Let’s face it, you might have planned well so far, but if you don’t get the word out expertly, no one will show up at your book signing. Let’s say you’re goal-setting to sell fifty books. Think about how many people you’ll have to tap to summon enough attendees to enjoy your book signing event.
Take it step by step and you’ll be surprised how thorough you’ll be.
1. Months ahead, find out from the vendor what publicity sources he/she uses. (Newsletter? Specials offers? Weekly reminders?) Tag onto those avenues, first off, timing publishing of the information to properly announce your book signing. WRITE OUT THE BOOK SIGNING BLAST YOURSELF, and give it to the vendor early. Don’t wait for the vendor to develop the information! Example: The Cypress Ridge Pro Shop and I put out a special discounted drink (at the bar) opportunity, and invited golfers to belly up to the bar to watch the Masters Golf Tournament during my book signing. (Note: I purposefully picked a high-volume time to hold my event)
2. Find out who, in town, might be interested in your novel. In the case of LIE CATCHERS, a novel set in Petersburg, Alaska, I had developed a friendship with the harbormaster in Petersburg. He read my book and told others it was a worthy story. This prompted an inquiry from a writer of an on-line newspaper. She interviewed me on the phone, wrote a neat article, and became a friend. Not only was my visit to Petersburg (and the signing) talked about in the newspaper, but a radio interviewer caught wind of the event, and talked to me on air the day before the signing.
2. At least a month ahead, send a SAVE THE DATE MESSAGE to all the local people you know!
3. About a month ahead, write a press release and send it to your local newspaper. They will release the information on their ‘calendar.’ A reporter may contact you for more information…even an interview…so make sure you clarify where you can be reached. Here’s my press release for BAD LIES…and the local San Luis Obispo Tribune published it before the day of my book signing.
PRESS RELEASE for the TRIBUNE:
LOCAL AUTHOR AND GOLFER RELEASES SUSPENSE NOVEL, BAD LIES
Rolynn Anderson, author and golfer at Cypress Ridge Golf Course since 2001, celebrates the release of her new suspense novel, BAD LIES. Sunday, April 9, drop in from 1-4:00 p.m. at Cypress Ridge Pro Shop, 780 Cypress Ridge Parkway, Arroyo Grande. Anderson will sell/sign books and run two raffles. Bar drinks $2 off. One setting of BAD LIES is local: Cypress ‘Crest’ Golf Course; another is a course in Rome, Italy; a third, the haunted caves on the Amalfi coast. A late-blooming pro golfer and her reluctant caddy, a NATO geologist, find danger on the golf course and in the caves of Italy. This is Anderson’s seventh published novel. See https://www.rolynnanderson.com
For the CYPRESS FB PAGE:
SAVE THE DATE! Rolynn Anderson, author & golfer at Cypress Ridge Golf Course since 2001, celebrates the release of her new suspense novel BAD LIES. Sunday, April 9, golf/drop in from 1-4:00 p.m. at Cypress Ridge Pro Shop, 780 Cypress Ridge Parkway, Arroyo Grande. Anderson will sell/sign books and run two raffles. Bar drinks $2 off.
One setting of BAD LIES is local: Cypress ‘Crest’ Golf Course (hint: you might recognize some of the characters); another setting is a course in Rome, Italy; a third, the haunted caves on the Amalfi coast.
Let’s give BAD LIES a proper coming-out party! A mini water-proof notebook to all who drop in. Two raffles: One raffle to win Anderson's new book; another raffle to be named a character in her next book!
BAD LIES: http://a.co/0DuYNPn
More on Rolynn Anderson: https://www.rolynnanderson.com
4. POSTERS! Make them in large numbers to give to friends, to paste them all over town. Since BAD LIES had golf as one of its subjects, I made sure my golfing friends who were members at various clubs in the area, received posters to pin on their bulletin boards.
5. MAKE A GIANT SIGN to tack up outside/inside the venue, and post it at least a week before the event.
6. ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO COME, even if they’ve read your book or only buy on Kindle/Nook. Cheaper drinks (as in the case of my golf pro shop signing), some free swag, a chance to win in a raffle, and above all, some social time together…THIS IS A PARTY NOT TO MISS!
7. A week before, use Facebook, Instagram and e-mail to alert locals to the upcoming event. On the day of the book signing, remind people to come. You’d be surprised how many folks need that last nudge to join you in the celebration.
Next up in August is Book Signing Folly #4: Not Sharing the Benefits