Book signings are a fantastic way to get the word out about your book, and generate sales. It’s not difficult to set up, but it does take some planning. So here are some easy steps to make the most of your next signing!
What’s in store.
Bookstores love author signings! Plus, they’re great for you because the store does a lot of the work. Contact Catholic or Christian bookstores in your area that are carrying the book, and offer to do a book signing at their store. You could sweeten the deal for the store by offering to do a short talk or read excerpts from your book. Give them about 30 days to promote the signing. They will order an appropriate quantity of books to have on hand for their expected traffic.
Dioceses and parishes are usually very open to authors promoting their great Catholic books. You can start with your local parish, or contact the diocese and see if there are local events you can plug into, such as Theology on Tap. Enlist the help of a friend or family member, or a parish volunteer to help sell the books while you sign them.
Order your books from Paula Blackstone at OSV — it’s best if you allow at least two weeks prior to the event so you’ll get the lowest shipping cost. She can ship them directly to you or the parish, just provide her with the contact information and address. You will be billed for the books at your author discount. You can sell the books for any amount you like (it’s usually good to set a price at an even dollar amount), and then keep the money over the amount of your invoice. Books that don’t sell at these events are yours to do with what you please. You can return them for OSV credit, but you can keep them and continue to sell them at other opportunities.
Speaking of which…
If you are a speaker and have been booked for a gig, you might want to consider having your books on hand to sign and sell. It’s always a winning combo. The best way to handle it is to discuss this possibility with the organizer — just ask if they can provide a table and a volunteer as part of your contract. Then you will just order books from Paula Blackstone as described above — allowing at least two weeks to fulfill the order. Provide a shipping address as well as a pick up address for books that don’t sell.
The volunteer will need to provide a “bank” to make change, a recommended amount is $50. Again, selling the book for an even dollar amount is often the best idea to make it easy to make change. The volunteer then gives you the cash and checks (credit cards are very tricky, we recommend you direct customers to Amazon if they need to use a credit card), and you take care of the invoice and keep the rest.
For any event or signing, you can contact me (Polly King) and I can help with table signs and posters, online web ads to promote the event, PDF files for stores or venues to print and post, and social media pushes to help increase exposure. For these items allow a month for design and delivery.
None of this is complicated at all, just takes a little planning. If you have more questions don’t hesitate to contact me! Happy signing — and selling!