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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?

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Self-Published Authors: Technology Tips and Tools to Increase Your Visibility

Image from canstockphotoSelf-published authors,  have you uttered this sad tale: I have a garage full of books. How do I sell them?

If so, you made the mistake similar to planning a party, but forgetting to send out the invitations.

Potential readers must know you exist before they can buy your book.

Too many authors groan that they didn’t sign on to be salesmen, but without making yourself and your book visible, you stand almost no chance of selling any books.

Help is on the way.

Here are 6 articles and one free webinar to help you come out of hiding so you can enjoy the book sales you deserve.

Free Webinar on March 12, 2015:  Joan Stewart with Ben De Reinzo
Start Selling Books and Building an Audience in Minutes with Book Sales Pages
Register here.

This is for authors who are launching a book but don’t have the time, money or patience to build a website. It’s also for anyone who can’t rely on Amazon alone to sell their books.

On Thursday, March 12, Joan Stewart is hosting a free webinar with Ben De Reinzo from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. He’ll introduce you to a powerful new technology that gives authors more control over the sale of their books, even if they can’t afford a webmaster and have zero techie skills.

Drew Hendricks on Website Magazine
4 Critical Steps to Make Your Website Responsive

As of last year, more people are using their smart devices to browse the Web instead of computers. Due to the change in information medium, it’s important for businesses to create a responsive website that meets the needs of its consumers through a page that can be displayed fully and comfortably no matter what screen size is accessing it. By making your website responsive, you make your business’s information more convenient and therefore more accessible to anyone searching for it.

Mal Darwen on Wordtracker
An Introduction to Long Tail Keywords

The long tail of keyword research is fundamental to your online success. That’s really important, so I’ll say it again. The long tail of keyword research is fundamental to your online success.

I’ll tell you how to work with long tail keywords on your site to benefit your customers, improve conversions, and boost your visibility in search results.

Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land
Google Search Algorithm Adds Mobile-Friendly Factors & App Indexing To Ranking

Google announced it is making two significant changes to its search algorithm for ranking the mobile search results.

Google will be using mobile-friendly factors in its mobile search results starting on April 21, 2015, and it will rank mobile apps participating in App Indexing for signed-in users better in the mobile search results starting today.

Caitlin Muir on Author Media
Why You Need a Hashtag for Your Next Book

Twitter isn’t going anywhere. The sad thing is, most authors are ignoring it.

They can’t afford to.

Janice Clark on BizmSolutions
11 Tools for Those Suffering Social Media Overwhelm

For a busy entrepreneur, the days can often fly by, with a workload so overwhelming that it seems impossible to get it all done.  Manage clients, market the business, stay on top of the latest trends and don’t forget to be authentic, creative and take some time to chat up your target audience on at least three different social platforms!  Whew! Sound familiar?
. . .
Here are eleven tools you can use to help you pull it all together and get more done in less time.

Aubre Andrus on Mashable
10 Quick and Easy Marketing Tools for Authors

Regardless of whether you’re self-published or have a Big 5 publisher behind your book, all authors are doing the same thing: promoting themselves and their book. While marketing takes away time from what we authors do best — writing — it’s a necessary evil.

 

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Article by Flora Brown

Flora Brown is an author, blogger, speaker, and book coach. She’s the creator of “Rockin’ Your Book” an eCourse delivered to your emailbox.

If you like this post, you can keep up with the latest information from Color Your Life Published by subscribing to updates at the top of this site. When you do, you’ll be able to download a free copy of the eBook, “It’s Time to Write Your Book.”
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Did You Cash in on 50 Shades of Pay?

Tie-in to 50 Shades of Grey brings 50 shades of pay

Photo by Flora Brown who thankfully has no aspirations for a career in photography

In the summer of 2012 I met a friend for lunch. As an avid reader, she always carries a book with her. This time I couldn’t help but notice her copy of 50 Fifty Shades of Grey on the table, covered by a yellow flower in her attempt to camouflage it. She should have used a larger flower. (I can sometimes get a sharper focus, but I had to be quick. I was sneaking this shot.)

