IDEAS, EXPERIENCES, MUST BRINGS
How to prepare for a successful book signing event!
After my successful book signing in Vegas I thought I’d write about TJ and my own experiences so far, lessons we’ve learned and tricks that helped us make even the biggest event a success.
The first time I went to a signing, I had maybe three books with me, and didn’t really now what to expect, at the end even though I came unprepared, I still had an amazing time. But I also learned a few things. Tricks to make it easier on myself and the authors.
Here is what we’ve learned so far:
I think one of the best strategies is to bring most of the books you want to have signed with you. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the authors are
a) bringing all their books
b) have enough copies so they won’t run out of books when it’s your turn.
So far Amazon and big sites like BookDepository and BookOutlet have had amazing deals on books, sometimes even better than the authors themselves. But we also had some incredible deals directly from the authors. So for all of you on a budget, compare prices before you preorder books. Most authors open up pre-order forms way ahead of the events. If you are on a budget, do you homework and check prices.
The rolling cart has been my best investment yet. I bought my rolling cart on Amazon. It’s an Office Depot rolling cart, but it was quite cheap, only $15 and it has lasted TWO events so far. In Las Vegas it was loaded to the brim and I even walked with it two entire blocks down the Strip. Over cobblestones, bumps and curbs. It’s still looking good.
It was a life safer. I was able to put approximately 50 books, plus a box of swag into the cart without fear of losing half of it. It was a real trooper.
Something to consider, the cart is a sturdy one but that also makes it heavy. I did take it with me in my checked luggage, but the extra weight is something to think about. I checked two suitcases, which is not a problem when flying with Southwest. But coming back was quite problematic. I filled all of my two carry-ons to the brim, plus my duffle bag and my friend took another three boxes of books in her suitcase. I couldn’t have done it without her.
Take into consideration additional purchases and weight limits when packing your luggage.
Container for Swag
Since I’m talking about safe transportation, bring a box or container for your swag. It was such a great idea having a container for swag, I didn’t have to worry about bookmarks being bent or crushed. The box kept everything perfectly contained and safe.
Not only did it keep everything safe, it also kept my cart nicely organized. Which I appreciated and found super helpful. I never, not once, had the feeling I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Wrap your books before you put them into your suitcase. With wrapping I mean, buy a cheap roll of food wrap, and wrap it. This was something TJ experienced when coming back from a signing and it was a life saver for the book I brought home from Vegas. Wrapping books in stacks, three or more, identical in height and width, turns them into little book bricks that are much safer and less likely to be damaged.
Nowadays we wrap books even if we just send them to giveaway winners, with the hope that it helps with delivering books in mint condition. Since most mailmen push the envelopes into the mailboxes even if they fit or not, without regards of the contents, having them wrapped might help with that as well.
We also use old shipping boxes, like amazon boxes to transport our books. If they are already in small containers, the chances are much smaller that they will get bounced around in the suitcase or crushed by careless handling at the airport.
So we try to be extra careful. Wrap them into stacks, and have a few boxes to keep them separate from all of your other items in your suitcase.
When I counted in Las Vegas, I had 11 boxes, and 4 piles of wrapped and stacked books. Crazy- I know!! But every single book arrived home safe and sound.
I’m the first to admit that mingling and chatting is not something I’m comfortable doing. It’s so hard for me to approach an author and just start chatting, but I can attest that it gets easier with each event.
I love when events organize casual get togethers before the actual event. Maybe a meet at the hotel bar where authors and readers can mingle without any pressure. Just go, grab a drink and talk to the person sitting next to you. I experienced it first hand in San Francisco, it was my very first event and because of the casual meet the night before, I met authors like Aurora Rose Reynolds, and readers like Bernice which I have now met at four signings total. I love connecting with event goers, meeting social media friends in real life.
I was an epic fail at the big Meet and Greet Friday night in Las Vegas. I didn’t really know anyone, and I felt so awkward standing around or interrupting conversations that I didn’t stay long. It something I had to learn, I do better in smaller settings.
At these events there is always a chance of winning books. Authors might have flash giveaways announced on their social media. Which was the case with D. Kennedy. TJ saw the announcement on FB and I was lucky enough to get a book for free.
Romance Reveal Box gave away their entire content on their table all just for giving them my email address. At the end of the event they announced the winners on FB. I was one of the lucky once.
BB Reid, had an offer buy a book and get a free t-shirt. Other authors gave away tumblers, and sample books of their upcoming novels. Helena Hunting gave away 5 ARC copies of Hooking Up.
Even though some of these events can be quite overwhelming and the lines seem to go on for forever, enjoy your time with your favorite authors. Take a minute to appreciate the time you have to really connect with a beloved author. Get a hug and take pictures. Chat with them and tell them how much you love their books. That’s one of the things they love to hear from us. ♡
I hope this article was helpful, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to let us know.
ABOVE a few random photos with the authors. Enjoy your time with them. Get hugs and take a photo ( if that’s your thing 😜).