A publisher is constantly telling their authors, “Get your name out there!” That can mean giving free books away, sitting in a coffee shop handing out business cards with a few books on the table, having a drawing for a free book, or doing a signing event at the local library.
People tend to buy books from authors they are familiar with. I’ve heard so many say to each other at book signing events, “This sounds interesting but I’ve never heard of this author.” We are unknown authors when we first start out and that does make a difference.
I started having a drawing to win a free book. Just a simple slip of paper with their name and e-mail address placed in a jar and I assured people that I do not share their e-mail addresses. This accomplished two things; 1. “Would you like to enter a free drawing” drew people from the door straight to my display. 2. It enabled me to create an e-mail list of people to notify of my next signing event. At the end of my allotted time I would have the manager draw a name from the jar. We’d announce it over the intercom in case the person was still in the store. If no one came forward then I would e-mail the person and announce their winning. I found this worked very well and yes, I sold more books because more people lingered at my table.
My least favorite place to do book signing events are libraries. “Get your name out there” is the incentive but people are at libraries to get free reading material, not buy books. I’ve met some very nice people at libraries and have had some wonderful conversations and have sold maybe one or two books at the most while there.
Being a Christian author it also gives us an opportunity to discuss Christian beliefs, witness, or just present Christian reading. On the back cover of Laying Down my Net it mentions that I “see angels and hear the angels sing.” Three young high school gals stopped at my table and in reading that, one exclaimed, “You see angels!?” That led to an interesting discussion.
So libraries are not out of the question and expect to donate a copy of your book. Some libraries ( and book stores) will even have you do a “reading and a question and answer” session. But don’t expect to sell several books. And yes, you will need cash. (or accept credit cards)
Stay tuned, we’re not finished yet.