Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

Book Signing for Experts

Think of your book on the bookstore shelf trying to attract the attention of potential new owners. Crammed together with hundreds of other books, only the spine visible to the roving eyes of readers, your book needs a little help from its creator. So much effort has gone into publishing it; can you afford to abandon it just as it hits the bookstore shelves? Your book needs your help.

Why not orchestrate a publicity-generating event such as a book signing with a mini-seminar, discussion, or reading where you can autograph your book? You can make a book signing tour worth your effort. If you are a new or emerging author with a small publisher, resources for promoting your book are likely to be very limited. If you are a professional speaker and an author, you can raise your celebrity status by doing a book signing in cities where you speak.

A book signing in a bookstore places your book “center stage” for a while, away from the crowded shelf. The event establishes a “pull” system which means the bookstore and its patrons ask for your books rather than the author and publisher having to persuade the bookstore to stock them. The author arrives as a celebrity.

There are many other venues in addition to bookstores. Jon Hanson, author of Good Debt Bad Debt, spent a lot of time writing in a coffee shop bakery. So many customers stopped by his table to check on the book’s progress that the owner of the coffee shop asked Jon to do a signing when the book was published. Bagels and Books?

If your book is nonfiction, conversations with your audience will indicate that you are a source of expert information. You have done a lot of research in this area. You may become a key resource in their future exploration of the subject matter. People generally take pride in having met and discussed a book with its author. There is reflected glory which sets that person apart from other readers and gives them a connection to the source.

If you’re not doing book signings, you may be leaving money on the table, overlooking an avenue to increase profits. There are many ways to promote your book, but none is as “up close and personal” as a book signing event.

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