Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

Why Writers Don't Do a Book Signing

Whenever someone suggests you do a book signing and you do not want to, here are five reasons you can give them:

1) It’s not worth the time; there’s not enough money in it.

2) Speaking is where the money is.

3) You have more important things to do.

4) When you do a book-signing, maybe nobody will show up and
you’ll feel foolish sitting there all alone.

5) There are other ways to sell books.

Then,again, there are five good reasons why all authors
should do a book signing and a book-signing tour.

By conducting a book-signing you will:

1. Gain recognition. When you do a book signing in a
bookstore, you will be interacting with the people who sell
your books to the general public. It’s an opportunity to
develop a rapport with them, tell them about the book, and
convince them that you are an expert on the subject. Then
when someone asks for a book on your topic, they are likely
to recommend yours. Don’t settle for bookstores. Look for
places where readers of your book are likely to gather and
schedule an event there. That place might be a store, craft
shop, pro shop, spa, festival, or health care center. Do
some brainstorming with your staff and friends.

2. Gather input from readers. When you step into the
book-signing arena, you have an opportunity to interact with
readers. You are the center of attraction, since you are the
author/expert. By providing a mini-seminar or discussion,
you give a sneak preview of your book and your expertise.
Add a question and answer segment and you will learn what
interests the readers most. It may be the beginning of a

3. Have an event that is newsworthy and gather clippings for your
scrapbook and poster board. Book signings provide an event
that is newsworthy. This is especially valuable if you are
not yet a celebrity. Celebrities do book signings for
primarily the same reasons emerging authors do, an
opportunity to be noticed and quoted and appear in the
media. Gather comments of those who have already read
your book and can post them, with permission, until you
get print media coverage to add to your display. People
are very interested in knowing what other people think of
your work. Create a foam board for publicity. Place on it
reviews, readers’ comments, excerpts from your book, and
your photo. Stand the board on the autograph table on an
easel so that passersby can see it prior to your signing.

4. Conduct media interviews. The most successful book
signings have the most publicity. Since your schedule is
generally set up at least six weeks in advance, you have
time to approach radio talk show hosts and producers,
television stations, and newspapers to let them know that
you will be in their city. A well-thought out Media Release
is a must. It should contain information about the book, the
author, and the event.

5. Expand your contact list. Book signings are a great way
to expand your mailing list. Use a sheet of paper on the
autograph table with column headings like: Name, Email
address, Phone number. Usually, the less information you
request, the more names you will collect. You can get more
information as you develop a relationship with these
individuals. It is a good idea to provide something free,
such as a bookmark, with a quote from the book and your
contact information on it.

Add the adventure of book signing and book-signing tours to your marketing list to create memorable moments that far exceed routine marketing methods.

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