First off, I'd like to thank Holly Gilliatt for joining me and Robin Tidwell from All on the Same Page for her support. Holly and I had a great time and feel we've made a friend with this indie bookstore.
Do you have a book releasing soon and not sure how to schedule book signings? I'm not sure how it works with agents or even big publishing houses but for indie, small and self pubs, the process is pretty much the same.
Create a list of all the bookstores in your area. Then think outside the box. Gift shops, coffee shops or even cafes with possible wine nights. And then start making calls. Keep in mind, most of your guests will be family and friends so don't schedule one every week for a month. Most of the big name authors do one per city on their book tours. And while I'm sure your book is great, your family might get tired of attending. Make sure to book the event far enough in advance so you can gather some PR from local agencies.
Next, create a press release announcing your signing and send that baby out to local press. TV, radio, on-line and print (yes, there is still print out there). Wait a week and then follow-up. I suggest, if you have a connection with a smaller area, personalize your release. For example, I graduated from high school about 25 minutes from my house now, so when I contacted those papers, I made sure to include that fact. Smaller papers like to give props to a townie.
Holly and I were lucky enough to video a spot for a local cable station. If you get a chance to do a live interview, remember to bring a copy or two of your book. They make great thank you gifts and you can use them as props.
A week or two prior to your event, contact the venue. Make sure all your ducks are in a row. If they ordered your books, are they in? If you ordered then, are they in?!
Plan to bring candy or something beside promo material to your signing. Holly brought mint chocolates because her book had a St. Patrick's Day theme and I brought plastic jeweled rings for my Honey Creek Royalty series. Although, I did wear a precious spider sparkly ring for Spider.
Make sure you bring plenty of pens. You don't want to assume the venue will provide any.
When the day arrives, make sure you have your smiley face on. Author friends of mine always suggest bringing support staff who can walk the store and talk up customers. I've never done this but its not a bad idea. If you have a mailing list, bring a sign up sheet.
If you have any tips to share, please leave a comment and happy signing!