You’re a new author, so, naturally you’d like a book signing or launch, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Take a look at our helpful tips in how book signings are arranged and what to do at one!
Your publisher should be contacting bookstores and the media for you, but emails and letters never compare to walking in your local stores and asking the manager in person. The next time you are in town, take a few minutes to go into these bookshops, introduce yourself and ask if they have any availabilities for a local author event. If you’re very shy, you can also help by emailing the chains or calling them. Two hands are always better than one!
Next, a bookshop has kindly accepted your publishers/your request to host a book signing, but now what?
Let us know!
Firstly, if it was you that set up the signing, it may seem obvious, but tell your publisher! They will contact them for more details, such as: are you getting the books direct from the publisher or through a wholesaler, do they require posters, leaflets and so on.
Who is going?
Bookshops are open to the public, but you can’t rely on that. Ask yourself, would you attend a book signing for a, so far, unknown author? The first signing needs an extra push, inviting friends and family is a great start.
Let’s spread the word!
When the signing is booked in, let the world know too! Your publishers and yourself can now contact radio, newspapers and magazines letting them know about the signing. You can do so by email or by calling them.
Red or white?
Refreshments are usually expected. Sometimes the shop supplies them, but it’s usually better if the publisher/author does so. Make sure you know who is supplying what by asking the shop or your publisher. A few bottles of wine, a soft drink and some nibbles are usually best.
Plan what to say.
A lot of it is talking and having a catch up, but you may want to read a segment of the book or sit and sign some copies, take some time to do this. If you have a speech, make sure it’s written down so you can speak with confidence.
Take as many photos and videos as you can! Your publisher will be able to share these on their social media, or even make a video compilation or an independent video with footage and pictures, the higher quality the better and always shoot in landscape not portrait if you’re on your phone.
Again, we assume this would happen, but the bookstore is doing you a favour by having you, make sure to be thankful to them! You may even be asked back if they enjoy the experience.
There is no formula to create a perfect book signing, but the three key points are Communication, Books and Planning. Make sure you tell your publisher and invite people, ask your publisher or the shop about where they want to get books and know what you’re going to say.
Most authors find signings very enjoyable, it’s normally a positive and relaxed experience, so just keep calm, take it easy and enjoy yourself!