Monday, December 17, 2012

My Book Signing Experience

   I had a book signing in Denver on December 1 while my wife and I were down from Alberta, Canada, visiting our two daughters and their families who live there. My two daughters were my “campaign managers,” and they sent out invitations to their friends to attend. I arrived a little early and set up and began trying to do some “cold sales,” that is presenting my books to people in the store who didn’t know me or my book. I had no success. But then my daughter’s friends began to arrive and the sales went well. We sold all the copies in the store and then spent the evening running around Denver, buying up additional copies to satisfy the demand. We were grateful for the support.
     But the experience gave me pause. Had I gone to a store without any advance preparation or publicity, it would not have been a successful venture. Because I’m not a JK Rowling or a Stephanie Meyer, I cannot rely on mass interest and support. I attended a Stephanie Meyer book signing in Denver a couple of years back, and it was like going to a rock concert. Hundreds of screaming teenage girls queued up to get their books signed. My book signing experience was not like that! But things picked up immeasurably when my daughters’ friends began arriving. That’s why careful planning and advance publicity are so important. It’s no fun sitting at a table where store customers go out of their way to avoid you so they don’t get “drawn into” a discussion with an author they don’t know and a book they aren’t particularly interested in reading at the moment.
    What made the signing special for me was that my grandchildren who live in Denver donned their “Grandpa’s Book Buddy” T-shirts and walked around the store to help promote the event. I sure appreciated their love and support.


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I love the picture, Darrel.

Bruce Hennigan said...

I had a book signing on the 8th in Austin at LifeWay and we did some advance publicity with local churches. My son and his wife had friends send out Facebook notifications and we had a great response. One guy walked in the front door, straight to my table, picked up two books for his brother and walked out. He came just to get signed books! I was so stunned that I never asked him how he found out about the book signing!
Note to self: Next time ask people how they heard about the book signing. It will give us a good idea of what kind of publicity works!
Great picture!