I survived my first book signing on February 24th and it wasn’t at a bookstore. It was held at a union township civic center. I was asked to participate in an Author Day/Book Signing, which was sponsored by our library. Fifty people attended and many of them were at the workshop to learn about writing. All six authors spoke about the struggles and triumphs of writing, plus gave tips. I had pre-ordered thirty copies of my two recent releases, No Greater Loss and A Fiery Secret, and I sold ten books plus three copies of my book, The Christmas of 1957. Other authors and family told me that they thought I did great selling 13 books at my first signing.
But what if I had only sold a couple of books, would it have been worth it? Sure, it’s all about networking but book signings take you away from what you love doing – writing. Wait a minute, guess what happened at my book signing? A photographer was there for our local weekly paper, and he took pictures of each author while speaking. This paper has a large circulation throughout the county. Receiving this type of free publicity is a good thing, and I’m sure many people will see the newspaper article. If they don’t know about me or my books yet, they will when they see the write-up.
Although I thought I might sell all 30 new books, I’m not disappointed. I saw how much people appreciated me taking the time to meet them. I definitely made some friends and I had so much fun. I learned something important. A book signing isn’t all about me. Signings are for the readers and don’t go thinking if you don’t sell a car load of books, your time has been wasted. I like to think with each future signing I’ll do, I’m building a readership. It might be just one reader at a time but that’s okay.
I’m not going to limit myself to doing signings only at bookstores. Come on, authors have to be more creative than that and think outside the box. Since A Fiery Secret has some chapters in a coffeehouse, I will try to set up something with a local coffeehouse and, if possible, I’ll read excerpts before the signing. Angela Hoy suggested doing a book signing at a Christmas shop for my Christmas book. I’ll visit our mall holiday shop to see if I can do a signing. Offer to give speeches about ebook and traditional publishing, writing, or anything related to your book at a library, with a signing afterwards. Maybe holding one at a grocery store might be something different and add to your fan base.
And don’t forget to get snail and email addresses so you can notify your potential readers of new releases by mailing postcards or sending them a newsletter. I’m afraid I forgot to have a sign-in notebook but I’ll do it the next time. Just remember to relax. Whether it’s one reader or a room full of people to meet you, you’re a published author with a message and each signing will have a ripple effect on your future book sales.
Diane Craver enjoys her life with her husband and six children. Her books, No Greater Loss and A Fiery Secret are in print and ebook format. Never The Same is available now in ebook and will release in print in August. All three are published by Samhain Publishing. Diane’s book, How To Run A Profitable Preschool Without The Hassle, is available as an ebook. Other books (which are in print) include The Christmas of 1957 and Celebrating And Caring For Your Baby With Special Needs. To learn more about Diane and her writing, visit her website & blog at: http://www.dianecraver.com & http://www.dianecraver.com/blog