After sponsoring my own book signing and participating in three bookstore book signings, I learned some valuable lessons. Based on my experiences, I want to share what I learned.
I think most authors having a book signing will admit that they can be time consuming and discouraging. Why? Because you may sit for hours and not sell "one" book. Below are my suggestions in what I think makes a successful book signing.
BEFORE THE BOOK SIGNING
1. Understand the conditions of the book signing--length of book signing, materials needed, location of book signing, etc.
2. Determine how to advertise your book signing--besides the store advertisement how are you going to advertise--invitations, flyers, etc.
3. Autograph some of your books before the book signing but don't sign your name, do that when you sell a book--this avoids hand cramp and helps move the line along.
4. Decide what you're going to put on your table to attract potential book buyers--always use a table cloth.
5. Have a display book(s) on the table--put a "Display Only" sign on your book--no one wants to buy a book that's looks used.
6. Prepare an emergency kit filled with tape, tissues, thumb tacks, pens, Band-aids, scissors, medicine, over-the-counter medicine, etc.
7. Gather everything you're taking the night before.
DAY OF THE BOOK SIGNING
1. Arrive early to set-up, use the restroom, etc.
2. Create an attractive table with a table cloth, bowl of candy, bookmarks, pens, etc.
3. Make eye contact and engage people in conversation.
4. Obtain home or email addresses from everyone buying your book.
5. Take along a friend, spouse, etc.--at all times have someone at your table.
6. Have a drawing the day of the book signing.
7. Give people your business card or information about you and your book even when the person doesn't buy your book.
After the Book Signing
1. Make a list of what worked and what didn't work.
2. Enter all names of individuals that bought your book in your database.