No, I'm not having a book signing anytime soon. Maybe in a year (if we stretch it a bit...my book release is set for Fall of 2010). But a lot of my friends have been discussing the pros and cons of book signings, and it's got my mind gearing.
Here are some of my ideas for making a book signing a success:
1) Places to go.
This is the part that is the hardest. I could spend tons of money traveling the globe, but really, nobody knows me. Nobody's going to go out of their way to come to my book signing. I need to go places that are close by or that already have a steady flow of traffic. Off hand, close to my house, I can think of: two independent book stores, two big-chain bookstores, four Walmarts, ten grocery stores, and one Sam's Club. And that's just in a ten-mile radius.
Before you roll your eyes about going to Walmarts and grocery stores, let me tell you a story. One time in Utah, I was grocery shopping, and tucked in the back by the milk was John Canann and his then publicist, Narelle. John was talking to customers and selling products. He was so friendly, nice, and complimentary of me and my baby. I had never heard of the guy before. Really. But I bought--not one CD, or even two CDs--three CDs and tickets to his Christmas concert. Call me a sucker. But I met him in person and wanted to support him. I don't think I'm the only one who would react that way!
Now that I've got my local places to go, I just have to schedule. I could knock these places out in a month. And then I can start seeing about traveling just a few minutes over to the next town. Or taking it even bigger and going to another state. This could be my chance to visit my sister in Massachusetts! Or my college roommate in Washington!
It'll be great to be in places that have a pretty constant flow of people. But it won't hurt to bring more people to me! I'll get my website up and running and my business cards made. I also plan on having special bookmarks made (more like a brochure) that have the first chapter on them. It'll be up on my website, but some people might be too "busy" to check it out. I'll make it easy for them. I'll also list the dates and places for my book signings in this brochure (bookmark).
Obviously by including the first chapter, I'm hoping readers will be so smitten that they'll come flocking to meet the brilliant, local author. Right? I'll leave copies of these brochures with all of my scheduled book-signees so they can begin including them in grocery bags and books. I mean, they want the book signing to be a success, too!
You can bet I'll be contacting everyone I know, everyone I've ever heard of. It's time now to expand my friend list on Facebook and Twitter. I expect all of my old high school friends and everyone from church to show up. My mom I'll probably bribe to hang out at the bookstore for the duration of the signing and act like an interested customer. Then again, that might not work. She looks too much like me.
At the book signing, I'll probably have some cheap trinket that I give away with every sale. Like, a key chain that lights up or something cool. I'll also have cookies to attract attention. Everyone will take a cookie and a brochure, even if they don't buy the book. And that's getting my name out there! I'll also probably have a drawing for something. Maybe a free autographed copy, but probably not. Because then no one will buy the book. They'll be so busy hoping to get a free one. I know! I could do a $10 gift certificate to the bookstore I'm doing the signing at! Can't lose that way. (But I would probably only do that if I sold a certain number of books, unless the bookstore donated the certificate.)
I got this from another blog: have a list where people can sign up for my email updates! That way, everyone who buys my signed first book gets to find out when my second book comes out! By this time they will be rabid fans and bring hoards of family and friends to my book signings!
As you can see, I've spent all morning thinking about this. I'm quite excited about it. Too bad it's so far away!
today's goal: 38,410
tomorrow's goal: 40,573