The bookstore manager said "You have more than doubled the usual book event sales!!
Choose a book store and schedule a date
My book signing event was scheduled at “The Bank of Books” in Ventura.. A wonderful eclectic book store. I had contacted them a month before to introduce myself and arrange a suitable date for the event. I followed up with the main office and offered my assistance. I advised them that I would come prepared to the event with promotional material and signage.
We agreed upon a date and the event was in motion.
The bookstore emailed out over 20 press releases, My publisher also emailed press releases. 10 days before the event I contacted everyone on the PR list “personally” (no group contact) to introduce myself and invite them to the event.
The media were wonderful. Local papers mentioned the event in the “Whats on” columns and The Ventura County Star newspaper promoted my event with a half page story (with a color photo of the book) the day before the event.
A few days before the event I met with store manager and we set up a book display along with my laminated poster displays and acrylic book holders. Bookmarks were provided for “give-aways’ to promote the event.
My theme was “Pink” to co-ordinate with the “girly” front cover of my book.
Pink iced home made cookies
Pink Caboodles Cosmetic Boxes
Laminated Poster boards
Books on display in clear acrylic holders
"About the Author" Cards
Signing Pen (The kind that dries instantly)
Welcome with Name Tags
I had arranged to have a friend meet the guests at the front door of the bookstore. He welcomed the guests and made “name tags” for every attendee– so I could correctly write their names in the books. The small welcome table was set up with promotional materials.
The book signing & presentation area was located downstairs on the basement level. John was at the cash register upstairs where he handled the book sales.
As guests began to congregate on the lower level – we chatted and introduced ourselves until the room was nicely filled. Then I made a 30-40 minute or so talk about my background, my story and the general information to be found in my book. I never read from the book.. but referred to it throughout the presentation. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
It was a friendly group, family, friends and strangers with ideas. Children attended, including my grandsons, who ate the cookies and marveled at the massive book collection on display in the store. They lovingly chose a small selection of books to take home and savor.
I asked John after the event if he was pleased with the turnout. He said that we more than doubled the usual book sales. He was also pleased that many of the guests not only purchased my book but also purchased other titles.
I signed a few copies to leave with him in the store. I presented him with a pink heart shaped box of chocolates to say “thank you”
He said that he will talk to his head office about me doing another event at his Malibu location. I happily agreed.
My friends and I packed up my “book road show” and I said my goodbyes . What a wonderful day of sharing stories and meeting other authors, writers and entrepreneurs. It was a joy having the kind support and encouragement of family and friends at my first event.
• Prepare for the event. Ensure that all promotional materials, snacks, table decorations etc are packed and ready to go.
• Create a theme for your presentation
• Create an ambiance in the bookstore for your event
• Bring a good digital camera and arrange for a friend to take photos throughout the event for your PR, social media marketing and for the bookstore personnel.
• Bring extra books incase they are needed during the event.
• Welcome your guests and advise them of what the program is.
• Tell the story… why did you write the book.. what inspired you.. share information that may assist others to be successful.
• Take time with every guest. Write a “message” that relates to your book with every signature & date. Pass out free bookmarks and cards.
• Remember to thank the book store personnel for their time and effort in supporting your book event.
• Follow up with the book store corporate office with photos (for their website) and a thank you note. -
Don’t devalue your product
I gave away no free books… Everyone who wanted to have a signed copy had to go to the cash register and purchase a book. The event is to entice customers to the store so that they can increase sales. At the same time it generates consumer awareness for your book.
It is important, especially during the launch of your book, to retain the suggested retail price. My paperback retails for $15.99 and it provides 30 years of information condensed into 249 pages. Today you pay a professional marketing speaker/presenter $1500 an hour – so don’t discount your book - It already has a higher perceived value.
Don’t expect to make a profit – if you break even you are doing great! It’s all about creating awareness for your book!
The number of books sold at a book event are limited to the number of attendees – and, although they may never generate the volume that you can sell through your publisher, website, social media & book retailers, – the intimacy of a book signing enables you to meet your readers in person and to remind you why you wrote the book in the first place.
Causes Leonie Mateer Supports
St Judes Children's Research Foundation
Conservation international Foundation
Breast Cancer Research Foundation