What You Need When
Selling Books in Person
Though this can seem obvious, you want to make certain they are going to be there. Whether it’s your publisher bringing them and being aware of that or if you need to bring them yourself. If you’re bringing them yourself, you’ll want to have enough to sell without starting your own library of just your books. The number to bring itself is a bit trickier to nail down. Much of it will depend on a number of things such as the event, number of attendees, if they read your genre, and so on. Keep this in mind when ordering books and make certain you leave yourself enough time to have them shipped to you.
2. Writing Utensils
Having a good writing pen or maker to sign books with is important. One of the great things about meeting readers in person is that they love seeing you sign, and often personalize, your book. It’s a good idea to test your choice out beforehand. You want to make sure it doesn’t bleed through the pages and if it has a drying time because you don’t want to smear your lovely signature. It’s also good to have at least two in case the first one stops working.
3. Post Its
This is one of our favorite tricks for book events. With so much going on, it can be difficult to hear or remember what a person says. This can be especially true when they are spelling their name out for you. The fix? Have them write their name down on a post it. Easy to read off and personalize as part of signing their book, doesn’t cost much, and easy to recycle or throw away when you are finished.
4. Bookmarks and/or Business Cards
These are optional, but it can be a great way for people to remember who you are and look you up later. Yes, some will end up in the garbage. That is a part of the giving these things out you should be aware of. Bookmarks are a fun option for readers because it has your information on it while letting them use it to do what they love — Read! Still other people prefer business cards. What you choose to have made is up to you, but remember to not get too many to start with. You don’t want to have stacks of bookmarks in your closet for years.
It can be helpful to have a larger sign or banner that let’s people know who you are and if possible, an idea of the genre you use. This can help to draw attention to you and your books. A few other signs that are good to have are prices and an sign that let’s people know there’s an author signing. Your publisher may provide you with these if you’re working with them, but if you’re not or are self publisher, you’ll want to consider getting at least some simple, clean signs.
6. Ways to Take Payment
This is another that your publisher will take care of if you are with them. If you are not or are self published, you will want ways to take payment. I highly recommend both a card reader and some cash to make change. Most people now days use credit cards, but some still want to use cash. it’s good to be prepared for both because you can’t make a sell without them.
7. Book Stands
While not required, if you want people to be able to see your books from across the room, you’ll want a way to stand them up. I recommend a type of book stand that will fold out to hold not just your book, but give support to the back of your book as this can help keep it from bending. This are not required, but can be a good way to help make a nice display
8. Table Cloth
If one is not provided for you, or even if it is and you want to bring your own, a table cloth can be a great way to make your display look nice and clean. A bit of fabric with a hint of color that looks good with your book or goes well with the type of event can be a nice addition, but not required. Another secret we’ve found sometimes works is to use a sheet. If the right type, they’ll be no wrinkles, and be a great way to make your display look nice.
9. A Note on Swag
Swag can be a fun thing to bring, but not necessary. You can get creative as you want, but remember, everything you buy comes out of your profits. Also, sometimes people love swag but other times it can be like the bookmarks and business cards and simply thrown away. This is one thing on the list you’ll want to be careful in deciding what way to go.
10. A Smile
Being kind, upbeat, and welcoming are the best things to bring to a signing. Even if you are not making any sells, you can still make connections. Those connections are harder to make if you don’t present yourself well. A smile can take you far.
If you’d like more personalized help and thoughts with getting ready for an in person event, schedule a consult call with us today.
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