This mixed reaction is typical from readers who are hiding or denying their attraction to 50 Fifty Shades of Grey, but are devouring it nonetheless.

The reaction by early readers foretold the book’s destiny. Check out its count of 29, 956 reviews as I was writing this article (that MUST be a record.) Many of the reviewers bashed the book as poorly written, amateurish, with unbelievable characters, but admitted they couldn’t put it down.

Even before the BDSM movie “50 Shades of Grey” opened in movie theaters on February 14th, the book-turned-movie sparked widespread reaction that will surely lead to 50 shades of pay for entrepreneurs, authors, psychologists, and others who are riding its popularity.

Quick-thinking entrepreneurs tie-in to the movie’s popularity

    • A Texas church gave a twist to the message of the movie by offering “Right THEY Valentines Day weekend experience” where the book 50 Shades of They by Pastor Ed Young was the reading material.
    • In an article titled 50 Shades of No Way, sex therapist says the book is the talk among her clients who worry that they are not steamy enough
    • Always urging us to get free publicity, Joan Stewart, the publicity hound, shares how B.L. Ochman pulled traffic to her Google+ account when she shared the LEGO version of “50 Shades” a few weeks ago.
    • Looking for more steamy romance? There’s an app for that. It’s called After Dark.
    • You can get your 50 Shades of Grey Christmas tree ornaments if you order early
    • Manicurists didn’t waste time creating nail art around this theme

Celebrities had their fun with parodies

Negative reactions and repercussions get attention too

  • University of Chicago student charged with sexual assault after allegedly trying to recreate scenes from movie
  • Middle school students were unintentionally given 50 Shades of Grey crossword puzzles
  • American and Canadian activists who work to prevent domestic violence started a grassroots movement, 50 Dollars Not 50 Shades, urging us to donate to women’s shelters instead of buying movie tickets. Follow them on Twitter at #50dollarsnot50shades
  • Accusing 50 Shades of sabotaging intimacy, clinical psychologist Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh are offering a free copy of their “Christian perspective” intimacy book, Pulling Back the Shades, in exchange for copies of the E L James novel. (Be sure to check out the authors’ poses on their website.)

“50 Shades of Grey” author was stunned her hobby piece became a phenomenon

No one is more surprised at the popularity and widespread reactions to her erotic romance trilogy starting with “50 Shades of Grey” than British wife and mom of two, E.L. James. She told TODAY’s Michelle Kosinski  “This is my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies in there, and that’s it.”  James admits she’s not a great nor disciplined writer, and yet she brought a hot topic into the mainstream. That means lucrative pay for her and those who rode her popularity wave.

I’m a firm believer in promoting your book, business or service by piggybacking on holidays, special events and popular trends.

If you are opposed to the topic of a book or prominent political figure, where you draw the line on piggybacking to promote your book?

  • do you create your own book or movement presenting the opposing viewpoint?
  • do you quickly stock up on gray ties in your haberdashery?
  • do you could write an analytical work about the irony of the main character’s name, Christian, or write a parody about the political figure?
  • do you talk about how Jackie Collins is tame by comparison to “50 Shades of Grey”?

Would you let your distaste or disgust stop you from riding the 50 shades of pay possible for your business, product or  service with a “50 Shades of Grey” tie-in? Speak up in the comments.

Leave your comment and share this article with others. I’m counting on you.

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Article by Flora Brown

Flora Brown is an author, blogger, speaker, and publishing coach. Check out her books on http://amazon.com/author/florabrown

If you like this post, you can keep up with the latest information from Color Your Life Published by subscribing to updates at the top of this site. When you do, you’ll be able to download a free copy of the eBook, “It’s Time to Write Your Book.”
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How to Sell Your Book Inside Costco and Other Major Stores

how to market self-published book

Sonia Marsh, on the right, greets me and another shopper at Irvine Costco 8-24-13

Go to Costco on the weekend (if you dare) and you’ll pass vendors encouraging you to sample a food or learn more about a home improvement item or other product. It’s safe to assume that letting consumers touch, taste, or experience a product increases Costco’s sales.

