Monday, October 11, 2010

8 Things to do at a Book Signing That Doesn't Draw a Crowd

I write books that target a niche market, so when I am fortunate enough to set up a book signing, I'm not necessarily fortunate enough to sell a lot of books. So, I keep the signings short and have developed a list of things to do when the crowds are, shall we say, underwhelming:

  1. Smile and look accessible.
  2. Resist the urge to follow people into the cafe, waving copies of your book. Instead, smile and say hello to anyone who goes by.
  3. Plan promos for the next book signing that will draw crowds that rival a John Grisham signing.
  4. Graciously thank the bookstore staff who made this signing possible, along with anyone who stops by the table, whether or not they buy a book.
  5. Jot down ideas for blogs, plot lines, setting and dialogues. Flesh them out if time permits.
  6. Create a shopping list so you're prepared when the signing is over. Try not to spend more than twice the cost of your book, particularly if you haven't sold any.
  7. Write said notes on memo-sized pieces of paper, and look up from time to time so you still look approachable.
  8. Relax! When is the last time you had an hour to yourself with no one bugging you?

    All joking aside, I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to all of my friends and family who inquired, attended, congratulated me or otherwise let me know they were thinking of me. I don't know a soul whose to-do list isn't daunting, and in this case, it truly is the thought that counts.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thank you for the amusing and timely suggestions, Lisa. Jon Sprunk and I are doing a joint signing next Sunday. Hopefully I won't have too much time to work on my shopping list.

Lisa Lawmaster Hess said...

I wish you many visitors and equally as many sales!! Despite the low numbers, I'm grateful to Borders for hosting me, especially since my books are for such a niche market. By the way - I exceeded my recommended spending!