I respect your privacy and will not rent, share or sell your personal information.

5 Ways to Make a Splash and More Cash at Your Next Book Signing

 

How did you do at your last book signing?

If you’re like many authors, you sold three or fewer books.

If you expect to do better than this grim statistic, you’ve got to gear up before your next book signing.

No one can guarantee what your results will be, but here are five ways to increase your chances of making a splash and more cash.

1. Promote your book signing with a blast, not a whisper

It’s great to get booked to do a book signing at a bookstore or other venue. It’s likely they will promote your book signing on their websites, newsletters or signs, but plan to your own promotion as well.   Many authors are introverts, but this is no time to be shy.

  • Send out your own press releases to local newspapers, preferably directing them to the reporter who handles such events.
  • Send out announcements to your friends, family, email list, your clubs and church, as well as social media fans inviting them to attend your event.
  • Create a blog post or article about your upcoming event.
  • Create flyers and post them at coffee shops and restaurants that allow announcements on their community boards.
  • Create short videos on your homepage, pin to the top of your Twitter feed, or create Facebook Live, Instagram and LinkedIn videos.

2. Make it a festive event

You may not have control over where your table or booth will be located at the venue, so make it as eye-catching as possible. If you are one of many authors at a fair or festival, you want attendees to spot your display as soon as they walk through the door. It’s tough to sell books to people who never stop by your table.

Here are a few ways to make your display festive.

  • Set up a cluster or two of helium balloons that color-coordinate with your book cover.
  • Display your books in a three tier unit rather than lay them flat on the table.
  • Put out a dish of wrapped mints or chocolates for people that pass by.
  • Invest in a tabletop or retractable floor banner.
  • Display relevant posters or items. If your book is about the best places to visit in Paris, be sure to display Paris-themed items/posters.
  • One author of children’s books had life-size figures created in the likeness of her main characters.

3. Use your talents or relevant tools to engage visitors.

  • Set up a short video or book trailer on your computer and let it run throughout the event.
  • Be prepared to pitch your book to people who stop by and ask “What is your book about?” It may be clear to me that my book Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve, offers tips and advice on creating a happy life, it is not that clear to everyone. Some people see the word”color” and think it’s an art book. Even though there’s a description on the back of the book, many can’t absorb it in a few seconds. Most of all, people want to know how can this book help me? Be ready to answer that.
  • If possible, take someone with you who can mingle with the crowd and direct them to your table to get a freebie you’re offering or chance to win something.
  • Do you have a special talent such as playing an instrument, making balloon animals, doing magic tricks, juggling? If so, delight visitors to your table a quick demo. Be sure it ties into your book theme, of course.
  • Wear a t-shirt with your book title or get one that encourages people to ask about your book.

4. Make it your goal to connect, not sell

  • Warmly greet each person who slows down at your table. Yes, you hope they’ll buy your book, but if they don’t buy at the event, you want them to remember you and possibly buy your book later.
  • I like to stand in front of the table, hand the visitor a copy of my book and ask them to open to any page and read the first thing their eyes land on. Then I ask them to tell me if what they read was relevant to their lives. I want to emphasize that while my book can be read from beginning to end, it also has nuggets of wisdom and encouragement no matter what page you open.
  • Be prepared to pitch your book to those who ask, “What is your book about?”
  • Ask visitors to sign up to be added to your email list if they want updates on your work.
  • Take photos with attendees and post on your website and social media after the event.

5. Give away something memorable

  • Make your giveaways standouts, not just handouts. A regular bookmark is ok, but one with tips related to your topic is better. The visitor may refer to your bookmark later and share it with friends.
  • Give away a consumable with your contact information on the wrapper. One of my favorite handouts is a customized cover wrapped around a packet of microwaveable popcorn. I give one to every person who stops by my table and inquires about my book, whether they buy a book or not.  The wrapper has my contact information and of course the URL to the book. You can customize a chocolate bar or other item in the same way. You will get loads of ideas from Pinterest and Etsy.
  • I put each purchased book in a gift bag or book bag personalized with my book title.
  • People hesitate to throw away bags they believe they can use again.
  • If the event holds a raffle, enter not just your book, but a gift basket or bag with your book as the centerpiece. Attach your business card as the gift tag. The lady who won my gift basket on the right sent me a heartwarming thank you note, citing every gift item that was enclosed.  Do think she’ll remember me?

