Okay, you’re booked in a half dozen locations, that’s great. Congratulations! Now what? After you and the bookstore go through the trouble of scheduling a book signing event, the absolute worst thing that can happen is nothing. You go to your event, set up your display, take a seat and wait. After an hour of boredom punctuated by an occasional customer asking for directions to the fiction section, you begin to wonder if there is not a better way to spend your Saturday afternoon; cleaning out the garage, dusting the baseboards, or organizing your sock drawer. It suddenly dawns on you that if you want people to come to your event, it’s up to you to make it happen, and online promotion is the best way to put it in front of your target audience with only a small investment of time and money. Without making too many assumptions such as bad weather, a parade across town, a national emergency taking place at the same time as your event, let us probe a little deeper and see what we can learn. Before we talk about what you can do to promote an event, let me share with you 5 Things the bookstore needs to do. Check the calendar. Schedule your event to coincide, not clash with other events in the area.

  1. Be sure the bookstore orders your books well in advance of your coming. I have had events canceled because the bookstore failed to order the books in a timely manner.
  2. The bookstore needs to promote your event on Facebook and on their Website Events Calendar. As soon as your event is confirmed, contact the appropriate person and give them all the information they need to begin promoting your coming.
  3. Send the bookstore a poster and flyers. You should also create a poster they can place in their window (and the windows of neighboring stores), and flyers they can give to customers prior to your coming.
  4. Send a post to their local Patch and Neighborhood Newspaper. With little or no expense, the bookstore can contact these outlets and post a small ad with your picture, the picture and title of your book.
  5. Signing PictureLocal businesses. If the bookstore is in a shopping center or mall area, they need to post your flyer on their windows the week of your event.

But what can you do to insure a successful signing event? This week and next will be devoted to answering that question. Today, I will share with you 5 Ways to Promote Your Book Signing Event. As soon as your event is confirmed begin announcing it, even if it is months away.

  1. Create an Event on Eventbrite. Even if your event is free, you can set up a registration page with all the pertinent information about your event. http://www.eventbrite.com/create.
  2. Post your event on Patch. If you live in an area that has a local Patch, post your event there. Google www.patch.com.
  3. Promote you event on free promotional sites. Check out http://www.Eventful.com, http://Goodreads.com, and your local newspaper’s Facebook page. Include a short description of the event and be sure to give the time and location. Many times the site will prompt you for the address and create a map.
  4. Post a promotional blog. If you have a blog or have access to a friend’s blog, post your event stating the date, time and place. Include a picture of your book and a brief description and link it to the Eventbrite registration page. 
  5. Set up a Yelp event page. http://www.yelp.com. Again, include a link to the Eventbrite. You may want to include a picture of you signing a book along with your display.

Next Monday, I will conclude this with more practical ideas which will guarantee your success. In the meantime, be sure to visit my archives and my sidebar for exciting mystery and adventure novels

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