Friday, October 17, 2008

Preparing for a Book Signing

Here I am at one of my first book signings - Barnes & Noble DePaul Center in March, 2006.

Tonight I'm getting ready for a book signing tomorrow, Sat, Oct 18, 1-3pm at Barnes and Noble, 13 West Rand Road, Arlington Heights, IL.

For those who don't know how to get ready, here's what I do in advance:

  • Confirm the date with the book store coordinator.

  • Find out if the book store will be able to order the books or if I should bring them.

  • Make sure I have enough books to bring.

  • Tell people about the signing by word of mouth or Internet, if possible newspapers.

  • Make sure I have enough promo to bring with for the event. I bring book posters, a photo of myself, rack cards, postcards, business cards, sell sheets and most important, bookmarks. I've also got some giveaway items, among them pens and keychains.

  • Arrange transportation. Since there's no conflict in schedules, my husband can drive me. Also, this time it's not too far. If it were at an unfamiliar spot, I'd be checking with the store and the Internet, even my Iphone, to figure out how to get there.

If I haven't done it before, the night before I:

  • Make the final decision on my clothes. What I wear depends on the image I wish to project. Tomorrow, I'll wear an argyle sweater with white cuffs and collar, a black jacket for just in case it's cold, black slacks and black leather comfortable shoes since I plan not to sit still, but scout out the readers. This is a safe outfit, which looks professional, but not overly so. Since I have both a mystery and a romantic comedy to sign, I'm treading the line. If I were selling a medical book or something more intense, I'd wear something more staid. I still have to decide on earrings and a ring. I'm not sure if a necklace will go with the outfit. I have time to figure that out tomorrow.

  • Get my books together. This time I've put them in a box which fits in a shopping cart. Although it's a mystery authors' book signing, I'm bringing both Two Wrongs, the mystery, and Girl of My Dreams, my romantic comedy. I've had shoppers pick up both books without looking at them and purchase them on the spot. You never know.

  • Get my promo together. This time I've put them in two tote bags to balance the load.

  • Change purses. I'll pick out one of my many purses that's pretty small because I'll keep it on me when I roam the store. It's not a good idea to abandon your purse at any time during an event like this where it's easy to get distracted. The nicest looking people can hide nasty streaks. Guys don't have to worry about this item on the list.

So, I've got most of my act together. Tomorrow I'll go to aerobics class in the morning, but will have more than enough time to get ready for the 1:00 p.m. start of the book signing. I'll make sure to leave home early to get there ahead of time so I can confirm procedures with the store coordinator and set up my portion of the table. Whatever I do, I don't want anyone wonder where I am. Being late is not the image I want to project.

Time now to relax a bit. I'll be busy enough tomorrow. Let me know what you do to get ready for a book signing. Did I forget anything? Hope not. I'll find out when I get there.


  1. Good luck! Wish I could be there.

  2. I hope your book signing went well and that you met some fantastic people. Great tips on getting ready!!

  3. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Good luck with the signing, Morgan!

    I was about to laugh at your last suggestion (the purse bit) thinking, well THAT's for ladies only (smile), then you added us guys need not worry so much about this one. Tee hee.

    Have fun, get your game on, and sell those books!

  4. Interesting post, Morgan. I hope I have the chance to plan some day.



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