Friday Fun

I came across this cute video on YouTube. Enjoy!

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  • http://www.jancline.net Jan Cline

    Well, that’s just what I needed to see. My first of 4 scheduled book signings is next week! But none of them are at Waldenbooks so maybe I’m safe? Ha. Very cute video.

    • http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

      I had a series of very successful book signings, and learned a few things that may help –

      1) Dress informally! If you’re business formal or semiformal, you’re intimidating. A trip to the bookstore is recreation for most people. Be part of the fun.

      2) Stay standing, to keep your face on customers’ eyelines.

      3) Smile, and say hello! Some people would love to talk with a real live author – they’ve never really met one before, and you’re magic. Repeat that – you are magic!

      4) Make your table attractive. Get a picture stand, or a tabletop easel, and put a copy of your book on it. Stack the copies you have for signing neatly, and if you have a drink for yourself, it goes under the table.

      5) Ask a buyer how they want an inscription personalized. Not only is this courteous, it’s also good advertising – other potential buyers may be listening.

      6) If you have a supportive significant other, bring him or her. A couple is more welcoming.

      7) Stay focused. You will have slow hours, and then you may sign ten books in 30 minutes. Don’t start looking bored. Pretend you’re getting paid for being there, and for looking alert.

      8) If the store allows it, set out a bowl of hard candy that shoppers can take.

      9) Bring a supply of push cards, and hand them out liberally. I’ve had a lot of people take one, and return to my table an hour later.

      10) Don’t get discouraged if people avoid eye contact, and ignore your greeting. It isn’t about you – they don’t know you. They may not be there to buy a book, or they may not feel like talking, or they may be in a hurry.

      A book signing can be a lot of fun. You won’t have a line going out the door unless you’re Mary Higgins Clark, but having three people at your table at one time is a bigger kick the first time it happens.

      Good luck!

      • http://www.jancline.net Jan Cline

        Wonderful advice Andrew! Thanks. I know better how to prepare now. I noticed the author in the video had on a name tag – is that wise?

        • http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

          I never use one, and would not. Two reasons –

          1) It has a ‘commercial’ look that is a bit amateurish, and no name tag goes well with clothing. You want to look good – a name tag is simply an impossible accessory.

          2) Nametags look ‘official’ and can intimidate people. Sounds odd, but it does seems to be true. It becomes a de facto badge of rank that is a layer of separation between you and the reader/buyer.

          There’s also a nice moment of discovery for the reader/buyer…”Oh, you’re the author?” People genuinely seem happy when they discover that for themselves, and the moire happy moments they have the more connection they will feel with you.

          • http://www.jancline.net Jan Cline

            I totally agree. I think it’s a psychological barrier.

    • Jeanne

      I’m sure yours will go better. ;)

      • http://www.jancline.net Jan Cline

        Thanks Jeanne!

    • http://www.TheHomeschoolExperiment.com CharityHawkins@TheHomeschoolExperiment

      I had bookmarks made up and that was great–gives you a chance to hand something out, breaks the ice, and starts conversations. I read as I prepared for signings that the average books sold is 5, so if you do better than that you’re above average! I didn’t sell a whole lot at mine (did better at conventions) but I thought I would just do the work and leave the results up to God. You can encourage people in conversations even if they don’t buy a book. :) Best wishes!

  • http://www.gabrielle-meyer.blogspot.com Gabrielle Meyer

    I had a good laugh watching this! Thanks for sharing. What a creative marketing piece! I googled him and he has a few other videos. Definitely thinking outside the box!

  • http://www.deebright.com Dee Bright

    Very fun! I especially liked the “Mary Higgins Clark” line! Thanks! Now I have a giggle in my brain as I head off to bed.

    • Jeanne

      Me too. I laughed out loud.

  • http://doubtingwriter.blogspot.com/ jeffo

    Funny stuff!

  • http://lauralibricz.blogspot.com Laura Libricz

    But it did bring a tear to my eye. I’m so glad I finished writing for today before I saw that!

  • http://bansheeweaver.blogspot.com Christine Dorman / @looneyfilberts

    At once funny and really sad!

    Thank you, Rachelle, for this fun way to end the week.

    Have a great weekend! :)

  • http://www.cmcaterer.com Claire Caterer

    Isn’t that every writer’s nightmare? But we all need to remember that ALL writers, even the biggies, have events where few people show up. I recently went to an event with one of the most successful writers in YA, and though we had seating for about 100 people, only a handful attended. Better than nothing, but she was on a multi-city tour, so I’m sure it was disappointing.

  • Jeanne

    That was funny. My oldest kiddo watched the last part with me and felt sorry for the author. :)

  • http://www.kristaphillips.com Krista Phillips

    Too funny! Yet sad at the same time!

  • http://rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    Been there, done that, wake up screaming after a dream that I have another one coming up.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://jenniferzeiger.com Jennifer M Zeiger

    I’ve heard horror stories about book signings. I have to applaud this man for, as Ms Meyer said, thinking outside the box.

  • Lynda Schmeichel

    I think this is my worst nightmare. Certainly appreciate the advice given here. And I applaud the guy who did the video, what a great way to put a spin on it!

  • Roxanne Sherwood Gray

    Oh, so funny. Thanks, Rachelle!

    Andrew, Thanks for your tips.

    In the largest San Antonio Barnes & Noble, Rick Riordan had a book signing where they stopped counting after 5,000 people. Sigh, we can’t all be Riordan … but you never know …

  • http://www.intheshadeofthecherrytree.blogspot.com Zan Marie

    Oh, what a delight! I’m with him. Some signings are just deadly dull. ; )

  • http://viewsfromtheouthouse.blogspot.com Mark S. R. Peterson

    Thanks for sharing, Rachelle. I remember this video on Michael Hyatt’s site a while back. Very funny, and there are true lessons in this too. Let’s say a virtual unknown was stuck next to . . . oh, let’s say John Grisham or Stephen King. Obviously a lot of people will come out to see them. How could you draw them in to you too? Or gain their attention?
    Then again, the same could be about marketing one’s work nowadays anyway: how does one stand out in the rough waters of writers? (I think I may want to channel Seth Godin here).

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