Last Sunday I hosted my first book signing for my new book, “Would I Marry Me?” It’s one thing to launch your first book, but then you must market, market, and then market some more! One of the best ways to market your book is to have a book signing. I was nervous, anxious, and excited all at the same time, but I was ready to share my book with the world.
With this being my first book, I’m no pro at book signings, but I did learn a few tips that I believe will enhance your book signing experience.
Location & Time Matter
My signing was on a Sunday evening, between 5-7 pm, at a coffee shop called Bump ‘n Grind in the downtown Silver Spring, Maryland area. There weren’t many parking lots or garages and street parking was the main availability. Although parking was free on the weekends, it was only convenient if you found a spot! Not sure many people wanted to drive around on a Sunday evening looking for parking! Hence, the attendance of my signing was lower than expected.
It’s ideal to have a signing on a Saturday afternoon in a location that provides adequate parking and a time in which people normally plan to be out and about shopping. Although my friends pressed their way through the obstacles because they are super
supportive, that Sunday evening time wasn’t the most ideal, but it was what was made available to me and I made it work!
The clientele of the coffee shop was a great asset as there were younger, millennial students and working adults who mirrored my target audience. And what millennial doesn’t want to drink coffee and read a good book on a Sunday evening?
So, although the location and timing of the signing wasn’t necessarily desirable, the shop didn’t charge a fee or take a percentage of my proceeds and I was blessed for the opportunity. I know many bookstores may take a percentage, but assess their requirements, and your inventory, and don’t be afraid to use venues outside of a bookstore!
Bump n’ Grind simply desired that we market their shop with my book promotion on all social media sites. They even offered me a free coffee or latte for using their facility. The manager was kind and loved my book and encouraged me to come back again!
It sounds so simple, but I had to tell myself to, “be myself!” A book signing is different from simply ordering your book online: they get to meet you as the author and ask questions! I wanted to be genuine and true to what I believed and what I wrote. I’m a people person and I love to talk, and I got the opportunity to do just that.
Many wanted to know where the title of the book came from and how it related to my life. I was too excited to share my story and encourage other people, not knowing, that others would be encouraging me as well.
A young lady who follows me on Instagram, came to my book signing on her way back to college from her Thanksgiving break. She is a student at Hampton University, but is from the Maryland area. She shared her story of struggle and a desire to write her own book. We talked for a while, and I probably could have talked to her all day, but we connected and I gained wisdom from her that was priceless!
Take In the Experience
I’m still pinching myself that I finally published my first book! It’s still a bit surreal and I’m so grateful that I pushed past my fears and conquered a goal that I’ve had for the past two years.
This book signing, even with the lack of attendees, simply gave me the motivation I needed to keep going. The love that was shown by my friends and co-workers was a blessing, and simply sitting at the table with a sign that said “Meet the Author,” I could almost scream at the realization that that author was actually me!
Many people shared that I have inspired them to write their own book and I was able to share my experience and journey. I learned that this process was not just for me, but for so many others who have a fear and a desire to come out with their first book. Although selling books was my goal, inspiring and encouraging others definitely tops my list of things to do.
After the signing was over, I sat in my car and simply thanked God!
Book signings are great ways to meet, greet, and express your gratitude for people’s support! Writing a book is great, but touching the lives of people is always the goal! To my future authors, get it done!! Somebody needs what you have to share!