Association for Rural & Small Libraries

Association for Rural & Small Libraries

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Susan

Book signing guidance?

Director, Fairview Public Library

A local author has approached our library about doing a book signing. Our community is kinda small, ~4,000 year round residents and a contingent of NYC residents with second homes in town. We expect to run the signing on a Saturday but don't know the best way of running the signing.

Can you offer some advise on how a small, rural library can run a book signing?

Thanks.

  • Comment (4)
  • June 8, 2012
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Comments

  • Linda C.

    Linda

    Linda C.

    Marketing & Publishing

    Speaking as an author who has done dozens of appearances and as someone who coaches authors for appearances, here's what I'd recommend: first, the author has to do more than a signing. People won't come for that alone. For a children's book, there should be a reading and an activity. For nonfiction, a brief (10-15 minute) talk on some point of the book (NOT a reading) and then Q & A followed by a signing. My experience has been that some people will not ask their questions during the group Q & A, but they will during the signing when the conversation is one-to-one, so make sure the author has help during sales and signing so that he or she can take time to talk. A display about the book and talk should go up at least two weeks, and preferably a month, in advance of the talk. You should work with the author on publicity, to determine who is contacting which media. Consider contacting community centers, retirement homes and local chapters of professional and alumni associations to publicize the event. Assuming the book is being sold at the event, price it at a round figure ($15, $20, $25) to cover the sales tax and reduce the need to make change. I have always rounded down.

  • Susan C.

    Susan

    Susan C.

    Director, Fairview Public Library

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    Our book signing/reading went well. Had about 12 people who stayed for all of the program. The author was able to sell some books and she gave a small donation to the library. And the food was great.

    We were lucky with this event because our local weekly paper did a nice article on the author a week before the event.

  • Linda C.

    Linda

    Linda C.

    Marketing & Publishing

    Wonderful. Ideally, you'd document what you, the author and the media did so you have it as a road map for the next event. Maybe a notebook with a copy of the article, any photos that were taken, and a quick memo to file re: who did what when and what you'd like to do differently next time.

  • Rosella

    Rosella C.

    Children's Author and Teacher

    I recently self published a children's book and joined a writier's group that was formed at my library. Our book signing was for a group of authors who met at the writers group.
    This attracted more people and we support each other through the writers group.Each
    author invited people they knew and it was advertised locally.

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