Megan Mitcham · planning

Book Signing Lessons

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to participate in my first book signing. The books, Wild At Heart Volume I & II are anthologies benefitting Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refugee. The refuge, located six miles south of Eureka Springs, AR provides lifetime homes for nearly 140 abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats, as well as a few other exotic animals. My story, Fierce Wild, is included in Wild at Heart Volume II.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard horror stories about book signings. One in particular, where the author sat ALONE at a table with stacks of books for the allotted three hours, doodling on a sticky note and trying not to cry . So, I was apprehensive. This was my first published work. No body knows me (my writing), but my writer friends and family. No one wants to take a chance on an author they don’t know or haven’t been recommended to read by a friend. Plus, the idea anyone would want my scribbly name marring their beautiful book page was outlandish.

Luckily, I was among friends and the book benefits a noble cause. As many of the anthology authors as could make the drive to Little Rock, AR came together at a beautiful restaurant setting, Ocean’s at Arthur’s to sign. In addition, Turpentine Creek set up a display about the work they do at the refugee.

I’m happy to report the event was a success. We raised nearly $1,000 in book sales for Turpentine Creek and had a great time in the process. But there is a process to a book signing.


Tips for your own signings:

Begin planning at least three months ahead of time. Six months is preferred.

Send out press and media releases to all regional news paper, new broadcast, and radio stations, announcing your event.

Venue – Think money (free is best), ease of access to public (places who draw crowds on their own), book related locations (outside the box).

The pen you sign with is important! You don’t want to scar the page behind your name. Metallic Sharpies and the Uni-ball Vision, fine point work well!

Be certain you’ll have books to sign. Check print and ship dates and plan for them to arrive at least two weeks ahead of the signing (so you’re not hyperventilating).

Multi-Author signings draw a diverse group, more readers, and you’ll have someone to talk to should you end up thin in the crowd.

Smile and be yourself, unless you’re not friendly. Then, fake it! No one wants to buy a book from a meanie!

I’m sure I’ve missed some key tips, since this is my first rodeo. So, share your tips in the comments section or your successful venue picks. No horror stories please!

All the best,

7 thoughts on “Book Signing Lessons

  1. I don’t have any tips to add, but I totally agree about multi-author events. They can be so much fun, and it’s a great way to expose new readers to your work.

  2. I’m glad that the same event was my first as well. Although it does help to have readers (buyers) show up, I knew we’d have fun with all the authors there. I couldn’t ask for a better memory. I tweeted afterwards that everyone should have a multi-author event as his/her first!

  3. Great post, Megan! I had a blast at the Wild at Heart signing. The only other signings I’ve had were at conferences, which can be a bit disheartening if you aren’t a known author. Still, there’s nothing like signing a book that has your name on it! 🙂

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