How to Do a Book Signing Event in 2020

hi guys if you're watching this video

you probably want to know how do you set

up a book signing or a book event and

then once you have it set up what

exactly do you do after that I'm excited

to tell you a few tips and tricks from

what I've learned in my personal

experiences from doing book signings at

Barnes & Noble I've done a couple

signings there I've done book sales at

the library I have even done the Twin

Cities Book Festival and book on in New

York and so I've just had a great time

learning how to do these events how to

find my way into them and how to do them

well so I'm really excited to share with

you my tips in this video the first

thing I want to talk about is actually

how to set up the book signing or a

bookish event because I think a lot of

people are actually mystified on how to

do this I know I would setting up a book

event actually just really boils down to

two things number one doing your

research and number two asking though

research is extremely important because

if you apply to an event or a location

or whatever that would not accept your

book they're just going to be frustrated

that you didn't look up the rules in

advance and figure it out in the first

place so for example a lot of authors

want to get into Barnes & Noble and so

they'll ask me like how do I do it what

do I do but they haven't done the

research because if they did I know that

they would have found this webpage that

Barnes & Noble has on their website

about how to be considered for an author

event there are also people who ask me

how do I sell my book at Barnes Noble

and again Barnes & Noble has a whole

page on how to sell your book at Barnes

& Noble and so there's a list of

qualifications if you do your research

you can find out the things that you

need to do to make sure your book is

qualified and able to be considered for

an event like Barnes & Noble for example

a lot of people aren't aware that Barnes

and Noble does require books to be

returnable and so that is a feature that

KDP which is Amazon's print-on-demand

company does not currently have and so

if you want to do a Barnes & Noble book

signing and have them actually buy the

books which they prefer to do and they

might require I don't know for a fact

anymore but they might require that they

buy the books themselves and

for the books have to be returnable

other places might require that your

books are put on consignment which means

that they don't buy them but you like

loan the books to the store and if the

book sells them then they pay you and

it's like a certain time frame so every

location is different if you go to some

place like book con or the festival like

the one I did today then you often have

to apply to be part of it and it's

there's a whole system and an

application thing that you have to go

through so you won't know these things

until you do your research penny just

left so again I feel like I can't say

this enough it's really really important

that you do your research because

booksellers will really really

appreciate this event people in general

will just really really find you

respectful and wonderful and want to

work with you more if you've done your

research and then the second thing like

I mentioned is you just have to ask my

favorite way to ask and actually the way

I definitely recommend if you're at all

able to is to go to the location where

you want to do the event or the book

signing and ask them in person it is so

so so helpful to have that in-person

face-to-face contact because once they

get to know you and actually like talk

to you face-to-face it's going to get

your foot in the door a lot more than

like an email would if you're not able

to go to the store then my second

biggest tip is definitely to call them

because again the more personal it can

be the more likely they are to actually

consider you so if you're talking to

somebody directly in real time and

you're like hey I would love to do a

book signing or an event at your store

is that something you would ever

consider doing for a local author and

what are the ways that I could possibly

get that started it can be a little more

awkward as you can tell when you're

talking in person so you can kind of

give yourself some talking points which

we'll cover in a second but whenever

you're talking to somebody in person or

over the phone it's going to come across

a lot more like personable and friendly

and just definitely more desirable

because they're going to get to see who

you are

and be more excited about somebody they

actually like know a little bit I don't

know how else to say it but I hope that

makes sense and

and the third way that I recommend if

you can't do that

and if you've called and you haven't

been able to reach anybody is to do

email and I would suggest email more as

a last resort but definitely above like

social media or anything else because

email is way more professional and you

definitely want to come across like a

business person because you are talking

to a business so you want to be as

professional as possible if you do have

to write an email though I definitely

recommend still calling the store and

getting the name of the correct person

that you should be addressing the email

to because you want it to be personal

and you want it to go you don't want it

to be like to whomever it may concern or

hello all or any crap like that do not

do that the more personal and

professional that you can be the more

likely they are to say yes I'm going to

give you an example of what I would say

if I were writing the email or if I were

talking to them in person and some of

the things that you're gonna want to

have on hand and ready to go or add to

the email again depending on which way

you go I'm gonna read an example of what

I might write to a book store if I were

writing an email and generally you would

say this same kind of information but

just in a more casual like

conversational way all right so the

first thing is hi and their name you

want to make sure that you personalize

it to the specific person that you're

writing to I personally think when

people just write me kind of a spammy

message I will almost instantly delete

