Have you ever seen a lonely author at a book signing table—rearranging his stack of books, making sure his signing pen has ink, and making hopeful eye contact with potential book readers before they rush down the nearest aisle? Have you been that lonely author?
What is the difference between some book signing events that just completely repeal potential book readers and others that create excitement and intrigue? You see, most newbie authors, when planning their first book signing event, tend to focus more on themselves – more on selling books and trying to reach that bestseller status – however, this kind of thinking is actually counterproductive.
You see, the key to a successful book signing event is to be unconventional or unorthodox in your methods. It is about creating an event that your ideal book readers would actually enjoy. Here are few paradigm shifts you need to go through in order to go from boring book signing event to fun and thrilling book launching party.
1. Think “party” instead of boring book signing event.
I’m just going to be blunt with you. The traditional, conventional way of conducting a book signing event is dull and boring. But parties are fun and exciting! Think of your book event as a party, and try to incorporate as many entertaining elements as possible to appeal to the widest audience.
Think about when you got married (if you are married), or think about when you will get married. Are you planning to throw or did you throw a boring wedding celebration? Of course not! What about when you graduated high school or college? Did you throw a boring celebration for these kinds of milestones in your life? If not, then why would you do any different with the milestone of launching your first book?
You wrote a book and now it is ready for the world. This is a celebration, so throw a party!
2. Whoever said that your book signing event had to be at a bookstore?
Think about the kind of book that you have just written. Is it a novel or a non-fiction piece of work? Could you find a setting that relates to the theme of your book? Let’s say you wrote a romance novel, what if you could host your book signing party at the main place where your two main characters experienced their love connection moment? It would be like bringing your book’s story to life!
3. Create an intriguing theme and a fun invitation.
The key here is not to be boring. You can use a service like Punchbowl or Evite to create a free, colorful invitation that includes photos of you and your book cover. Don’t be scared! Invite everyone you know, and be sure to write and send out a compelling press release and personal invitation to the media. Plus, don’t forget to use social media to remind people about the upcoming celebration.
4. Wear something that matches with the theme of your book.
You want to feel comfortable and confident during your book signing party, so it pays to think about your attire. This goes for both men and women. If you wear something related to your book, all the better.
For example, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert found a botanical-themed dress in shades of green to wear when she was promoting her new novel The Signature of All Things (AFF).
5. Every party needs good beverages and food.
Have you ever went to a party that didn’t serve beverages or food? If you did you probably didn’t stay very long, so why would you put your potential readers and book buyers through a similar experience?
What if you could serve an interesting but delicious beverage or delicate and creative snack that matches the theme of your book? (Are you noticing a pattern here?) Maybe you’ve written a novel about zombies, perhaps you could serve zombie cookies and green punch. The creative possibilities are endless!
Let me just add this: Maybe the bit of creativity you do have is more easily expressed through the words you share in your writing and not so easily expressed in your party throwing capabilities. Consider hiring an event planner and party designer to help you come up with creative ideas that will make your party that much more enjoyable (and memorable).
6. Compel book buyers to come in from the street.
When author Irene Rawlings held the launch for her book Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires, and Tales From the Road, (AFF) seven of the “sisters” parked their pimped-out vintage camping trailers outside the bookstore and people began lining up outside to see the trailers, which made other curious people stop, and soon Rawlings’ book signing party was standing room only.
A minister once said, “When a man is on fire everyone will come to watch him burn”. Now, of course, this is not to be taken literally. This minister was talking about the fire of passion. When you think about this it easily relates to the powers of persuasion. In fact, Jesus himself told His disciples to compel others to come so that His house would not be empty.
You need to do whatever it takes to get the attention of those that pass by the location where your book party event is taken place. As I said earlier, you have to be unconventional and unorthodox in your methods. This is no time to be boring!
7. Host a giveaway for a prize that will make your event that much more memorable.
Again, relate the prize giveaway to the theme of your book. If you wrote a zombie novel, could you create and give away a zombie survival kit? If your novel is about a cold war aircraft could you offer a flight in a vintage airplane that matches the plane in your book?
You see, people love prizes, so find something memorable that will remind them of your book (and that will also compel them to tell others about their experience)—and they’ll never forget you or your fun and exciting book launching party, either.
Now Over to You…
Have you recently thrown book launching party? Was it boring and a failure, or was it a memorable blast?
Share your stories of what happen in the comments below, I can’t wait to read your comments!