Solo Episode - 5 Tips for a Successful Book Signing

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The TufFish Show with Jen Milius

I really love on-line and in-person events. It’s a great way to connect.

My corporate experience included time attending trade shows and manning booths as well as being the project manager to pull entire shows together. On top of that, I’ve done a lot of book signings since being an entrepreneur, so I wanted to share some tips so that your next event is a great success.

Let’s get started!

1 - Get clear on why you are there

To get started, how would you answer this question: Why do you want to attend or even host an event? The reason this clarity is so important is that it shapes your mindset and energy for that event. Dive into this a little deeper with this article [What's the So What?].

When you’re in the headspace that says, “I’m glad to be here!” or “It’s going to be a lot of fun!”, then that comes through in how you engage and how you present yourself.

The same can be said for the opposite.

If you’re saying to yourself things like “I wish I was somewhere else” or “This is so boring”, then that will come through too.

There’s a big difference between wanting to something and having to do something, so choose events that you WANT to attend.

And when you’re there, no matter how the event plays out, be present. Be engaged. Don’t sit behind your table and play on your phone or read.

2 - Let’s talk transportation

You’ve got to have a way to transport your stuff.

I’ve seen a lot of cool four-wheel wagons that have worked, but for me for now, I use a suitcase to move my books. They stack neatly inside, and I use sections of corrugated cardboard to create structure and sturdiness for the books. They also help to keep the titles separated, which keeps my system a bit more organized.

3 - Be sure to be “on brand”

Think about what will make your space feel clear what you’re about as well as more inviting and “on brand.” Here’s some questions to help get the wheels going on this:

  • What do you want your business to represent?
  • What are you going to wear, so that you’re in line with the event and your brand?
  • Do you have a banner that helps explain what you’re about
  • How is it displayed?

For my Einstein and Moo table, I’ll use black, white or a combination of black and white tablecloths as a canvas to display the books. I have a picture of the kitties from their adoption day at 14 weeks.

If the table is big enough, I’ll put Einstein’s first book along his side of the picture, and Moo’s first book along her side to show the correlation. This picture is one of my favorites of them. It’s also a wonderful conversation piece because people want to see it, then they tell me about their pets whether they are currently here or on the rainbow bridge. It’s a great conversation each time and a wonderful way to connect with people about something we both care about.

4 - Consider who is your client and who is your customer

The key to remember is that your client and your customer may not be the same.

In my case for the Einstein and Moo series, the child is my client and the parent is my customer, so I want my space to feel inviting to both audiences. I have bookmarks that have the kitties on them for the kids. And when I’m at an event where I can facilitate a drawing contest or story time for the kids, I do.

When you look at your table, consider how you can facilitate the easiest transactions from your location (behind it) and how the customer sees it.

How do you like to see books displayed?

Or other items you have?

Think of how you like to shop and what arrangements catch your eye. How can you bring them into your space? For instance, I like seeing some “white space” as well as height, so I typically use a tall book rack on the corner of the table and spread out items as much as I can.

5 - An attitude of gratitude

Lastly – we started with mindset, and we’ll end with that. A key in all of this is an attitude of gratitude.

That joy and fun will come through. Consider how you can make it a little special for your client or customer as well as the place who helped support your event. For instance, I use little white bags with paw prints on them for book purchases. They were easy to create with stickers, and I know I appreciate a bag to carry my goodies in. When a child is present for the purchase, I’ll hand the bag to them and a grin spreads from ear to ear! It’s the best!!

I also send handwritten thank you notes to the hosting organizations. It’s just a way of taking a few minutes to let them know I appreciate their willingness to support my event.

Final Thoughts

These tips can be modified for conferences, school visits, workshops, as well as on-line events.

As you apply these tips to your next event, consider what tweaks make sense for the event itself, your brand, products or services, and your business. When you feel good and show up as the confident business owner and author you are, that goodness will come back to you, and even in the most unexpected ways.