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A Guide to Positive Book Signings: Lessons Learned at 100 Book Signings

A Guide to Positive Book Signings: Lessons Learned at 100 Book Signings

By Dr. Phil Minnaar

EKSAL Quality Systems, 2008

ISBN: 0-9732042-3-0

Electronic Book

37 pages, $9.95

Order the ebook at:

Review by Patricia Fry

You may recall my review of SPAWN member, Dr. Phil Minnaar’s book, The Positive Dictionary, some months ago. Well, he has recently come out with a new ebook that every author will surely want—A Guide to Positive Book Signings. Evidently, Minnaar has engaged in over 100 book signings and this ebook offers benefit of his experiences.

You’ll learn, for example, the real purpose for doing book signings, how to arrange for a book signing, the best way to position yourself at one of these events, what to bring, how to attract customers to your table and he even reveals the psychology behind the book signing.

As Minnaar points out in his Foreword, “A signing event is also a marketing event and a delightful social event.” But he says, it is definitely up to the author to attract customers. Some people will come to the store expressly to see you. But there are many others who are there for other reasons. Minnaar reveals how to engage these potential customers and even convince them to buy your book.

He says, “It is up to you, as the author, to attract people to come to your table out of their own free will.” He says you can do this by acting positively to attract people rather than being passive. And he suggests capitalizing on your appearance and your behavior. This, combined with your posters and other pertinent and interesting items on your table, should act as a magnet to attract customers. He maintains that body language can influence the success of your signing. He suggests that authors sit up straight, smile and make eye contact with every person. Once they come closer, greet them warmly.

Ask the potential customer, “Have you seen this book?” When they respond with a “No,” say, “You are welcome to have a look.” Then ask the customer, “Can I tell you something about the book?” Minnaar also likes to ask the person to read a line or two from the book in order to get a sense of the style and contents. Then he remains quiet and lets them read.

Using quotes from his first book, The Positive Dictionary, Minnaar emphasizes the positives of a book signing. For example, using the word, Observe, he writes, “Observation helps you to notice the wonders of the world.” He follows this by saying, “It is enlightening and enjoyable to observe the behavior of customers in a bookstore.” His descriptions of customer behavior are interesting and most authors can relate to having encountered all of these customer types.

He makes a good point when he says that the author’s attitude is important in whether or not you have a successful book signing. Here’s one of his tips: “Avoid the mindset that you are selling this book as a physical object. You are selling the message in the book.”

If you have a book to promote and would like to do so through book signings or if you’ve done signings and have been unsuccessful, I suggest reading Phil Minnaar’s ebook, A Guide to Positive Book Signings. It may give you the insight as well as the techniques you need.

– Patricia Fry is the president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and the author of 28 books. Read her hallmark book The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, revised 2nd edition. and her NEW Author’s Workbook If you are struggling to promote a book, order Patricia’s newest ebook, The Author’s Repair Kit. Visit her informative publishing blog often at



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