Wednesday, October 29, 2014


BOOK SIGNING SOON? You will want to check out these ten points of advice.

If  you’ve been thinking about setting up a table at a book festival, make sure you read this list first. This list has everything you need to make a successful showing. If you find it helpful, please share. Make sure you click the links to see the awesome resources I’ve dug up for you so you don’t have to go find them yourself.

  1. Books – This may sound obvious, but you need books to sell. If possible, find out how many people are expected to attend, and calculate a 1% – 2% conversion rate. That is roughly how many books you will need to have on hand.
  2. Posters - These can draw the attention of potential buyers from across the room. Make sure you get 16×20 or larger, so they are easier to see from a distance.
  3. Poster Frames – If you buy a decent frame, it should last you a while, and you can use it for multiple events. Make sure you bring Windex and paper towels to keep the glass clean.
  4. Display Tripod – If you have posters, you’ll need a way to display them. Having tripods is a great idea because you can adjust the height and they come with awesome carrying cases.
  5. Book Stand – A book stand is a great way to display your books and ensure that they don’t keep falling over. People like to touch, and rarely put the books back correctly. This cuts down on that.
  6. Table Banner – Having a table banner can attract a lot of attention from a distance. Just make sure that your banner isn’t too big for your table or it will droop and look unprofessional.
  7. Bookmarks – Bookmarks are awesome and cheap free giveaways. They also help make your table look more full and they can be used over and over again. The reusability of bookmarks makes them great for long term marketing.
  8. Personal Dolly – I’ve done several shows and a personal dolly will save you lots of time and back pain, especially if its a far walk from the car to your table. Invest in one of these if you plan to attend shows on at least a semi regular basis.
  9. Tablet PC – If you really want to draw the crowd’s attention, putting a slideshow on a tablet can be a wow factor. I stole this little idea from Virren Orr as I watched him use it to add email addresses to his mailing list the entire book fair.
  10. Emergency Power Source – One thing about book festivals and fairs is that they don’t always offer access to power. Having your own power source can be a game changer, especially if no one else has one.
  11. Business Cards – These are essential at pretty much any event. Business cards are a great way to let people know how to get in touch with you. There are also other uses for business cards, outside of just providing your contact information. Experiment and see what other uses you can come up with.
  12. Flyers - If you have upcoming events or just want to share excerpts from your books, flyers are a great way to do both. If your event is not ongoing, make sure you don’t order too many or you’ll be stuck with lots of unusable flyers. Its also suggested that you do a small order at first to see how people respond. If they don’t like them, change them, and try again until you find a design that is more effective.
  13. Awning – These are great to have on hand. Luckily you’ll only need to buy one of these, unless it gets damaged. Awnings can keep the sun off of you in the heat and rain off of you and your books if necessary. You can never go wrong with an awning purchase. Just make sure your awning isn’t too big for your location. A 10×10 will work in most cases.
  14. Table Cloth – This is a necessary expense because they usually aren’t provided. Table cloths are great for hiding boxes under tables or if you have to share a table, it ensures that you aren’t sitting at a table with two different table cloths that meet at the middle. A good rule of thumb is to buy at least one 6ft. and one 8ft. so that there are no issues if you end up with a table that is larger or smaller than expected.
  15. Chairs - Comfortable chairs are essential if you plan to attend an event for a long period of time. Most times chairs are not provided, and if they are, they tend to be flimsy. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a comfortable chair. If you’re serious about your career, you’ll be using it for years to come.

Reader Add Ons

  1. Transparent Shower Curtains – This, along with clear tape will help keep the rain off or your books when the wind is blowing.
  2. Plastic Shopping Bags – Customers need something to carry their books in and they’ll appreciate you going the extra mile. It’ll also give people a reason to stop at your table when they have books they’ve already bought, but nothing to carry them in.
  3. Square – If you need to process credit card payments, then this is a handy little device that will allow you to swipe them and collect payment using your phone.
  4. Weights and Bungee Cords – These are perfect for holding down your canopy and signs.
  5. Trash Bags – If you plan to eat or open packaging of  any kind, having trash bags can come in handy. However, make sure you keep them out of sight or it will make your area look unprofessional.
  6. Signing Pens – Make sure you grab a pack, just in case people want their books signed. While you’re at it, have a lighter on hand. If your pen dries up, heating the tip very quickly will get the ink flowing again.
Submitted by Richard Morris (author).  Thanks Richard.
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