Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Tips for Author Signings


Since I have three author events and another (BEA) next month, I thought I'd share a few tips for author signings. I hope you find them helpful.

  • Don't just sit behind a table.  If you have to be behind a table (which I had to be at YA Fest), then stand. One, you're more visible—especially if you are short like I am and you don't clear your books by much when you sit. Two, you're more approachable because you appear closer to the people in attendance. Third, sitting can make you appear bored, which is not a message you want to send.
  • Smile and talk to everyone.  No one wants to approach an author who is blank-faced. Smile and be personable. Ask people where they're from. Ask  how there day is going. Ask what kind of books they like to read. 
  • Talk about more than just your book.  Yes, you are there to sell your books, but you're a human being too. Let people see that. Comment on a clever saying on a T-shirt someone is wearing or a cool color nail polish. Show that you aren't just a salesman. You're a person who cares about more than just making money.
  • Sit when you sign.  Yes, I know I told you to stand, and you should, but when it comes to signing the book, sit down. Your handwriting will be neater. I was so nervous for my first signing that my hand shook. Sitting down helps with that nervous shaking that can make your signature look like an elementary-school student wrote it. Once you're finished signing, stand back up and engage the reader again.
  • Offer to take a picture.  This one I learned from the very awesome Jennifer Armentrout. She offered to take pictures with everyone, which was great because sometimes fans are too shy or nervous to ask you for a picture. This takes the pressure off them.
  • Bring SWAG.  Offering something extra to readers, whether it's a bookmark, candy, stickers, tattoos, etc, goes a long way. I went through two huge bags of zombie limb candy at YA Fest. And... it brought people to my table because they wanted to know what it was. Also, those who liked zombies, then asked me what my books were about. See how that worked? ;)
  • Have a sign-up sheet for your newsletter.  This is one I forgot to do, but will definitely do in the future. Business cards get lost (or put through the wash if people leave them in their pockets), so even if people take them, you don't know that they'll use them. However, if they leave their email address, you can sign them up for your newsletters and know that they are getting the info about your books.


Those are my top tips for author signings. Do you have any other tips you want to mention?

34 comments:

  1. Such good tips! Definitely need to remember these for my next signing :)

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  2. Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing them with us. I hadn't thought about the standing one- but that is a good point. :)

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    1. Standing really does make a difference.

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  3. Thanks a lot for posting this Kelly! I'm visiting from SheWrites.com. As a writer and author, we all need these sorts of helpful tips! I especially like the one about bringing SWAG. I haven't tried that before but will remember to do it next time.

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    1. Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, everyone loves SWAG. :)

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  4. Great tips Kelly. My book is an ebook, but I've been asked to join an author event. Swag definitely!

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  5. Great tips. I'm short, too, so sitting does not behoove me. I bring a clipboard with a signup sheet for my newsletter to every author event I'm at, whether it is a book club meeting or a book signing. It works! I'll have to remember the swag, especially candy. That's something I forget. Bookmarks don't have quite the same impact as sugar. :0

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    1. Yeah, bookmarks are great but candy gets attention. ;)

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  6. Thanks for sharing some great tips, Kelly! These are all a MUST if you want to sell books and be more outgoing with your readers.
    Sometimes, I forget about the importance of author signings and should focus back on making the connections to set them up.

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    1. I hate trying to book signings, but I love going to them. lol

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  7. Perfect tips, every one of them. Generous, coming form an experienced signer.

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  8. I haven't had the opportunity to do a book signing yet, but I'll definitely keep these tips for the future. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Signings are so much fun. You should book some, Chrys.

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  9. Great advice and tips. Hopefully I will remember all if ever my time comes to sign...sigh...

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    1. Well, my posts stay here so you'll be able to reread them later if you need. :)

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  10. Kelly, great tips for being an engaging author ... and a good person with a heart of gold, who always puts the needs of others first. :-)

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  11. Wonderful tips. I need to do more of these.

    My hand was shaky a few times when signing books.

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    1. Shaky hands are the worst. I've had it happen several times. BEA was the worst! lol

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  12. I like the idea of taking pictures. Keep a camera on a tripod so folks know they can have a photo. :) Some folks are shy about asking.

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  13. Great tips, especially the last one. It's more effective to put their email addresses on your list rather than wait for them to decide if they might sign up from your website. One downside to it, though: I've collected email addresses previously, and some of them are scribbled in such charismatic handwriting I had a hard time figuring the letters out. Have a good time at your events!

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  14. Wow that is fantastic advice. Thanks!

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  15. Great tips, Kelly! Especially the take a picture one. I seem to get so involved and happy that someone is buying my book that I forget to take many pictures. I need to do better with that for sure!

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