So, you’ve got a book out! Congratulations. 🙂 Writing and publishing a book is a lot of work, and you should be proud. Celebrate with some yummy cake or pie.
Ok, now gird yourself – because there is still more work to do to sell your book and make some rabid fans. There are plenty of blogs and articles on how authors need a platform, should use social media, and otherwise meld their Creativity hat with a Business-Minded hat.
What Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester can do is offer you some advice on how to make your signing events a success.
Annie’s of Worcester does host author events, so if you’re local or willing to come out here, it’s worth contacting us. Here’s our webpage. Regardless of whether you want to work with us or not, here are some tips to help you make the most of any signing you do.
5. Advertise, Promote, Shout it from the Hills – virtual or otherwise.
The bookstore will do all it can, but only you have your own following. Make events on Facebook and invite people; post the event on your webpage; tweet and blog about the event. Talk it up to friends, family, coworkers… people with a personal attachment to you and existing fans are your secret weapons. Use them wisely. The more people talk about you, the better audience you will garner.
4. Join forces.
If you aren’t already a Big Name Author – or at least an author with a blog following in the four- to five-digit range – you are not likely to get a huge audience on your name alone. Join up with another author, or a few authors, and do a multi-author event. This ensures each of you will at least bring a small audience, resulting in an overall larger audience! See what other authors are in the area or consult with the bookstore staff to see who might be a good match with your work.
Most people like some sort of refreshment – especially if they will be sitting through a reading or have to wait for a signing. Refreshments can be as simple as coffee and cookies, or more elaborate with fancy finger foods and high end teas. It’s absolutely imperative that you work with the bookstore in regards to refreshments. You may be limited in what you can bring, and often, you may have to be prepared for attendees with food allergies or sensitivities. It can get tricky, but people will remember having something to munch on or drink.
2. Practice, practice, practice.
It’s awfully disappointing to go to a reading if the author has not taken the time to practice giving an effective reading. You don’t have to go all out as if you were performing an audio drama, but you do need to have a consistent pace that people can follow (aim for 110 words spoken per minute), some emotive and pitch changes as you speak (monotone is BAD), and a loud enough volume where all your attendees can hear you (we can’t appreciate a murmur we don’t understand). There is plenty of free software online where you can record yourself to practice how you sound and the speed you read at – take advantage of it so that the quality of your reading doesn’t turn away new fans.
1. What value do YOU add?
As mentioned before, not a lot of authors can draw a crowd of strangers on their name alone. If you can’t work with other authors – or even if you do – what else can you offer to entice people? At Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, we’ve had authors who belly dance, authors who do stand-up comedy, and authors who give workshops. All of these are one extra facet to draw someone in, even if they haven’t heard of the author before. And, in the case of a workshop, they are things that can draw in more money. Besides writing, what are you good at? Can you talk about ancient Celtic mythology to augment your new fantasy? Did you do a lot of research with the Worcester PD as you wrote your crime novel? What interesting entertainment can you offer people to get them in the door so they can discover your awesome book?
As you’re going down the difficult path of book promotion, scheduling events gives people a chance to know you – and through you, know the book. Readers like a face they can associate with the words they love. With a little planning and effort, you can weigh the scales in favor of discovering more new fans through an entertaining book event at a bookstore.