I don't know about you, but I'm always discovering new ways to do book signings that haven't even entered my head before; others I have heard about before and am always happy to hear about again.
We authors need to stick together, and it's always good to hear from authors about what has worked for them. Because, quite frankly, what works for them may just work for me.
Here is a list in no particular order of successful book signings I have had. (Notice that not one of these signings was held in a book store).
1. Beauty Salon
2. Craft Show/Boutique
4. Writer's Conference
5. Book Club
6. Hallmark Store
8. Boutique Store*
First off, allow me to focus on the starred items above. Sometimes, you will plan a book signing, and the success you have will not consist of multiple book sales but an opportunity to learn something you wouldn't have learned otherwise.
In the case of the hospital example I gathered multiple authors for this signing. What worked was that I got to know better those authors I had invited; I got to connect with them. None of us made many sales because of our location within the hospital. We were inside a room, rather than down a hall. Although signs were posted in elevators to make people aware of the signing, most of those we gathered in to the signing were employees of the hospital. If I could do it over, I would ask to be down a hall, perhaps right in front of the gift shop.
The boutique store seemed like a good idea. The boutique was new and so the price was low to have a booth there. What didn't work: Because the boutique was new and very little advertising had been done for it, there wasn't enough traffic to make my December showing a financial success. I did learn once again that LOCATION is key to a successful moneymaker.
But so is ADVERTISING. Advertising doesn't have to cost a lot, but it does have to be thought out and worked on every day.
Successful signings need not only a great location and some good advertising, they also need to be CREATIVELY handled. By that I mean, you, as an author, need to do more than merely sit behind your table waiting for people to look interested in your books. For ideas on how to have fun at a book signing, click here.
Ideas 1-6 incorporate the creativity handle along with location and advertising. For book signings 2 and 3, I sent out postcard invitations; part of advertising. For the book club, readers purchased my book and read it before the presentation. For the beauty salon, I waited patiently as primarily women came in and waited their turn for a hair cut. Writers conferences are great places to sell your books, especially if you speak at the same conference, and the Hallmark store on a Saturday always brings in shoppers.
Keeping up with new book signing trends means getting online A LOT and checking out what other authors are doing. It's being willing to try something new, something that makes you nervous, something that (at first glance) seems off the beaten track.
It means more than sitting behind a table at your nearest Barnes & Noble.