When you use these tips at your next book signing, you can expect to rake in more cash, and definitely make a splash.

Tell us in Speak Your Mind below what how things went at your last book signing event?

Click here to get more great book marketing tips

How to Sell Your Book Before It’s Published

Click on the presentation. Expand to full screen if you wish. Advance each slide at the bottom of the frame.

9 Ways to Avoid Lame Book Titles

canstockphoto0028533An ad from my local hardware store featured a party cooler for sale. The cooler was pictured filled with ice and canned soda. Printed in parentheses was “Sodas and ice not included.”

Most of us would realize that the ice and soda were intended as a suggested use. This disclaimer was necessary, however, for those dodo heads who would insist that the picture misled them to believe the ice and soda were included.

Just as clearly stating what is being offered is critical in advertising, so is it important in your book title.

Your book title is a billboard, a promise, an agreement to deliver certain content.

A book cover may draw the reader’s attention, but it’s the title that gets him to venture inside.

If you’re eager to avoid lame book titles, here are some tips that have worked for others.

1. Create one sentence that boldly sums up the contents or main point of your book.

Within that sentence are the keywords that should be in your title or it may be your full title.

When Robert Kiyosaki first came out with his book If You Want To Be Rich and Happy, Don’t Go To School, a publisher suggested he change his title to The Economics of Education. I’m glad he didn’t listen.

2. While titles cannot be copyrighted, steer clear of emulating popular titles.

Chicken Soup for the Soul and Fifty Shades of Grey and an alphabet mystery series, starting with A is for Alibi,  have already been done.

 

3. Settle on a working title while you’re writing your book if you’re stuck for a title.

The perfect title may not be apparent at the start. By the time you finish your book, however, the right title will likely emerge.

4. Reflect the tone of your message in the title.

If you’re writing a how-to book, you don’t want your title to mislead your readers into thinking it’s a sizzling  romantic novel.
It may result in sales, but readers will be disappointed and unfulfilled.

5. Notice the nickname or short name you’ve given your book while you’re writing it.

One of the actors from the sitcom, That 70′s Show, revealed that this was not the original title, but was the nickname the cast
gave it during rehearsals. By the time it was ready for launch, the producers decided that the nickname was the right name for the show.

6. Listen to how you respond to questions about your book when you are speaking to groups or your accountability partner.

In an effort to explain the differences in men and women during one of his live presentations, John Gray came up with “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”.
He knew he had found the right title for his book on relationships.

7. Go for a simple and clear title rather than fail at being clever.

  • The “how to” title is still the most popular because it appeals to our never-ending quest for doing things, taking action and making improvements.
  • “Murder at the  [location]” will still grab mystery lovers.
  • The [odd number] Ways to [do or accomplish something that we want] is irresistible with its promise of actionable steps.

8. Give your book a subtitle, if necessary for clarity.

One book that could have benefitted from a subtitle is “How to Avoid Huge Ships” by John W. Trimmer.

When Captain Trimmer got tired of running into small boats, he wrote this serious book directed at small boat owners/operators to help them avoid getting into the pathways of big boats which can not always see much less miss hitting them. Unfortunately, many of the 186 Amazon “reviewers” had a lot of fun with this book title.  With the price tag of $75, many of the reviewers may not have actually bought the book, but they couldn’t resist taking aim at that title.

Here are some of the reviews of Trimmer’s book that made me laugh out loud.

