Book signings are beneficial to everyone in the book community. From the author who writes the books, to the bloggers who help promote the books, to the readers who the author reaches and leaves reviews. At a book signing you’re basically putting life to the electronic presence you have grown online. From interacting with your fans and giving them a little something to take home, to basically pimping yourself to gain new fans and authors to follow you and your pages (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon).
For the author or aspiring author, you can:
- Meet with peers and get to know what they are facing as far as getting their books out there to the masses
- Learn marketing ideas or techniques, like what kind of swag to get or where to get it from
- Who is great and who they may not have had a good experience with
- Which blogs to approach so you can get the most out of your attempts in reaching new readers
- Find other beta readers or proofers who are worth it or not, based on cost or feedback given
A lot of times, just hearing their journey or tips they want to share can be worth so much more than a cost of admission.
The best thing to remember when at a signing is that the authors and bloggers want to talk, they want to get to know others in the industry and see what works and what hasn’t worked out and share experience. Get the inside scoop! Remember that authors are readers, too. Share your work or trade books for reviews, because cross promotion helps both parties. And keep records of whom you give books to and don’t be afraid to follow up or ask for feedback, because it’s your duty to keep the lines of communication open.
Not all who you meet at a signing will reach back out to you, even if you tell a blogger or active reviewer to email you to get an e-copy of your book for review, it’s better that you keep their information and remind them that you spoke and would like to still offer your book for an honest review. Because honestly (speaking from experience), the signing is basically two to five hours of jam packed networking, and unless I have written it on a business card or made some sort of note on a bookmark, even I have forgotten to contact an author after leaving.
For the bloggers attending, not only do they get to meet potential new authors, but it is also an opportunity to reach out and get to know the people who can help promote your work. Most bloggers go into a signing (me personally) looking for the authors they know, and more so, looking for authors they may not have hear of before. I know I love getting to chat even for a few minutes and pass along my business card letting them know that I would be happy to promote sales or new releases. I also like them to know that I would love to grab an extra bookmark or maybe an item of swag to use as a giveaway. If they offer, it’s definitely worth the free push to their group of followers. Some authors even create blogger packs to give out that have a selection of duplicate, pre-signed bookmarks and such to give to a blogger who mentions that they would like extras to use in a giveaway. Just make sure you have something to leave the author that reminds them of your blog and tag them when you run a giveaway for them. Other authors may offer to supply an ebook for a giveaway, so make sure you’re keeping notes or a separate pocket in your bag for those reminders when you leave.
For the reader, it’s an incredible fan experience. You get to meet the person who took you on a journey and became immersed into their world. From romance to thrilling suspense, you will find the weavers of magic and be able to express your thanks for their work, and get them to sign your books or bags or e-reader covers. Just remember your favorite authors are people too, they want to be acknowledged and get to know you too. Sign up for their newsletters, make sure you’re leaving reviews, and don’t forget to talk to other readers around you.
You never know who you will connect with at a signing could be someone who has liked every post you made or is a fan of you too! And most of all have fun, connect with some friends and find some new books!
Attend a Book Signing!
The Florida Writers Association is hosting its first multi-genre book signing, the I HEART BOOKS event, on Sunday, May 1, following the full-day mini-conference on Saturday, April 30. It is held at the Hilton Orlando Altamonte Springs and it is free admission from 1 PM until 5 PM. Should you wish to grab VIP tickets ($50 for readers and that includes a delicious brunch with the authors and attending VIP readers), please do so by visiting: https://floridawriters.net/shop/vip-reader-book-signing-event/. All 50 author slots are filled, but any and all attendees are welcome! The bonus is that it’s still a networking opportunity no matter who you are!