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How to Conduct a Book Signing

posted Jan 29, 2014, 4:06 PM by Anjuan Simmons   [ updated Jan 29, 2014, 4:06 PM ]
I've put on a few book signings for Minority Tech, and I wanted to share the checklist I created for organizing such events:

  • Contact various venues get quotes in writing.
  • Use lower cost quotes to get leverage from more upscale venues.
  • Send a sketch of the room layout and equipment you want. Get commitment from the venue.
  • Pay in advance. This let's the venue know you're serious.
  • Create an event page to track headcount. Assume that 50% of the people who RSVP will come . . . if you're lucky.
  • Try to add a twist to the book signing. At my book signing in Harlem, I invited four female friends of mine who lived in the area to sit on a panel about how men of color can help women of color in the workplace. That made the event less about just me and my book and more about having an interesting conversation. Give your panelists some gift (like a free signed copy of your book) to thank them for their time.
  • Donate a copy of the book to the venue so that others who visit it will see your book and possibly look it up online.
  • Advertise. Use social media. Include your twist in the ads. 
  • Bring plenty of pens to use for signing. Ballpoint pens don't bleed through as much as sharpies.
  • Bring business cards and pass them out in copious amounts.
  • Bring extra cash and coins to make change.
  • If possible, set up a table to sell the books and set up a separate table to sign them. Ask a trusted person to collect the money for sales and direct customers to where you're sitting waiting to sign their purchased book. 
  • Use services like Square to handle credit card transactions on a smartphone. There WILL be people who want to buy your book but don't have cash.

Stack of Books