I’ve done my fair share of book signings over the past four years. While it feels good to walk in, see your visage on a poster, and say “I’m the guy”, in reality book signings are almost always a complete waste of time. In fact, as I write this, I’m sitting at one. Sure, you get the occasional browser and curious patron, but the squeeze is rarely worth the juice–with one exception.
If you sign books after you’ve spoken, the vibe is totally different because people actually want to talk to you, albeit briefly. If you’ve just energized a couple hundred folks (or more), signings are amazing–especially if the event has purchased bulk copies of your book ahead of time. I probably signed 150 books a few weeks ago at the NMHC event in Dallas, TX. I could have stayed for much longer than the two hours I had blocked.
Talk to anyone, even eight-year old children.
In no particular order, here are some tips for book signings:
- Bring something to read, a tablet, or a laptop—but look up on occasion lest you be considered an IT guy. Extension cords and chargers don’t hurt either.
- Smile and engage passers-by. Many people are shy.
- Talk to anyone, even eight-year old children.
- Bring change or Square. Nothing is worse than not being able to sell a book to an interested person.
- Bring plenty of copies. Better to have ’em and not need ’em than vice-versa.
- Bring low expectations. If you think that there’ll be a line out the door, you’re going to be disappointed unless you’re a true rock star.
This post was inspired by my friend Scott Berkun.