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Friday, June 13, 2014

Mimsey's Top 8 Tips For Book Signings

Hello Gentle Readers,

I was recently asked over on my Facebook about book signings. See, the one and only John Bayer is traveling to North Dakota  July 3-21 to do multiple book signings for his hilarious loving homage to The Peace Garden State 15 Months of Winter:My Year in North Dakota.

So, if you're in North Dakota, make sure to stop by and say hi! And if you'd like to read my thoughts on 15 Months of Winter:My Year in North Dakota check out my review or my interview with John.

And now, let's talk some book signings!

Mimsey's Top 8 Tips For Book Signings

Beware of irony.

8) Promote like it's going out of style! Let me let you in on a hard truth: The only person who really cares about your work is you. Unless you are George R.R. Martin, no one is going to track your every movement. 

And if you are George R.R. Martin
get back to work killing everyone's favorite characters!

It is up to you, the author, to promote your book signing. That can be as easy as creating a Facebook event, tossing out invites on Twitter, to emailing bloggers about interviews and spotlights, contacting local media (newspapers are still around and radio people are awesome!) to even buying ads. Look, I'm not saying you should go out and spend money, because I'm a writer. I know you're broke. What I am saying is, it is up to you! So get out there, and tell people about what you're doing!

7) Find your hook! If you want to be successful, find a need you can meet! And if you want a successful book signing, then find the niche your book fills!

For instance, Keanu Reeves does really well among 

I'm a pop culture nerd from South Carolina. I can talk mysteries, My Little Pony or BBQ. I wrote a book about Santa, Gullah people, and a bed and breakfast named for a Confederate officer. I can pretty much find a narrative hook for any place. So writers, it's time to put on your brainstorming cap and find your hook. 

Or do a book signing AS Hook. 

6) Don't sweat rejection! Look, the chances that you'll pack out the house at your book signing are pretty slim. No matter how big you are, no matter how good your book, there is no guarantee that it won't rain. Or there could be a game on. Or someone put in a typo for the date. 
Or you were double-booked with model railroad enthusiasts

Failure is always an option, but life goes on! Even if you fail, who cares? Laugh about it, learn from it and put on your big kid pants. And whatever you do, always make sure to treat your audience, big or small, with respect and attention. If Mom is the only person who comes to your signing, then talk to Mom and make her feel special. Because she loves you.

5) Dress for success! Keep in mind, you're trying to sell books. So, if you're going to sell some books, you need to look like someone worth buying a book from!

Don't ask where he keeps his pen. 

You don't have to suit up, but don't dress like Hobo Bob either. Unless your book is about a Hobo who makes good. Or you are a Hobo makes good. In which case, Hobo until your heart's content!

I would gladly buy a book from him. 
4) Stay Active! I have a confession to make, I'm an introvert. I know, I know, people know me primarily as the handsome, charming, witty and sarcastic writer with mass appeal who brought sexy back. And that's all true. 


But, I'm still a very introverted person who has trouble with large groups. I have to make myself to be active in bigger social settings, such as book signings. I have to talk to folks, be outgoing and stay active!

Wearing a costume helps.

3) Don't forget eye contact... Piggybacking on the staying active thing, don't forget to make eye contact. I always try to make eye contact with people I talk to, be it readers, fellow writers or folks who just mistake me for someone who cares. 
I had to stop wearing this shirt at Target
because everyone kept thinking I knew
which aisle vacuums were on.

Making eye contact develops a relationship between the two of you. Relationships are how you sell books. So, if you want to sell books, make eye contact!

And try not to look bug eyed when you do it!

2) Freebies are your friend! I always try to have something special at each of my book signings. Whether that's bookmarks, cookies or drawings, it's important for me to have something free to give out. Try to find something that relates to your book or you as a person, that would be a nice, inexpensive and memorable take-away. 

Like Muppets. Everyone loves the Muppets!

Everyone loves getting something free, and good vibes create good feelings, and good feelings can lead to good sales. So, find something that is personal to you and make sure you have the give-away ready for your next book signing!

And if you come to one of my book signings
there's a good chance you'll get a Mimsey 
original drawing!

1) Have fun! Most importantly, enjoy yourself and have fun! Book signings are the one chance an author can have to step outside of the writing-sphere, meet the fans and supporters, and also rope in new readers. 

Caution: When roping in new readers
please don't use real rope. 
Unless they're into that. 
Safe sane consensual people!

I love book signings. If I could make a living doing a tour of them, I would. I love the awesome, crazy and wonderful people I meet at them. Seriously, I found my wife through a book signing. And if that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is!

Though in fairness, I don't think 
she actually bought a book.

Jay Mims writes books, blogs, and went to see Godzilla. Jay lives with The Mimsus, a passive aggressive Dalek named Steve, and a cat named Eartha Kitty. Jay is far funnier on Facebook then in real life. He is terrible at Twitter