Did you know that as an indie author, Costco will let you set up a table to talk to shoppers and do book signings?

(Puts going to Costco on a weekend in a whole new light, doesn’t it?)

That’s what my friend Sonia Marsh did at her local Costco (twice) to promote and sell her memoir, Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island [Amazon Associate link]

When I stopped by Sonia’s table to buy my copy and get it signed, other shoppers paused to hear about Sonia’s tropical island adventure and get their hands on her book as well.

Ka-ching.

And after the book signing ended, Sonia’s book remained for sale in Costco’s book section for another two weeks.

Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

You, too, can promote and sell your book in the same way, but not only in Costco. Did you know that you might also be able to convince Target, Walmart, big supermarket chains, and even airport bookstores to give you shelf space?

But only if you follow the rules.

Amy Collins of New Shelves Distribution knows the playbook because that’s what she does five days a week. She sells her clients’ books to the big chains.

Amy says you can do what she does if you know who to contact, what kinds of books they want, what your book package must look like, and what to do if the merchandisers are reluctant because they’re already stocking titles similar to yours.

She’ll be Joan Stewart’s  guest on a webinar at noon Eastern Time on Thursday, March 20, on “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books.”

Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books”

Everyone who registers will get a peek at Amy’s Rolodex, access to her contact information for the big chains, and a sample kit of what to send book buyers.

Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books” even if you can’t attend live because Joan will be recording it and you’ll be able to watch the video replay and access the other materials.

PS

Getting your book into these big chains and in front of millions more readers takes persistence and attention to detail. You only get one chance to do it right.
Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books”

PPS

Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, has been giving tips on how to get free publicity for your product, service, cause, or issue for decades. I started buying Joan’s products when I began my first Internet business back in the late 90’s before webinars existed. She was shipping audio cassettes then.(Look it up if you’re under 25.) I have learned so much from Joan over the years that I became an affiliate. That means I will receive a commission if you sign up for the webinar, but I was recommending Joan’s products before she had an affiliate program.

Get Media Coverage with a Compelling Press Release That has a News Tie-in

The media continually scrambles to fill the news, on and offline. You can get free  and invaluable promotion for your book, blog or other writing with a great press release.  To get  published your press release must tell a  compelling story and have a news angle or a hook that grabs the media’s attention.

A press release is a pseudo-news story that will convince an editor of the newsworthiness of an event, product or service.

If you can tie together a press release about your writing with some connection to a news story, you can generate immediate attention which can lead to increased sales for your book or traffic for your blog.

News tie-ins are great because a lot of the work is already done for you.

For example, when a portion of one of the major freeways in south Los Angeles, the 405, was closed for widening, the city, county and whole state were abuzz. In anticipation of this one weekend, July 16-18, 2011, some businesses closed, some lifestyles were altered and the media garnered tremendous attention by dubbing this event Carmageddeon, warning drivers to stay away from the area. 1,000’s of tweets, Facebook messages and many news stories were spun from this event.

Retailers, such as www.cafepress.com, were ready with Carmageddon t-shirts, mugs and iPhone cases and more. Some local bars and restaurants offered special deals to help ease the stress on local residents, and of course, get them to still shop during this period.

Clever authors, bloggers and writers  could have tied into Carmageddon if they cover topics about stress relief,  handling adversity, resilience, time management, happiness, child’s play, crime and so on.

During the same time frame, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony  parted ways. Coaches and therapists could tie in to this news story with an article about what we can learn from celebrity breakups that can help our own relationships.

Back to school stories are popular in August.  Can you write about how back to school is different for K-12 students enrolled in online programs?

With news stories, there is a very short window of opportunity. The good part, however, is that there are always news stories, though not equally dramatic, but always with possible tie-ins that can mean visibility for you.

What is happening in the  news that you can tie in to promote your topic or niche?