Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Field Report: Book Signing POP at Jan's Paperbacks

We're sure that pre-published authors can relate to our vivid dreams of a book signing.  Crowds of people would create a line out the door to wait with anticipation for our freshly inked signature on the title page of our 'hot off the presses' opus.  <sigh>  On the flip side, many published authors have personally experienced the angst of sitting at a table filled with books begging for someone, anyone, to stop and buy one.

Don't fret, dear reader, your AM101 cheerleaders are here to give you book signing tips from a recent field trip of our own.

On Sunday, August 19th, Jan's Paperbacks hosted a book signing for:

Jan's Paperbacks is an independent bookseller located in Aloha, Oregon.  Debbie, the owner, was crowned  The Bookseller of the Year at the Romance Times Booklovers Convention in Chicago, this year.  Jan's Paperbacks has been an ardent supporter of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and it's local chapter, Rose City Romance Writers (RCRW).

Debbie, owner of Jan's Paperbacks, wearing her tiara from RT.  She was voted Bookseller of the Year at the Romance Times Conference in Chicago.

Morgan says:  I had a great conversation with Deb about her store and how authors can help indie bookstores market their books.  Deb is passionate about this very topic.  I asked her to write a Finer Points post for us and she agreed!  Deb commented that authors help her and their career when they work with indie booksellers by providing in-store signs, posters, collateral,  and other displays. Sponsoring events, like book signings, clubs, and other social gatherings are a few ways to interact with readers and have some FUN along the way, too.  These are just some examples of cross-marketing at work!  Both parties would be marketing the store AND your books.

Marc & Delilah Marvelle with Deb during the book signing.
Morgan says: Delilah Marvelle and Deb share a long friendship.  Delilah frequented Jan's Paperbacks BEFORE she was published.  Now as a published author, she has co-hosted several events at Jan's.
The authors book signing table.
Morgan says: What's not pictured here are the homemade confections presented on a lovely glass tray and fresh brewed coffee available for visitors.  For this signing, the table was kept simple: a clean, black table cloth with neatly displayed books and other pieces of marketing collateral.  Delilah's bookmarks were inserted in her books.  Plus, with each purchase of Forever a Lady, you recieved a FREE copy of Rules of Engagement (a recently published HQN anthology).  Note: this table was set up for two authors, who publish in different genres, which can make merchandising a touch more difficult - but not impossible.  I would personally recommend the addition of a little flair to help jazz things up a bit, but this is more critical in a larger setting and space was limited on the table.

Delilah and Marc Marvelle in period costumes promoting her latest book: Forever a Lady.
Morgan says:  Notice how Marvelles are wearing period costumes.  They stood out and really tried to make this book signing an EVENT for her readers.
Jean Sheldon, author of Monet's Palette, and Delilah Marvelle.
Morgan says: Engaging with both readers and fellow authors is the name of the game here.  Remember, writers are readers, too.

Book cover sign hanging from the ceiling of the bookstore.
Morgan says: The book cover poster, shown above, was mounted on foam-core for added rigidity and durability.  Other book cover posters were framed and hanging on the walls in the bookstore.  Many of the framed posters were signed by the authors....GREAT IDEA!  We gotta get some signs done for Jean to help promote her book Monet's Palette!

End cap featuring some of Delilah's first Harlequin Novel (HQN) three book series.

Morgan says: Note that the first book in the series is almost sold out!  Notice how one of each book is "faced out" way to help your published friends it to "face out" their books on the shelves.  I typically make sure they have more than one copy, so that when I 'help' the store with merchandising I am not covering up another authors books....I don't want any bad karma.  Having a featured end cap helped readers to easily find Ms. Marvelle's other books during the signing.

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

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