Book Signing Tips
Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!
By Larry James

Below is a partial collection of book signing tips compiled by Larry James. Larry is a professional speaker and author of four books. Check out his website for the complete list and other information useful to authors:

Do write your own announcement for the book stores intercom. Make it short and brief. Give several versions as they usually announce you are there several times.

Walk around the store with several books in your hand. If those you introduce yourself to show the least bit interest, hand them a book.

Have an attractive book mark (or post card) designed by a graphic artist and print thousands of them. You can give one to everyone who comes into the store you meet.

Get to know the "Community Relations" person at the chain bookstores. They are the ones who will book you again if they like you.

Remember to call two months in advance if you want to be included in their in-store flyer.

Go to Kinko's and have your book cover enlarged in color to a 11x17 poster. Laminate them and have them put on a poster type board with a stand up thing on back. Always bring them to you signings! This is a great way to call attention to your table.

Ask for a local media list (radio, TV). If they don't have one, ask which stations they would recommend that might be interested in an interview.

Call the radio and TV stations no less than one month in advance and request an interview the week of the signing. Although most bookstores send news releases, send you own as well. This increases the chances of getting coverage.

Call the local newspaper and request that someone coma and take pictures for a "feature article" about you and your book's message.

Talk to people. Many people think because you wrote a book, you are untouchable. Prove them wrong. Be exceedingly friendly. Book signings are no place to be shy.

Bring a camera and have your picture taken with the manager and other key people in the store. if you want to call attention to yourself, pay attention to other people. These photos can be used for future publicity. With a Polaroid camera handy, when someone buys your book-say, "Let's have our picture taken together!" Give the customer the copy with an autograph on the backside.

Especially in your home town, take a sign-up sheet for those who may be interested in being on your mailing list.

Talk to the community relations person and request a brief meeting with the employees prior to the signing to VERY QUICKLY give an overview of your book so they can be aware and help sell it when customers ask for that kind of book.

Don't complain or show disappointment if you don't sell many books. According to book store managers, on average, book sales for non-celebrity authors will range from 4 to 7 books. If you sell more, you are doing great.

Send the person who booked you a thank you note. I'm told authors seldom do this.

Come bearing gifts! Give the community relations person (or person who booked you) a rose or tiny box of candy. They will not forget you!

If you are coming from out of town, always call to let them know you have arrived.

Arrive no less than 15 to 20 minutes early.

Ask the manager how many books they would like for you to sign before you leave so they will have autographed copies on hand.

Most Important...Have fun! Let people know you are there to have fun, even if you don't sell many books.


Copyright © MCMXCVIII Larry James. Larry can be reached by email at:



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