Please welcome Lida Sideris, author of the Corrie Locke mysteries!
Book Signing Prep (Especially for Newbies)
There is something so thrilling, so terrifying and a little bit off-putting about a debut author’s debut book signing. At least that’s how it was for me. Thrilling because it’s a dream come true. Terrifying because it’s…well, who knows? And off-putting because I’d rather be writing. Terror and off-putting feelings should be shoved aside – buzz-kills are NOT permitted on such a red letter day. With the pending release of my second book, I relived some of these same feelings. Which meant it was time for a refresher course. Advance preparation is key.
To prepare for my first bookstore appearance, I:
- Contacted local newspapers to request an interview. To my delight, a wonderful, nearly full page piece about my book appeared days before my home town event, and proved to be the biggest factor in promoting my appearance;
- Provided a press release to bookstores who sent out emails to their customer lists. This mailing was the second most successful promo tactic, as readers who could not attend ordered copies;
- Sent about 100 postcards to surrounding residents announcing the signing. My local librarian came in because she’d received a postcard, so I knew this had some impact. She bought a book; and
- Memorized a short presentation about how I came to write my novel, in case an impromptu speech was in order. It wasn’t, but it was a confidence booster.
I always bring along treats (chocolate chip cookies are a big hit), bookmarks and pens. With my first signing, I took a few deep breaths and did a reality check that involved a lot of pinching and cheek-slapping (my own, thankfully), and I was ready to roll.
Wisdom dictates early arrival, say at least twenty minutes before show time. My first time out, I did some channeling before I arrived. I channeled Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, war strategy, and arts & crafts (that way all bases were covered). Once I arrived at the bookstore, I greeted the staff, who are typically very lovely book people, and took some photos to post on social media.
- Ask your venue if snacks are okay;
- Check with your post office for the most efficient, economical way to send postcards (if you choose to use) announcing your book and the signing;
- Smile. This does wonders;
- Move around. If there’s down time, stroll inside and out, bookmarks in hand, and chat with passers-by, hand out bookmarks, and wave to cars; and
- Above all else, have fun! It’s the law of attraction. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who is thoroughly enjoying herself?
Lida Sideris is an author, lawyer, and all-around book enthusiast. She writes soft-boiled mysteries and was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship award for her first novel, Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters. Her second book in the Corrie Locke series, Murder Gone Missing, was released on April 10th by Level Best Books. To learn more about Lida, please visit www.LidaSideris.com.