  • Read this book before going on vacation and I couldn’t find my cruise liner in the port. Vacation ruined.
  • Huge ships have been the bane of my life, so I was very excited when I bought this book. However, Captain Trimmer does not provide the helpful and insightful advice that I had hoped for and I did not feel that this book had any noticeable effect. If anything, I now encounter more huge ships than ever! Would not recommend.
  • After reading this book, I relized[sic] exactly what I was doing wrong everytime I was run over by bardges[sic] on the mighty Mississippi. I always played dead and hoped the boats would go away, like I was taught by a book I read, “How To Survive Bear Attacks.” I guess I thought the lessons taught by that book applied to everything life, but it clearly meant just bears. Now I am surviving the waterways better than a BP oil rig.
  • I give this book five stars because it is by far the best treatise to date regarding the avoidance of huge ships. BUT C’MON, PEOPLE! Did you learn nothing in the sixties? Avoiding huge ships won’t solve the problem. Separate but equal waterways only drives us further apart. It is the lack of understanding between the huge and non-huge vessel communities that lead to well-intentioned but misguided tomes such as this. We must begin a dialogue with our huge brethren. Remember–we are all floating on the same ocean. I have a dream… that one day ALL vessels will be judged not by their tonnage, but by the content of their cargo. Next time a huge vessel approaches, just ask yourself “WWPD?” (What would Popeye do?)
  • As the father of two teenagers, I found this book invaluable. I’m sure other parents here can empathize when I say I shudder at the thought of the increasing influence and presence of huge ships in the lives my children. I certainly remember the strain I caused so long ago for my own parents when I began experimenting with huge ships. The long inter-continental voyages that kept my mom and dad up all night with worry. Don’t even get me started on the international protocols when transporting perishable cargo. To think, I was even younger than my kids are now! huge ships are everywhere and it doesn’t help that the tv and movies make huge ships seem glamorous and cool. This book helped me really approach the subject of huge ships with my kids in an honest, open and non judgmental way. Because of the insights this book provided, I can sleep a little better and cope with the reality that I can’t always be there to protect my kids from huge ships, especially as they become adults. I’m confident that my teens, when confronted by a huge ship, are much better prepared to make wiser decisions than I did. At the very least my children certainly know that they can always come to me if they have any concerns, questions or just need my support when it comes to the topic of huge ships.

9. Be outrageous with a risky, even risque title

Forget about being modest or politically correct when you want to grab your reader by the collar.

Shit My Dad Says, by Justin Halpern–a coming-of-age memoir wrapped about his father’s profane, profound and funny sayings

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn–a moving memoir about the troublesome relationship between Nick and his father

Assholes Finish First by Tucker Max–a funny book about Tucker’s misadventures. Some criticized it for being too vulgar, but one fan
said what we all want to hear from a reader, “There I was at B&N, doing last minute shopping, and the title sucked me in.”

Writing compelling titles for your book is just one part of your job as an author. Most first-timers have trouble with just getting started on the contents.

Question I’ve invented to plug my e-course, Rockin’ My Book.

Is there any way to publish a book without writing one?

Not to my knowledge.

You could hire a ghostwriter, outsource it to an hourly worker in the Phillipines, or dictate your thoughts into a recorder, but someone has to create the content.

If your dream of writing a book has been stalled by fear or uncertainty then Rockin’ My Book  is for you. I’ve made it easy for you to get started by creating it as 4-week e-course. Once you sign up you receive one email lesson per week with encouragement, steps to take, examples, suggested activities, and an opportunity to get feedback from me if you wish.  I’m eager to be let you know your options and answer the many questions all writers have. Work on your own time and at your own pace in the comfort of your home or office.

Did I mention it’s very affordable?

Some treat Rockin’ My Book as a way to to test their readiness by gently sticking one toe in the publishing waters . Others use Rockin’ My Book to finally get the push to get started on their long-neglected dream.

Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Rockin’ My Book helps you begin to relieve that agony. Wherever you are with your writing goals, get the momentum you need to move forward now.

Get the details on this special page I’ve prepared for you at Rockin’ My Book.

Phrases We Borrowed from Shakespeare That May Surprise You

Even if you’re not a Shakespeare fan, I bet you’ve used Shakespearean phrases that have slipped into our language. Check out this infographic from GrammarNet, then tell us in the comments if I’m right.


[Infographic provided by Grammar.net]

The Surprising Truth Every Published Writer Must Face

Kindle version puts 2nd edition in your hands fast

Kindle version puts the 2nd edition in your hands fast

Writing is a passion, but publishing is a business.

This catches many aspiring authors by surprise.

When they discover that writing their manuscript was just the start, many authors resist doing the marketing required and others resent it so much that they neglect it entirely. Disappointing book sales result.

Like it or not, writing is a home based business where you must face the same challenges as every other entrepreneur: managing time, avoiding isolation, resisting distractions as well as organizing and balancing work with family and personal life.

In the 2nd Edition of How to Run a Successful Home Based Business, I share useful tips and advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Writers who recognize that part of their success depends on being entrepreneurs will benefit from many of the tips, especially on networking, building a list, and creating a social media marketing plan. This edition has 30% new content.

The Kindle version, available for only $2.99, poses key questions and offers answers to many of your business challenges. You don’t need to own a Kindle to read it either. Amazon makes the Kindle app free to you here. Get your copy now at http://amzn.to/101IoFg , then remember to leave a review when you finish the book.