Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nobody Goes to Book Signings: Big Mistake by Beginning Authors

I see, hear, and read about many authors wanting to go to a book signing, and most of them are making a BIG MISTAKE.


Sylvia Hubbard, an author of many books and founder of the Motown Writers Network, is brilliant for so many reasons.  At her monthly meetings to help local authors, she gives amazing tips.

One of these tips is to AVOID book signings.

Why avoid book signings?  How are people going to learn about my books?

Are book signings always a bad idea for authors?

Actually, book signings are great…for ESTABLISHED authors.  If you’re an author who ALREADY has a following, then book signings are a great way to have a group of people—who already like you—come to your event where you can promote your latest and greatest book or any other paraphernalia (i.e. a shirt, board game, DVD, workshop, etc.).

However, if you’re just beginning, nobody (except friends and family) know who you are.

Would YOU go to a book signing for some random person?

Most likely not.

Why would someone who does NOT know you go to YOUR book signing?

So…what should beginning authors do to market their book(s)?

You’ll have to play with different things, but book signings appear to be appealing, because most of us know that we have a better chance of selling more books if we have more people who can see our book.  Book signings—theoretically—create an event where many people attend.

So the intention of a book signing is good.  We want to create an environment where many people come.

What types of events might draw larger crowds of people beyond those family and friends who already know us?

People like to get help solving problems.

For instance, if you have a children’s book, you might offer a free seminar about how to teach your child a non-physical way to handle bullies at school or in the neighborhood.

If you write books targeting teenagers, maybe you host an event that gives “5 Ways to Make People Stop Teasing You” or “7 Easy Tips to Reduce Acne.”

The common theme is that you are offering something that you target audience (and market) wants, and you just happen to be the person presenting it.  If you connect with your audience, there will be people who buy during that event.  Just as importantly, if you do a great job, your target market will begin to brag…about you.

BONUS TIP: Give away your book for free…with the purchase of a larger package.

There are several things beginning authors can do to sell their books, but one of the LEAST effective ways to market your book is to simply hold a book signing.

That’s about you, but you really need to find ways to make it about them.

Thank you for your wonderful insight, Sylvia!

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