Attending book signings and reader’s events can be fun for both authors and the readers. The room is filled with people and while selling books is wonderful, it’s an opportunity to meet readers face-to-face, make connections and make a positive impression.
I like to visit tables of the other authors. I always come back sparked with a new idea for my table or display. I also come away with ideas on how to better manage my materials, collect email addresses for my newsletter, and carry everything in and out of the hotel or conference center.
With fifty, sixty, seventy or more authors at an event, how can an author stand out in the crowd, draw readers to her (or his) table. Bookmarks, postcards and chocolate all branded with your book title or name is a start, but I getting ahead of myself.
Things to Help with Set Up
Something With Wheels is a must. It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ is needed for a signing that has to be hauled from the car, to the hotel, to the signing floor. Some people use cardboard boxes or plastic tubs for their books, easels, book stands and swag. For small conferences and book signings I use a suitcase. For larger events I use the suitcase and a luggage trolley. I’m toying with buying a collapsible wagon this year.
Card Readers, to take credit and debit cards have become essential. I use Square. It plugs into my phone or my iPad and I can easily swipe cards. You can upgrade to a chip reader but for me, the swipe is fine and the card reader is free.
A Stylus with a rounded tip is good to have for signing on your tablet of phone. It’s easier than using your finger.
iPad or Android Tablet is great to use to sign up newsletter subscribers. The subscriber types in their email address and you sync it up to your newsletter service after the event. No more holding on to paper sheets forever or inputting subscribers one by one manually, or having to show proof of consent. I use SignUpAnywhere, a free service. Mailchimp also has a free subscriber app called Mailchimp Subscribe. This works only for Mailchimp users. Both do not need WiFi to work. You can collect subscribers offline, and connect to WiFi later.
Things To Bring
Business cards are a must. I bring them with a card holder for my table. One of things I love about these events is meeting other authors. I give them my business card so we can keep in touch. Networking is the name of the game.
Table cloths adds a dramatic, polished look to your table. Sometimes I bring a second one to drape over boxes turned upside down to add height to my display.
Signage for your brand. I brand to my name, Ruth A. Casie. I have a banner that overlays the tablecloth with my name and my tag line. I also use frames with review quotes.
Tape and scissors. It’s amazing how often these items come in handy.
Bookmarks and Post Cards are wonderful and easy to hand out. They are small and you can give them to everyone. I’ve designed them so I can autograph them. I usually don’t sit behind the table at a signing. I stand in front and try to start a conversation with people. A tactic I noticed at the last book signing I went to was the author signed a bookmark and gave it to the person she was speaking to even though they didn’t buy a book. Later I noticed the person return and bought the book. I plan to try that at my next signing.
Swag is a small gift that can be almost anything. Pens and pencils are popular. Kitchen potholders, bottle openers, mugs, aprons, fans (battery and hand operated), post its, jeweled bookmarks, necklaces, folded pages book art, chapter books, coloring books. The list goes on and on. I’ve even seen rhinestone tiaras (I have one!) The objective is to be eye catching a d memorable. The gift should relate to your brand and your books.
Free Books are always well received. For ebooks I create a business card with the book cover with a short review on one side and the book’s tagline and unique BookFunnel code on the other. I hand these out to anyone who passes my table and tell them the BookFunnel code will take them to the download page. BookFunnel allows you to create a unique one time use code so readers can download ebooks for free. This allows you to sell ebooks at book signing events. You can also use ebooks as a free bonus for people who buy the print edition.
Chocolate always catches a passerby’s attention. I fill up a small dish and try not to eat them all myself.
My favorite pen is essential.
Things to Do After the Event
Thank the Organizer whether it’s an organization, a store, or an individual.
Review the Business Cards You Collected. When I get a business card, I usually write some directions on it so I know what I need to do. Sometimes I take a selfie with the person so I have a visual reminder as well. A quick note to those you met is a great way to stay connected.
Make a List of what worked and what didn’t work. Unless your next event is the following week you will not remember what happened. Take a few minutes to note things down.
Rest up… for the next signing!
Book signings and events are a great way to promote your book. Use the time to network and make friends. Keep an open mind and see what works for others and why. But most of all enjoy the event.
The Pirate’s Jewel
Deception and family honor are at stake – so is her heart.
Wesley Reynolds will do anything to avenge his family’s banishment from Dundhragon Castle even throw in with the notorious pirate, MacAlpin. His plan, ruin Lord Ewan’s trading network. He has a more devious plan for his father’s ‘best friend,’ the man who abandoned them at the eleventh hour. He’ll ruin the man’s most precious jewel, his daughter Darla. Wesley’s so close to ruining the trade network and succeeding he can almost taste it, but revenge is not nearly as sweet as Darla’s kisses.
Darla Maxwell, beloved by her parents has no prospects of marriage. Her father and Lord Ewan search to find her the right husband. Darla’s special gifts are frightening to many. She has visions that often come true. The murky image of a man haunts her, she’s sure it’s Lord Ewan’s soon-to-be son-in-law, but the vision morphs when she meets Wesley. The meaning couldn’t be any clearer to her, her destiny lies with Wesley.
When revelations surface indicating Wesley has been deceived and his revenge misplaced. Will he find the truth of what really happened to his family in time to stop the pirates? Will Darla ever forgive him? Will he ever forgive himself?
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RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. For more information, please visit RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.
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