February 12, 2016

The Three P’s of a First Book Signing

By John J. Zelenski 

At last, your book is finally available in print by your publisher and ready to be stocked on the shelves of your local bookstore!  Congratulations on a monumental and personal achievement that few can say they’ve accomplished!  It’s now time for your first book signing event!  Yes, you will be the star of the show!  The lights, the camera, the press…..well, not exactly yet.

A book signing event for your new book is a necessary and extremely fun part of the journey towards building your own personal brand.   However, there are a few key things to point out when it’s your time to shine. 

Preparation – Some publishers will take the time to actually set up the entire event on an author’s behalf.  But unless you are selling 5000 copies of your book per week, don’t count on this method.  And of course, if you are self-published, you should realize that the entire burden will fall upon your shoulders – and that’s not a bad thing at all!  This puts you in the driver’s seat, so to speak, by allowing  you the time to contact venues, arrange your schedule, order books (if necessary), and most importantly, “get in the zone” mentally for your big day.  And remember, you don’t need to sit at the front door of a Barnes & Noble to have a successful book signing.  You can have a great signing at a library or a small coffee shop. 

Perspiration - Obviously, getting the word out about your event is first and foremost.  Creating an invitation via social media is probably the most effective way, but should not be the only route to let others know about your event.  You can create flyers or push cards fairly inexpensively at your local print shop or even from your home computer.  Then hand them out to anyone who will take them.  Leave them at strategic places like community post boards at churches, grocery stores, laundromats, and yes, even book stores.  Remember, this will be your event.  It will be up to you to make everyone aware that you will be signing autographed copies of your book! 

Presentation – I cannot stress how important first impressions will be.  This very well could be the factor to whether or not you get asked to come back with your next book.  Your body language, demeanor, and table set-up will speak volumes about how you view yourself as an author. And may I add, that although this is your time to shine, keep your ego in check.  A little humility certainly goes a long way in paving the road for relationships that may last for the rest of your life.  Bring a box of doughnuts for the guests.  Maybe even asking the event coordinator if you can help set up or break down the table is not out of the question.

So the lights, camera, and the press….perhaps they just might be in your future.
John J. Zelenski is an award-winning author who has appeared on television, radio, and has been featured in numerous print articles as well as receiving high-profile reviews from the popular community. Having been inspired, in part, to write his first novel Walker's Vale, by his own paranormal experiences as a child, John has developed a keen understanding of the supernatural. His second novel and prequel to Walker's Vale - The Journal of Ezekiel Walker - continues with the saga of Walker's Vale, with a future third installment presently in the works.
Walker's Vale, the film will be released through Allegentsia Productions with possible filming scheduled to begin sometime in 2015. John, along with his wife and two children, love to watch the seasons change in beautiful Northeast Pennsylvania. My social media links are:

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