Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Author Guest Post - Victoria Simcox



Dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and an evil queen – all these and more can be found in The Magic Warble, an enchanting tale of adventure and friendship by author Victoria Simcox who's guest posting today.
 

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Book Signings Really Aren't Scary

The mere thought of doing a book signing may be scary and intimidating to a new author. After all, you just spent months, maybe years on writing your manuscript. Then you went through the grueling process of trying to get it accepted, experiencing umpteen rejections from numerous agents or publishers, before you finally lucked out and got one to take your work. Then once the hard part was done, you thought to yourself, Yes, I'm finally published! Now I can kick back, relax and watch my book soar to the top of the best seller's list. Well maybe that might happen in a dream or another world, but in reality, unless you're the next J.K Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, it most likely isn't going to be seen in the tea leaves at the bottom of your cup. As a matter of fact, even the best selling authors have to get out in the pubic eye and expose themselves to real people. "Yikes!" you say, just the thought of this makes you cringe. You think to yourself, I'm a writer, an introvert, not a people person. If you can relate to anything that I have mentioned then I'd like to say to you, "relax, take a chill pill. You can do this thing called a book signing. It's really not that hard."

Here are a few tips on how to have an enjoyable book signing event. The first thing you'll have to do is set one up. What has worked for me, and I suggest you do also, is call your local book stores and tell them that you are a local author with a newly published book. Ask them if you could do a signing event at their store. If your book can be ordered through their distributor or sold to them personally by you, a majority of these books stores will be happy to have you do one. Signing events not only help you, but the store as well by bringing in more potential customers.

Once you get a yes to do a signing event, I suggest you book a month in advance so that the store has plenty of time to order your books and you have time to publicize your event. Ask the store if they would publicize it for you as well. Most stores will be happy to list you on their website and some will even contact people of interest in your type of book, to come to the event. A good way for you to get the word out about your event is to send out press releases to the newspapers in the area you are doing the event. You can call these newspapers and ask for an email address to send your press release. Press releases are free and the newspapers are happy to post them, just remember to give them two to four weeks notice so that they are able to post yours at the right time for your event.

Now I'd like to talk about the event itself. Prepare ahead and think of a way to make your event interesting. Go to your local print shop such as Staples and have a poster board of your book cover made. Bring this to your event and display it on an easel by your table. Trinkets can be great to hand out. I always bring book marks that have the cover of my book and website address on them, and I hand these out regardless if someone buys my book or not. Asking customers if they'd be interested in a free book mark is a great way to get them to stop and take a look at your book. You can also have pencils, or gel bracelets made, with the book title and website inscribed on them and hand these out as well. People love to get something free and are apt to talk to you more if you have something to give them. Regardless if they buy it, if you give them a trinket they will walk away with info on your book.

Even though you don't have to be a great speaker to do a book signing event, you do have to be friendly. A simple "hello," as a customer walks by is very easy and invites them to come and check out what you've got to offer. Once they come to you, introduce the title of your book and answer any questions they may have to ask you about it. Then hand them a bookmark, pencil etc. Let them know that you are signing copies. Many people love to have an autographed book and some will buy it for this reason. After all, who knows, you may be famous someday. If you follow these simple steps, a book signing event can actually be relaxing, fun and very rewarding.


Victoria Simcox is the author of the children’s novel, The Magic Warble. You can visit her website at www.themagicwarble.com.
Being always on the other end at a book signing, I never even thought how the author must feel! This is certainly great insight, Victoria. Thanks for stopping by today! And thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for this opportunity.

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