it but if they write hi Bethenny I will

take the time to read what they have to

say because they took the time to

personalize the message to me so just

saying I think that's really important

especially in this day and age when you

can get a lot of spam to make it


the second thing I would do is lead with

what you're asking them so I would make

it brief into the point but I would also

make sure to include how it benefits

them because why did I care you have to

make them understand why they should

care so for example I'm writing to see

if you would be open to hosting a book

signing by a local author I think it

would really benefit your store and I'd

be very excited to market the event and

draw a crowd to your store so you can

see that I slipped in there that I am

willing to do the marketing which they

will really appreciate because book

stores don't usually do a lot of

marketing person

so if they know that you're promising to

bring people in to this event they're

going to be a lot more interested right

off the bat the next thing you want to

do is explain to them what your book is

and what it's about so you keep it again

brief and to the point so I would say my

novel is a young adult fantasy retelling

of Aladdin from Jasmine's perspective

and I would leave it at that I don't

want to ever like overwhelm them with

information although you could

potentially say something like I will

copy and paste the synopsis of the story

below this email if you're interested

but they can always look it up so I say

keep it short don't overwhelm them the

next step is to have your ISBN number

ready so if you're talking to them in

person or on the phone make sure you

have it handy and ready to tell them

because that is how book sellers look up

books but if you're writing an email I

just say the ISBN number is blank

whatever it is if you'd like to know

more details and then again they can

click on it to look up the book in their

system see the cover see what it's about

see all the information that they need

to know and then I like to sign with

something professional like I look

forward to hearing from you and I hope

we can partner on this event idea in the


sincerely Bethany so that's just an

example of the kind of email that I

would write you can make it personal to

you but I just think it's important to

number one not waste their time so keep

your email short and to the point number

two I think it's really important to let

them know what's in it for them don't

write an email that's all about you I'm

awesome you should definitely take me on

I write amazing books do and do that oh

they're just gonna be like that's nice

but why should we care so let them know

why they should care and let them know

that you're excited about the idea of

bringing a bunch of people to their

store and telling everyone about it and

I think that's going to definitely make

them a lot more interested most of the

time if you do your research and if you

ask them in a very polite professional

way a book seller or a book event is

going to say yes and so yeah awesome

we're gonna talk in a second about what

you do next but there are some reasons

that book seller might say no and mainly

those are if they're a business so if

the book doesn't look like it would sell

if it doesn't have like a specific place

on the bookshelf I got really lucky that

Barnes Noble was willing to do a sign

with me but technically Evelyn's number

is both dystopian and a little bit

Christian and so it's like kind of this

genre blend that doesn't actually have a

physical place on the shelf and so many

places might say no to that so you have

to be really aware same thing with

having a good cover a good blurb does

this booklet look like it's going to

sell and actually attract readers that's

really important to a bookseller because

that's their entire job so I'm not gonna

go into too much detail on this I do

have a whole book about how your book

sells itself

right there you can't see it above and

saw the shelf above but I will put a

little picture of it you can go check

out how your book sells itself I talked

about the ten different ways that you

can make sure your book is basically

selling itself and so you get the idea

if you have any trouble and you feel

like people might be saying no to you

for any particular reason you can check

that book out and get some ideas but now

we're gonna move on to the second part

of this video which is what do you do

once you have a signing like what do you

even expect I remember when I first had

I think my very first signing was at

Barnes Noble I did tons of research I

was googling things I couldn't find

hardly any information out there

and so I want to be that resource for

you guys today and hopefully help you

the first and biggest thing that I want

to bring up today is something that I

remember reading in multiple places

online that really helped me go into a

book signing with the right mindset

because otherwise I think I would have

thought that I was a failure and that is

that most of the time authors only sell

between 10 to 20 books total like total

like if you sell 10 books you did a good


if you sell 20 books you did incredible

and so that's excluding like bigger

events like book on where I think I sold

more like 80 ish plus or minus a few

giveaways that I did but most of the

time I have found that my range is

between 10 to 20 and so again that's

also excluding like I would say maybe

your debut your very first book signing

ever might do a little bit better but I

just want to help you set your

expectations because

I think if I hadn't known that I would

have assumed book signings you just sell

like hundred books I've been really

disappointed it's pretty rare even for

some bigger authors most of the time 10

to 20 is the range unless the book

signing had tons of publicity and then

it could sell more but what I read

online and what I've definitely found to

be true is that events and book signings

tend to be way more about networking and

making connections that will benefit you

down the road and help you get future

signings and events which totally

totally happened to me I have gotten

