Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lessons Learned at a Book Signing

by Elva Cobb Martin

Recently we were invited to participate in a book signing at our local YMCA. My first two romance novels won't be released until March and May of 2017. However, I did have a non-fiction mini-book I indie published on Amazon, Power Over Satan, a primer on our authority in Christ. So-o-o I was happy to accept this invitation for my first real book signing. Here's the link to the book:

A dear friend, Edie Melson, also accepted the invitation, and I was blessed to share a table with her.  She arrived before I did and set up our table close to the refreshment table the YMCA provided for the event. I told her that had to be a smart idea. 
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I learned several neat things from Edie who has done multiple book signings. She came with a big chart of her book cover of While My Child is Away, which is a wonderful book of prayers and devotions for parents. She also had a neat freebie, her own designed book mark on a chain with a bird charm on one end and a tag on the other that included the title of her book on one side and her social media info on the other side. She brought book holder/picture frames to stand her books up and she loaned some to me.

I ordered a 11x17 chart of my front and back cover from I folded this just like it was a book cover and wrote $5.00 in the corner so everyone could easily see my price. I stood this up on a book frame.

To advertise my coming novels, my prep included making an 8-1/2 x 11 advertising sheet on card stock of my two novels coming out, Summer of Deception (March, 2017, Prism Book Group) and In a Pirate's Debt (May, 2017 Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas)I included titles, release date, and a photo from my file on each book. This also went on a book frame.

 I brought a small basket lined with colorful gemstones (collected with my gemstone-happy grandson) to stash my business cards in. My books were being sold for $5 so I also brought some change in a bank bag. (At the time I had a Square on order to take credit cards, but it had not arrived.)

So there Edie and I were, all ready to sell our books. We took some pictures, we smiled, we chatted with passersby and we waited. Two hours. 

Lots of folks walked right by our table on their way to the refreshment table. A very few stopped, glanced at our books and most said something like:

"Oh, these are nice but, sorry, I didn't bring my pocketbook into the gym."  (HOW could we forget that most people don't??)

One dear lady told me, "I really need your book. I'm going to the car and get my $5.00."

God bless that dear one! I finally did sell three books.

What I Learned from My Book Signing Experience:

  •  Gyms are NOT a good place to sell books.                      
  • Books priced over $10 will most likely not sell well these days. One author had a book for sale at $29. 

  •  It's good to have a freebie to give away. is a good place to buy trinkets that might go along with your book. Edie got her bird charms there. I can't wait to look for small ships or pirate stuff for In a Pirate's Debt. I will have tea bag freebies for Summer of Deception which is set on a Charleston Tea Plantation. And I will have an antique tea pot or cup on the table!          
  •  Even with low sales, I felt I made some good contacts.                                                                            
  • I enjoyed fellowship with other authors.

Thanks  for stopping by. Have you suggestions or insights for a book signing?  I  have another coming up in December. . .

Elva Martin