How do I get book signings?
Please don’t laugh; my answer might shock you.
You have two options:
- You pick up the phone
- You drive to the book store
I know this sounds simplistic, but believe me, once you’ve tried, it’s quite easy.
- The secret is to be confident and come across as a pro.
Here’s how I do it. I start off with a small intro, and brag a little.
“Hello, my name is Sonia Marsh, and I’m a local author. I was interviewed on the front page of the OC Register, and my memoir was mentioned as a “hot read” in OC Metro. Who do I speak to regarding a book signing at your store?”
- I never tell them I’m indie-published, and they never ask.
Depending on the response, I either e-mail the person in charge, or set a date to drop off some books and sign the consignment form.
Whenever I have time, I stop at indie bookstores and introduce myself. I ask for the manager, and compliment them on their store and ask if they would like to keep some copies of my book on consignment. So far, I’ve had no problems leaving copies at various book stores in California, and booking events.
Barnes and Noble, stores are more difficult to get into, unless you started your own publishing company and can therefore offer them the 55% discount rate they “expect” and make the books returnable. This I did thanks to Linda Austin, and the advice she gave to our Facebook group (please join us) for all indie authors and writers at “Gutsy Indie Publishers.” She has put together several helpful documents on her site’s resources page.
- I believe the purpose of book signings is to meet people, and not just to sell.
At my last book signing at Chaucer’s, a beautiful book store off State Street in Santa Barbara, I only sold one copy, but I still considered it worthwhile.
Unfortunately, I picked the worst rainstorm night to do a signing, however, here’s why I consider it a success.
Two wonderful authors, and workshop leaders, Marla Miller, and Marcia Meier, whom I met several years ago at other conferences, showed up and we chatted and brainstormed about writing, publishing, promotion, events, contests, etc.
Chaucer’s Books has amazing staff, including Erik and Scott.
- It’s all about word-of-mouth, and I met 3 women who wanted to share my story with their friends, and took several bookmarks
- I met the co-founder of OneSpiritDancing.org, a man who purchased my book and shared the purpose of his organization with me which is:
“OneSpiritDancing connects women, children and teens in rural West Africa with their counterparts here in the United States. By focusing on movement, song, dance, communication and leadership skills.”
Since I lived in West Africa, and have a desire to help, this was such an unexpected chance meeting.
- You never know what new contacts may lead to in the future.
- Chaucer’s book events are advertised on a local Santa Barbara radio station for several days, and mention the author’s name and book.
- Chaucer’s event planner, advertises the event in local papers.
- I can always ask for another event when it’s sunny.
- I stopped at Apostrophe Books in Belmont Shores on the way to Santa Barbara to was asked to leave some books on consignment.
- My son is at UCSB, so I managed to have lunch with him.
- Chaucer’s sold some books before my event and kept 5 extra copies.
- I never get tired of meeting people, and sharing stories.
What about you? How do you get book signings? Have you tried?
Do you have a “My Gutsy Story®” you’d like to share?
NOW is the time to submit your “My Gutsy Story®” and get published in our Anthology. Please contact Sonia Marsh at: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.