Common-sense Tips To Get People To Your Book Signing

people in line for a book signing

These strategies can help you summon a vibrant audience for your next big literary event or book signing.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In “How To Get People To Your Book Signing,” I shared some ideas on how to increase turnout for your next book signing. Here are more specific strategies to help you grab your community’s interest, grow their enthusiasm, and get them to show up.

Good luck, and may your next book signing be standing-room only!

Go for multiple touchpoints

Starting weeks, or even months, before your event, reach out to potential guests in multiple ways and at multiple different times. Keep your tone positive and stay persistent, but don’t overdo it. You never want to make anyone feel hounded, spammed, or harassed. Stick with periodic reminders from a variety of angles to grow your community’s awareness, knowledge, and excitement about your event.

Include all relevant information about your book signing

With every bit of outreach, verify that your key details are straightforward and easy to find. Remember to include your name, the name of the book, name and full address of the location, time and date, links/phone numbers/whatever for further information, and anything else you feel is vital for people to know.

This may seem obvious, but it’s an issue more often than one might think. I find it very frustrating when I’m excited about an event but can’t find key information in whatever promotional material I’m reading. The last thing you want is to make it harder for your audience to attend, so make sure all the key details are front and center.

One note: There’s nothing wrong with teaser messages like, “Hey, my book will be coming out at the end of the month, so stay tuned for details on the signing!” Just make sure that you follow up with plenty of lead time so your potential audience members have all details they need to attend.

Consider social media advertising

Depending on which platforms you use, you may be able to pay to promote posts that mention your event — and target those ads to people who are likely to be interested. If you’ve written a fantasy book where the main character is a magical cat, see if you can target your promotions to cat lovers who like reading fantasy novels and live within fifty miles of your book-signing event.

The Do's and Don'ts of Planning a Book LaunchSocial media promotion can be a science and art unto itself, so don’t be afraid to experiment and ask for help from professionals or experienced colleagues. If you’ve never tried it before, these articles from BookBaby are a great place to start learning about social media advertising for authors: “Why Does Digital Book Advertising Matter?” and “Does Advertising Guarantee Book Sales?

A word of caution — social media advertising can get expensive quickly, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing, so be sure to set a realistic budget and keep an eye on your costs to avoid anything getting out of hand.

Do personal outreach

You can write all the mailing list emails you want, hang all the posters you can print, post every day to social media, and still have nobody show up. One of the most effective catalysts for turning people from “maybe” to “yes”? Personal outreach.

Individual phone calls, texts, emails, or even handwritten notes — all of these bits of personal outreach can help establish your book signing as a real thing that’s really happening and is really important to attend.

As with all your communications, make sure your outreach is polite, positive, respectful, and not aggressive. Share your excitement, and let that energy touch the people you’re communicating with.

Plan for last-minute reminders

Even the best-intentioned of fans can get distracted and flake out at the last minute. That’s why gently reminding people the day of and/or the day before can be key in getting the turnout you want. Share your enthusiasm for the event, remind folks of key details, and express how much it would mean if they showed up.

Embrace the book-signing unknown

Sometimes you can do everything right when it comes to promoting your book signing and only your cousin shows up. Or you could do absolutely nothing and the place ends up packed. There could be a hurricane the evening of your event that keeps everyone at home or an unseasonably beautiful day that gets record numbers of people hungering for interesting things to do.

Life is unpredictable, and we can only control so much. Embrace the chaos, do your best to optimize your chances of packing the house, engage wholeheartedly with whoever shows up in the end, and remember to have fun!

Planning a Book Launch free guide

Related Posts
How To Get People To Your Book Signing
Does Advertising Guarantee Book Sales?
Why Does Digital Book Advertising Matter?
The “Do’s” Of Planning A Book Launch
10 Book Launch Don’ts

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