A couple of weekends ago, I had my first book signing for The Hand of God, published by Hydra Publications (yes, shameless plug) at Karen’s Book Barn and Java Stop in La Grange, Kentucky. By any measure it was a huge success. I took sixty books to the signing and everyone of them walked out the door with someone else. I’ve had several other authors ask me how I prepared and marketed the event so I thought I would share how this all came about
First, why I chose to have the signing where I did. I was born and raised in La Grange and it was as simple as wanting to have my first signing where I grew up. Secondly, the owner of Karen’s Book Barn is a fellow graduate of the Oldham County class of ’81 and what better place to set down and meet strangers than in the store of a friend? This also meant, any of my former friends, classmates and neighbors who still live in the area could find me with ease. And they did.
This ended up not just being a book signing, but a family and class reunion rolled into one event. My family came out and showed their support. I got to see old neighbors and many friends I hadn’t seen since our 30th class reunion. I also had fantastic support from the friends and neighbors I see on a regular basis. For most of the afternoon, the store was packed.
The other main component to a successful evening is getting the word out. For more than a year, I had built up a growing list of contacts on both Facebook, Twitter and my blog. Because the signing took place a month after the release of the e-book format, the book had already garnered several five star reviews and word of mouth had spread across cyber space. So when the launch party took place, I had people who were anxious to get a copy. I think that lead time really helped in drawing in a larger audience.
This is where my friends deserve even more credit, as after I created the “event invitation” on Facebook, many of them said they were coming and shared the information with their friends and family, and so on. I knew we would have at least thirty people attending and it turned out to be quite a bit more.
You can’t be afraid to put your name out there. When there are a million voices wanting to be heard, you have to find a way to rise above the din and have people take notice. Thanks to good reviews and great friends, I’ve been able to do just that.
As for the photos, I’m the one in the middle, along with Greg Donaldson and Linda Coffey.