Speed bump Almería

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The book marketing journey continues. It may lead me along winding lanes, dark alleyways, sudden stretches of sunlit roads and then maybe  a speed bump or two. If that happens, I’ll simply slow down, then pick up speed and continue on my journey, the wind in my hair and a song in my heart. I’m saying all of that to say this: the book marketing journey can be unpredictable for an unknown author. It can be daunting to say the least, not a venture for the timid or the overly cautious. There are many avenues to explore, one of which is book signing events.

Since my book Women For All Seasons is a Christian non-fiction book, I had my first book signing in church last Sunday. In the space of ten minutes I’d sold ten books. One book a minute.  Now I don’t know if that is typical, but it was  encouraging. However, some factors were present. For one thing, this was my church, most of the people know me and trust me.  However, after those ten minutes, the sales ended. Why? Because people were leaving. They hadn’t come out to a book signing event. They came to church and many of them came with no extra money in their purses. So, there and then, I learned a few facts about book signing events and confirmed some that I’d already read.

Location

Many experts have written that the best location for a book signing event is not always a bookstore. Usually it’s a place with its focus on your niche market, In my case it was the church, since my niche is the Christian market. If you have written a craft book, why not have a book signing in a craft store or gift shop? A gardening book? In a gardening store. 

Start Local

Again, in my case, I started in an area where I’m known. Your response rate will be much higher if you start your book signing and other book marketing efforts in your hometown. People tend to support their own. When you have found a location, be sure to observe proper etiquette in carrying out your signing. Find out from the coordinator what their requirements are and make sure to follow them. It may help if you can attend an event there prior to yours to see how other authors carry out their book signings.

Help Drive Attendance

  The goal of your author event is to promote your book, boost sales and bookstore attendance. Do not seek leverage from the customers who are already in the store. With my book signing at the church that is what I did. The event was unanounnced and unadvertized, therefore members came to church unprepared. You don’t want that to happen at your event. Do not expect the store to do your marketing for you, but they will distribute your flyers or posters before the event. You can help by sending a press release to the news media in the area, announcing your event. If you have a website, be sure to include a short post on your proposed book signing. Utilize your social media to advertize your event.

Be Creative

What else can you do to get readers into the store and interest them into buying your book? In my case, the natural thing to do was to step up the altar and give a short presentation on what Women For All Seasons is all about and how it can benefit the reader.  I quieted the butterflies and did what had to be done. If you have written a cookbook or craft book, consider cooking up a quick recipe or demonstrating how to make one of your craft items. If yours is a novel, how about dressing up like your protagonist or some other important character? This can be very appealing in a historical novel or one set in an exotic locale.

Don’t Forget The Freebies

Bookmarks, buttons, fridge magnets with your book cover on them, even your laminated book cover, are all inexpensive giveaways that readers will appreciate and help them remember you even when they have finished reading your book. A nicely decorated basket of chocolates is always a drawing card.

Next week I’ll give you more tips from the experts and tell you where my next book signing is going to be. It’s not going to be in church, or in a bookstore.

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