this weekend I did the Twin Cities Book

Festival last weekend I did a library

book signing both times I got tons of

business cards and met so many cool

people and if I hadn't even done the

library signing I wouldn't have known

the Twin Cities Book Festival even

existed because they actually had a spot

open up and they asked me if I would

want to fill it so as you can see I am a

living example of how it's not just

about selling books it's also about

networking so you need to be aware of

that and have that mindset going in so

that leads to my second tip which is

bring business cards because it's really

hard to make connections if you don't

have a business card to give away and I

just ran out of business cards today so

I can vouch for that that it's really

frustrating to run into somebody cool

and be like hey I don't have anything to

give you to contact me but let's connect

you know it makes it tricky so the

second step I would say it's get

business cards and bring them with you

at least my third tip and the one that I

completely forgot to do today and I

always regret when I forget to do this

is to bring an email signup and all you

have to do honestly is you could bring a

piece of paper and a pen and you can

just write name and email or you can

make something fancier on your computer

but it really doesn't have to be that

fancy again it could just be name and

email with a column for each and if you

do this it's going to help you a ton

because there's so many people who

they'll look at your book and they'll

consider it but maybe they didn't bring

enough money maybe they already spent

their whole budget for the day on other

books or maybe they want to see what's

out there but you're leaving

they come back or something like that so

it can be extremely helpful to have an

email list because a lot of people are

way more willing to just give you their

email and just like see what you send

them and so if you start sending out

emails where they get to know you and

they get to know more about your books

and they they get free thanks for me

like your opt-ins eventually the rule of

seven kicks in which is to say that in

marketing they say about seven times

someone needs to hear about a product

before they decide to buy it so your

first time that you told them about the

product was at the event but then they

sign up for your newsletter and I hear

about it six more times or however many

they really need and they end up buying

your book in the future so you can see

how valuable this is and I'm kicking

myself that I forgot to do that today my

fourth tip if you want to is I have seen

writers bring fun table decor and random

beautiful things that make the booth or

the table or wherever you are a little

bit more interesting so when Mandy and I

did book on we did this we had the super

fun like Polaroid and Mandy actually was

the one who ended up putting it together

once we brainstormed it I think when you

do stuff like that it can make your

table just a little bit more personal

and a little bit more interesting and

eye catching and so it could definitely

be the reason that it draws somebody up

to your table like I saw an author who

had a dragon in a cage and I thought

that was so cool so I definitely think

if you have fun table decor ideas you

can make it as unique as you want just

remember you have to carry it which

leads to my next tip and that is to use

a rolling suitcase whether you have a

lot of books or you're not even bringing

that many either way I found that a

rolling suitcase can be a lifesaver

because it made it made today so much

easier and I just really appreciate it

having that the next one is to bring

sharpies of some kind or a pen so that

you can sign the books and then my last

tip of course is remember the payments

so I know that a lot of people will do

cash and it's good to bring change for

that so you can bring a handful of ones

and a few fives maybe a ten call it good

but a lot of people also want to buy

with their credit card and I found that

if I don't have that option I kind of

lose sales if you're doing a Barnes &

Noble book

where they have bought the books then

they will take the payment you won't

have anything to do with that so don't

worry about it but if you are taking the

payment yourself like I did a book on

and the festival in the library for

example you can use something in the

u.s. called the square reader I believe

that's what I chose to use because a lot

of people recommended it to me and it

was just the easiest option but I

definitely recommend that you do your

research I am NOT going to give you

advice on what else there is out there

because I don't know figure out what's

best for you and if you're going to take

credit card payments just make sure that

it's safe oh I will add a bonus tip

which is to also make sure that you

charge your phone and if you're able to

bring some kind of charger especially

awesome if you have a charger that

doesn't need to be plugged in and it's

like the case itself is a charger bring

that make sure your phone is at 100%

because you're gonna need it for the

square app if you're taking credit card

payments that way you're also gonna

probably want it to take pictures and

another bonus tip I guess then would be

to take a lot of pictures because you're

gonna be very happy that you did it's a

fun memory to look back on and you can

also share it on social media and

draweth or newsletter so I would

definitely encourage you guys to give

this a shot don't be afraid to just dive

in do your research and ask because the

worst thing that could happen is they

can say no and then you move on to the

next person and you try somewhere else

and I really think that this is a fun

thing to do so again I'll caution you

not to buy too many books because I have

definitely bought too much stock in the

past but if you do happen to have too

many then I guess you just have to start

doing another event right alright give

this video a thumbs up if it helped you

make sure you subscribe below there's a

bell somewhere down there that will

alert you next time I have a video we'll

see you guys in the next video I hope

you have a great day and I'll talk to

you again soon bye