t a book signing we all wish we could be J.K. Rowling with a line of readers, waiting to have their book signed, extending to around the block. Unfortunately, for most of us it feels like we’re stuck on a desert island waiting for someone to come and rescue us.
Unless you’re a well-known and long-established author, book signings can leave you feeling lonely, disillusioned and unappreciated, however, they’re a good way of getting your face and name out to the reading world. Here are a few tips you might like to try to engage with readers as they come into the store.
1. Don’t stand behind the table. It puts a barrier between you and your reader. Standing at the front or to the side makes you more approachable. Draw them into conversation starting with something like, “Hello, I’m a visiting author today…”.
2. Build a relationship. Some readers are shy. They avoid eye contact and will take a roundabout way to get to the shelves they want. When there’s no one waiting for me to sign a book at the table, I come alongside these shy people and start talking about some of the books on the shelves. I ask them what books they’ve read or which authors are their favourites. It’s not long before they say they saw me over at the table when they walked in and ask what I’m doing. That’s the moment I start talking about myself and within minutes others will come to see what we’re talking about.
3. Understand the book stores’ customers. Some customers know exactly what they want and will not be side-tracked from their mission. They’ve been here before and know the layout. Let them complete their task. You won’t engage them in a conversation until they’ve made their purchase. Then they have the time to see what else is going on. Take time to approach them and engage them in conversation.
4. As soon as they enter the store, some readers want to know authors. This type of reader will come up to the table and ask what you’re doing. Start the conversation by talking about them. They’ll be impressed you’re taking time to listen to them. Before long the conversation will switch to you and then you can talk about yourself and your book.
Don’t be shy during a book signing. Reach out to others and the majority will respond in a positive way. Being an author is all about building a relationship with your reader, a bookstore signing is an excellent way of meeting your readers face to face.About Laura O’Connell
Laura enjoys writing stories about second chances in love and life. She calls the Gold Coast home, however, her curious nature leads her on adventures to locations that surprise and delight her. Laura has a passion for telling a good story set in places where she has lived and travelled. Her first book, African Hearts, was shortlisted in the 2011 Caleb Prize.
Laura around the web:Website Facebook Twitter Author Page
Book Blurb – Web of LiesHigh school sweethearts, Stephanie and Lachlan are torn apart by circumstance, bad decisions and a web of lies, leaving an unknown future for their son, Ryan.
Eight years later they reconnect, but the time apart has changed them. The family had made decisions based on lies and deceit and now must find a way to either reveal the truth or find another option. On the surface, their arrangements seemed flawless, but dig deeper, and the people they thought they knew aren’t as they appear.
Lachlan and Stephanie are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the entire family is compelled to reveal the truth, find forgiveness, and renew loving one another. But the hardest decision is still to come … where does Ryan live?
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Thanks Laura! Good advice! Making the time to speak to the customers about their interests is very smart!!
How about you? Does the thought (or reality) of a booksigning terrify you? Or are you one of those calm and cool types? (If so, I'm jealous!! - any more tips?) :)