Marketing Articles

How to Host a Book Signing Event

Designing and implementing a marketing plan can be a self-published author's worst nightmare or dream come true. Keep in mind that every piece of your marketing plan must be a strategic way to tell the public about you and your book. One great way to tell the world about your book is to meet them in person at a book signing event. This article will give you four easy steps to hosting your own book signing.

1. Prepare.

After you've made the decision to host a book signing event, the first step is to choose a venue. A local bookstore is an obvious choice, but you can think outside the box about your venue. If your book is about nutrition, consider asking a local health food store if you can host your event there. Places of worship, community centers and universities are all good options as well. Consider the topic of your book and then think of a place where people who may be interested in your book would go. After you've decided on a venue to approach, prepare a professional portfolio of your work and a copy of your book to give to someone at your venue. If you need a little extra help preparing for your book signing event, consider purchasing the Balboa Press Book Signing Kit to help.

2. Reach Out.

Once you have your professional materials and your venue in mind, approach someone at the venue and discuss your ideas. If they agree to host your book signing you are ready to start telling people about the event. Obviously the venue will want to bring people in to their business as well, so work with them to design flyers to give their customers. Consider contacting your local newspaper and/or radio station to offer an interview. Mail postcards to everyone you know and include a personal touch to invite them. Remember, you are in charge of your event – this is not the time to be shy! Talk about it to everyone you meet.

3. Be Confident.

When your big day comes, the best thing you can do is be confident. Remember, this is your party so let it reflect your personality. Here are some important tips you can use to make the day go smoothly:

  • Bring a friend along to be in charge of the book sales so you can focus on meeting people and signing books.
  • Provide an opt-in list where people can sign up to join your mailing list or find you on social networks.
  • Make it clear on your book sales table about what payment methods you accept. If you accept personal checks, make sure you post the information for who to make the check out to. Don't forget to bring change, too.
  • Have extra books. You would hate to run out of books, so even if you leave a box in your car you know you have them.
  • Give readers a bookmark, business card or postcard to remember you and your book. The Balboa Press promotional items make great giveaways.
  • Smile! Let people know how glad you are they came to your event.

4. Say, "Thank You!"

After your event is over, take a deep breath, but don't stop there. Offer to donate a signed copy of your book to the venue and sign additional copies they may have purchased. Write personal notes to everyone who helped you – your friends who sold books, a reporter who interviewed you and the venue host or hostess. Anyone and everyone who assisted you before and during your event should receive a thank you note and/or appropriate gift. You want to leave a good impression and hopefully receive a return invitation.

Following these steps does not guarantee that you event will be a tremendous success, especially if it is your first and you are not a best selling author (yet!). But, by taking matters into your own hands you do have some control over how your event can go. Being prepared for whatever may come and staying calm under pressure will let your readers know you have confidence they can trust.

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