

DO – MOST IMPORTANT: Have FUN! Let people know you are there to have fun, even if you don’t sell any books. The manager of the store often feels worse than you do, because they are afraid you won’t come back. Have fun! Create attention!

Some final words: It is important for you to understand that the purpose of book signings is not necessarily to sell books, but to make the book store customers AWARE of your books.

“Nothing in my research for promotion has been so thorough as your ideas for book signings. Thank you!” – Millie Edison, Author

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!

On several occasions, after handing the booksellers my 4-color book marks and telling them a little about myself and my books, the booksellers have actually bought signed copies of my books. If I happen to sell and sign a few books to their customers while I am there. . . I am grateful! I consider that a BONUS!

DO – Make arrangements to have the book displayed at the cash register. Most book stores have plastic book stands for this. Hand the manager a book and ask “How about displaying this one on the counter by the cash register to remind buyers that the author is here?” You might want to print up a small bookmark type sign that says, “Buy this book between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today and have author Larry James personally sign it for you. Ask for details.”

Several more things. . . as an author you should ALWAYS sign your books, even if you sell or give them to your friends or trade books with other authors. (I believe your friends should BUY your books to help support you in your author efforts.) Some people are too shy to ask for your autograph. Sign it anyway! Simply ask, “Here, let me sign that for you. Whose name would you like in it?” Always ask.

Never assume the book is for them. In the beginning, I wasted several books by assuming that the book was for them. I also always ask for the correct spelling. Even John can be spelled, “Jon;” “Kelly: Keli, Kellie, Kelley, etc.” If you sell your book by mail order be sure to include a blank on your order form for the person’s name to which the book should be signed. Remind them to PRINT the name. I also ask if they would like for me to write a date under my signature. Many people like to remember when they met you.

Authors often trade books with other authors. Remember to sign your books to them and ask them to return the favor.

“Just wanted to take a moment to tell you how often I refer to your wonderful suggestions for book signings and book promotion, and to thank you for sharing them so generously. Your suggestions are simple to follow, innovative, and relatively painless. I am grateful!” – Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, Author, Dancing with my Daughter: Poems of Love, Wisdom, and Dreams and A Mother of Sons: Poems of Love, Wisdom, & Dreams

DO – Ask the Community Relations Coordinator to make up some “Author Personalization Slips” (1/4 page sheets of paper with your photo and/or book cover on them with a message that says: “If you would like for (the author’s name) to personalize your book for you, please PRINT the name you would like inscribed below.” This will speed up the process and help keep you from having to ask, “What name would you like in the book?” or “What is the correct spelling?”

Come up with a special way of signing your name every time you sign your books. For many years, I have signed books, “(their name), Celebrate Love! Larry James.” I always mention that my website is CelebrateLove.com, that there are lots of relationship articles there and I would love to hear from them by e-mail telling me what they thought of my book. I also add, “If you like it, please tell your friends.”

Adding something special like, “Happy Birthday,” or “Happy Anniversary,” etc., will also make them very proud to show the book to their friends. Signed books are treasured much more than non-signed books!

BONUS Articles: Using Social Media to Boost Book Signings
How to Book a Book Signing And Other Important Stuff!
Building Book Buzz!
Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
Always Sign Your Books

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Copyright © 2010 – 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

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commentNOTE: 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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