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Book Signing Tips for Authors

by Patricia Fry

Are you planning to do book signings to promote your newly published book? Here are a few dos and don’ts to help make these events more successful.

Don’t wait for an invitation. Take the initiative and approach local bookstores and managers of businesses related to your book topic. Offer to give a presentation or to sign books for their customers.

2 ½ weeks before the event:

Send press releases with a photograph of yourself or your book cover to all newspapers within a 40-mile radius. Tell about your book, yourself and what your presentation will consist of. Include your phone number. An editor may want to contact you for more information.

10 days in advance of the event:

If the store doesn’t plan to do so, make posters and flyers to advertise your signing and deliver them to the store.

Offer to design a store display of your books.

One week before of the event:

Know ahead of time what to expect. Will you have a microphone? Podium? Table at which to sit for signing? Will you have to arrange for these yourself?

Check the store stock. Will you need to bring additional books to sell?

The day of the event:

Dress to stand out in a crowd, but not so dramatically as to distract from your presentation.

Be prompt. Arriving a little early will give you time to settle in.

Bring handouts-a related article, report or sample chapter. When I sign Quest for Truth, I hand out my article on meditation walking. For The Mainland Luau, it’s a recipe from the book.

Reach out to people, don't wait for them to come to you. Hand copies of your books to folks in the audience or who visit your signing table. If things are slow, walk around the store and hand books to customers.

Keep track of the number of books you autograph in case there is a discrepancy.

After the event:

Send a note of thanks to the store manager and staff.

Attend other signings and note what works and what doesn’t.

Realize that signings and presentations will rarely exceed your expectations and hardly ever meet your highest goals. But anytime you are given the opportunity for this sort of free publicity, you are making headway in your promotional efforts.



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