The Do’s and Don’ts of Book-Signing Events

May 2006
by Stephanie Chandler

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As an independent bookstore
owner, I have seen a wide range of outcomes when hosting book-signing events.
Some events that I expect to be a great success end up flopping, and some for
which I anticipate a mediocre turnout surprise me by doing quite well.

 

If I could offer you just one key
to success, it would be publicity. Without a mention in local media prior to
your event, you can rely only on luck. Heavy foot traffic can help, but even the
busiest store won’t ensure sales unless you’ve generated some publicity for
your presentation.

 

Case in point: We recently hosted
an event for an author shortly after the local newspaper ran a nice article
about him and his book. We had a fabulous turnout, and the author reported that
he sold more books at our little store than he did at the big chain store. The
difference? He had media coverage before he showed up at our store.

 

Here’s how to improve your success
rate at book-signing events.

 

Do . . .

 

·      . . . seek media coverage prior to
the event by contacting local editors, reporters, columnists, and radio show
producers. A story in the newspaper or on the radio can boost attendance
dramatically.

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