I’ve been up and down the mid-west and east coast, from the southside to the north when it comes to having an entertaining book signing. Let’s face it, authors, book signings must be engaging because for the most part, it’s going to boil down to what the customer reads. That’s right.
There are plenty readers that stand before you, walking down aisles if at a book festival or standing to chat with you if you are at a solo event. Therefore, let’s try not to make the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen at book signings so that you can give yourself a great start and finish.
MISTAKE 1: Don’t plan your wardrobe
Appearances can be everything, but they aren’t truly all there is to you. However, there is that saying “first impressions”. It’s true when it comes to book signings, especially if you are a self published author and absolutely no one has heard of you.
The best thing that you can do as an author is take the time to find and outfit that compliments your appearance and attitude which should be good. This definitely doesn’t mean overdress because many times, you will be at a book signing for hours. What it does mean is take care on not looking like you just woke up that morning and left out forgetting you actually had a good pair of shoes and a clean shirt. This brings us to our next mistake.
MISTAKE 2: Fail to be welcoming
The absolute worst thing to see an author do at a book festival is appear unenthusiastic and frowning. It doesn’t matter if one person is at your table all day or one hundred. The fact of the matter is that you, the author, must be professional and attractive at all times, and that means yourself and the books.
Position your books so that they scream “come read me” and position yourself as available to talk. Make eye contact with each person that comes within two feet of your signing, and present yourself as the friendly author that they want to love.
MISTAKE 3: Talk…and know what to say
There is much more to being an author than writing and tucking your tail between your legs to hide behind the computer. I’m not saying to always be out and about like some singers or fashion models etc, but what I am saying is that when you do go out, know exactly how to describe your books, what you do, and who you are in words that are tactfully engaging.
Imagine a person asking you what you book is about, and you, as the author, have to roll your eyes to the right and up at the ceiling in order to gather the words to describe what you should already know. Your delivery should be sharp and effective in under ten seconds flat. People totally lose interest in this digital world, so it is important to know how to speak and what to say at any particular point in time. Also, be honest…or it will come back to bite you.
Get the point? These are very basic items that could improve your overall experience at book signings, and hopefully, give you and your books great traction going forward. A great personality is hard to forget just as is a great book.
This article was written by author and blogger, Mirika Mayo Cornelius. www.mirikacornelius.com