After a year of excitement and planning for my first book, I just had my very first booksigning!! Oh my goodness, what a rush! I had so many safety nets surrounding me, I never experienced a panic moment. Which gave me the idea to offer you my Booksigning Preparedness List while the event is still fresh in my mind and in turn allows me to use my own photos of my own FIRST booksigning as examples.
Can life get any better??
So first, since Amanda Cabot, my friend and gracious leader of the Front Range Christian Fiction Writers group, set up this booksigning for me, I turned to her for advice. She started me off with:
· Autographed by Author stickers
· Postcards about the event
· A notebook
Let’s start with pens. I bought all new pens they wouldn’t run out on me, or my guests. Since I write romance featuring cowboys, I found these little ceramic cowboy boots to place my pens in, to keep with theme, of course, LOL!
I had plenty of bookmarks, postcards and business cards – and even provided everyone that bought a book with a Seeker bookmark. Had
lots of folks give those the once over!
Oh my goodness, the fun I had placing stickers on books! I wish my Local Author stickers had arrived, but hey, I’ll take Autographed by Author!!
My guest book, a beautiful spiral bound number with hard covers, now proudly displays the names of people attending my very first booksigning. You never know…could be worth money in years to come, LOL!
That had me off to a great start. Of course I had to take a page out of the Seekerville Guide to Hosting Parties:
· Prize baskets
· Virtual snacks
Chocolate speaks for itself. I had so many varieties, I had people drifting over just to pick through my basket! I felt blessed if my tiny donation of sweets to a stranger was enough for them to scoop up a bookmark and business card and maybe be drawn to order from Amazon or drop by a Walmart at a later date.
I had two prize baskets loaded with chocolate and odds and ends. Leslie, being the dear she was, guided people to the guest book and drawing slips, explaining with great animation the benefits of taking a chance. LOL! I can’t wait to work her first booksigning! I learned lots from the master.
Virtual snacks? I’d gab about what a great in-house coffee shop Barnes and Noble had and encourage folks to go have a cup and a cookie and maybe stop back by on their way out of the store. Hopefully if they didn’t buy my book, they bought a cup of coffee!!
The most important item on my list isn’t an item at all, but a person. Everyone needs a Leslie. I’m serious. No you can’t have mine, but definitely bring a friend, relative, fellow writer with you to keep you organized! I can’t imagine what I would’ve done if Leslie hadn’t been there to greet people, pull me away from well meaning folks who unknowingly monopolized my time, keep in touch with Vivian when drawings needed to be announced or customers just needed additional help. She also surprised me by making cute pins featuring my cover. What a keepsake.
God bless Leslie!
Barnes and Noble was especially wonderful. They ordered in books, set a table with flowers, provided Lucite stands for books and kept me in water and coffee. Friendly and polite, I think the staff at our Barnes and Noble had a good time at the party, too.
My best advice:
Plan ahead (no snickering from the Seekers who know me well).
Start gathering your materials and placing them in a box or bag you’ll be able to store and always have on hand.
Think theme and dress and decorate accordingly. Make sure everyone knows about the event!
Now, to continue in the spirit of booksigning, two lucky commentors will receive autographed copies of Rocky Mountain Hero. Check back on Sunday for the Weekend Edition and claim your books!!
Have a great month!