Why it’s Important to have Book Signings
By Sylvia St.Cyr
Unlike a book launch, a book signing is a much more subdued event. Essentially you are sitting at a table with your books for three hours or so. Is it guaranteed that people will come, engage in conversation, and then buy multiple copies of your book? No.
So why do it? There are a few very important reasons that authors should have book signings, even though there are no guarantees for sales.
- As you set up a book signing with a bookstore in advance, it gives you an opportunity to advertise your book signing. (This can be done through social media or your website.)
The advantage of advertising your book signing(s) comes from the fact that it shows people that you are engaged in promoting your book, which must mean you believe in your book and the message behind it. It also shows people that you are doing something with your book, instead of stagnantly hoping people will find it on Amazon and purchase it.
Even if people see the advertisement you’ve put online and don’t come out, they may think about buying a copy of your book because once again it is in front of them. This alone is invaluable.
- It gives you a certain level of expertise, which draws people in.
At my last book signing, I had a young man approach the table who took a look at my book cover, turned it over and started to read the back. He said he likes to engage authors and pick their brain at signings.
Another young woman walked over, picked up the book, read a little, and then said she’d buy the book. I had no idea who she was, but from her name tag I knew she worked in the mall. I never would have met her otherwise, but she bought a copy of my book. We didn’t talk much but it was a sale for me that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
Another older gentleman came over and asked me how I booked this book signing event. It then gave me the opportunity to talk about my publisher and the benefits of going with a hybrid publisher like Word Alive Press. He also ended up purchasing a copy of my book.
The simple fact that you are in a known, retail chain store like Chapters/Indigo gives you credit as a published author, which is incredibly beneficial.
- You’ll never know the people you might meet or conversations you might have, unless you do a signing!
On the cover of my book, Love vs. Fear, the subtitle has the word “God” in it. This most certainly can bring a reaction out in people. I have had many people share their life story, or experiences with God or spirituality with me because of this. I think it is fantastic that it gives me such an opportunity to hear peoples’s heart, engage with them, and share a portion of my story with them.
Most people who have done this, even if they told me they were not a Christian, ended up purchasing my book simply because of the connection. This allows my book to do the witnessing and perhaps plant a seed of God’s love in them. The truth is I have no control over this, but the signing allows me the opportunity to let the Holy Spirit do only what He can do, and yet be a part of it. That opportunity to “partner with God” is a huge reason why I wrote the book in the first place and amazes me.
You will most likely also attract people who are writing or have written books and can help provide writers with insight or feedback. I went up to an author at a book signing once and asked for some advice as someone who wanted to publish their book. He gave me two pieces of advice, and the one piece was very helpful!
I have also had authors come up to my table now and being able to encourage them on their writing journey is quite neat.
Who knows who you will impact by simply having a book signing. You won’t know until you do it!
- Book sales
This goes without saying, but doing these signings helps with the number of sales, allowing you to continue getting your book even further.
The point of this blog is to encourage you to do book signing events, even if you don’t sell 40 copies each time, because experiences, impact, advertising, and potential future opportunities such as speaking engagements, can come from them! You cannot put a price tag on that.
About this Contributor:
Sylvia St.Cyr is a Publishing Consultant at Word Alive Press. She was also a journalist as the Arts & Entertainment Coordinator for her local newspaper, The Citizen. She lives with her husband and two kids just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, Love vs. Fear was released in the fall of 2017. For more info, you can find her book here. To read more from Sylvia, check out her blog.