Finding and Scheduling Book Signings

I am part of the team marketing the anthology, Virginia is for Mysteries. Since January 2014, we have had over 43 signings and events and more are scheduled for this summer and fall. We are fortunate that there are 14 authors involved in the project (and 19 for the next version), so we can have lots of signings in lots of places.

Here are some tips for finding and booking signings...

1. Always ask about the logistics when planning an event. I scheduled one in January and didn't think to ask about where we would be sitting. It was outside under a tent. Brrrrrrrr!

2. Many book stores will only order books that can be returned. If yours do not come through a distributor, you may have to ask if the seller will accept books on consignment. It is also a good practice to call the book store a week or so before the event to confirm all details.

3. Have a book signing bag for the event. Bring everything you'll need: pens, book stands, tape, scissors, and bookmarks.

4. Always have candy at your table. Chocolate is a hit.

5. Don't sign by yourself. It can be lonely. Partner with several other authors. With 14 of us, it's a party wherever we go.

6. Always keep a box or two of books in the car. We have sold out at several events.

7. Don't depend on the venue to market the event. If they do, make sure you tweet, share, and post it. You need to send invitations to your fans, friends, and family.

8. Be creative with locations. We have had signings at art galleries, museums, gift shops, libraries, and restaurants. We have also hosted countless panels and workshops for the opportunity to sell books.

9.  Take lots of pictures and post them after the event.

10. Always send a thank you note or email to the host.

11. Every book signing is good. Don't be disappointed if you didn't sell as many books as you wanted. You get to meet people and share what you love to do. (But you do need to be practical. Try venues once. If they don't work, avoid scheduling any follow up events there.)