Book Signings

How does an author set up a book signing?

Generally, the author doesn't set up the signing, the publisher does. As an author, you tell your publisher which stores you're willing to travel to and if you're traveling, the areas you're willing to stop to do signings in. Then the publisher contacts the bookstores and tries to set something up. Some stores love author signings, others refuse to do them.

If, however, you have a relationship with a particular bookstore—know the manager, employees, or buy enough books that they know who you are and greet you by name when you walk in the door—then just ask them if they'd be willing to do a signing and what they need from the publisher (usually free returns, posters, etc.) and from you (varies). Then let your publisher call them and work out the details.

And before anyone says, "I'm willing to do whatever it takes, but my publisher just won't work with me on the book signings," read this and this and this.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget the hershey kisses and gummy bears.

Or you could stay home and write your next novel, which will probably earn you a lot more money than the book signing.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it. Authors do book signings because readers, who are the most likely customers found in a book store, tell them they are loved or at least their writing is, which is really an off-topic discussion about the psychosis of being an author. *Note from my militant psychiatrist: if you must speak to another human, call them from your writing room.

Authors sometimes agree to do signings because they hate to write. They don't always hate it, but when the character is out of character or there's no window in your musty basement writing room where point of view has all the form and texture of cinder block, a book signing is nice cover for losing your muse.

Book signing is not novel writing. It is an excuse to escape the solitary confines of the computer and mingle with real people in the real world who love you all the while believing your writing work is getting done. Funny. I've never known of a difficult-to-write scene getting finished over Lion House Pantry rolls and a cup of postum.

A book signing is a guilt-free obsession you can put on your planner under the heading business meeting. Sort of like an executive attending a conference in Hawaii except the author pays the gas and the vacation-like bookstore retreat happens to be in Payson.

You can do book signings if you must, but you may be better served to bake your own pantry rolls and eat them in the confines of your dungeon, chained to your computer until you write that unwritable scene.

Then call 911. They do nervous breakdowns.

Seagulljaap said...

Book signings for the most part are a good idea. You may not sell any books while at the signing, most in the LDS market are lucky if they sell two or three in a signing. The most important thing to realize is who will be selling your books after you leave. If I am impressed with an author and learn more about them, I am definitely more inclined to recommend them to someone.