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Book Signing Secrets to Promote Your Title
The reasons for doing book signings are obvious. What's not so apparent are the hidden benefits they also give you.
You know the drill. You show up at a Barnes & Noble, get behind a table with your name and books on it, wait for readers to start squinting in your direction, be enthusiastic when they finally do talk to you, then autograph each book they decide to buy.
To you, as a writer, it's just something you do. No big deal. Certainly nothing that's going to make or break your writing career, right?
Not necessarily. String enough of these humble book signings together and you can build some irresistible momentum and grassroots “buzz” for your book, which is the foundation for any successful book campaign. Here's what I mean.
The Six Benefits You Know About
Let's start with six obvious reasons for spending time doing book-signings:
1/ You'll sell books. Granted, this is one-on-one, face-to-face sales, the kind that might take fifteen minutes or longer…but they're sales nonetheless. And that's a good thing.
2/ May as well face it, Americans love celebrities. Doesn't really matter what they're celebrated for, “stars” rule in the U.S. So an author at a table creates a not-so-minor stir…which spells attention and publicity for your and your book.
3/ You get to meet the folks who buy your book. Why is this important? Because this is your target audience. Your people. The same people you'll keep in mind when you write your next book.
4/ Many authors have a cause or two in their back pocket. Or on their sleeve. So if you're passionate about yaks, homeless circus clowns or the chance Seattle will get struck by space junk, here's your chance to enlighten avid listeners.
5/ Speaking of enlightenment, you can actually change a life or two at these signings by doing some teaching and inspiring. And even if all you do is cause a few people to say, “Hmmm,” and they suddenly get a new realization about life – that can make a book-signing very gratifying and well worth your time.
6/ Got seminar? Here's where you can tie that upcoming workshop or speaking engagement you've got scheduled to a book-signing event at the local bookstore in that city. Great synergistic marketing here.
Okay…those are the neat book-signing benefits you already know about, right? Well, here are some you probably don't know.
The Hidden Benefits of Book Signings…
HIDDEN BENEFIT #1/ Instant Distribution. To publishers, good book distribution can be as elusive as bigfoot. Why? With nearly 200,000 new books bombarding bookstores every year, retailers have to be very selective about the titles they put on their shelves.
On the other hand, when a bookstore agrees to schedule an author for a book-signing, the manager automatically orders a decent number of books for the signing event. This, then, becomes a wonderful way to get your books into stores, one that works very nicely.
HIDDEN BENEFIT #2/ Free Advertising and Promotion. We talked about the publicity you generate when you show up at a bookstore. What you might not realize is the promotional lengths bookstores go to, to highlight you and your book. Book signings are, after all, two way streets: They draw attention to you, but you also draw attention to the store. So promotional mailings to customers, announcements in newsletters, newspaper ads, media interviews, Internet banners are all promotional actions some bookstores will take to draw attention to your arrival — priceless promotions that costs you nothing!
HIDDEN BENEFIT #3/ Free Merchandising (That Normally Costs Big Bucks). Another way bookstores will promote your book and signing (and themselves) is through high profile display materials (provided by your publisher) that are set up in the front of the store announcing your arrival. This display is usually set up a week or so prior to your scheduled book-signing…and can be worth its weight in silver, if not gold.
HIDDEN BENEFIT #4/ Infecting Readers with the Word-of-Mouth Virus. After all the advertising you do, it's word-of-mouth marketing that will either crown or drown you. The smart author knows this…and will try to infect bookstore employees every opportunity they can. They'll introduce themselves…shake hands…talk about their book in memorable “soundbites”…and make each and every employee feel singled-out and important.
Then, whenever customers ask for recommendations of a book on your topic, you can bet the bookstore people will recommend yours. That's a no-brainer.
Having said all this, the underlying question here is…just how do you schedule good book-signings around the country?
Doing Author Tours
We're Event Management Services and book-signings are something we've done for over seventeen years now. They're part of a larger promotion service called an “Author Tour”. We arrange TV, radio and editorial interviews and “appearances” for authors touring in three to four major cities (at a minimum). The book-signings are part of that media blitz.
So, if you don't mind traveling, and want intense exposure, with each media appearance dovetailed and correlated to each other to strengthen the overall impact (something like the effect buckshot from a shotgun has), then call us. We can set that up for you.
But even if you don't want to tour, you can and should arrange book-signings on your own. Work within a 300 mile radius of your home, and you'll land your share of book-signings. The key here is patience and persistence.
Bottom line? If you're tired of being an invisible writer, if you don't seem to be making any headway getting your book on reader's “radar screens,” give us a call and find out what we can do for you.
Call me or Steve Friedman at 727-443-7115 x202 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we're not in, we promise to get back to you immediately!
Marsha Friedman, President
PS – If you like the idea of an Author Tour but travel isn't in your plans, ask Steve or me about a talk radio or national print campaign for getting national exposure for your book – all from the convenience of your home or office.
Event Management Services
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