Guest Post: Lida Sideris

Please welcome Lida Sideris, author of the Corrie Locke mysteries!

Book Signing Prep (Especially for Newbies)

Murder-Gone-Missing---Front-Cover-Web (1) (1)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.

TIPS:

  • 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.

Links: Amazon (Kindle) and Amazon (paperback)
Twitter: @lidasideris
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17 thoughts on “Guest Post: Lida Sideris”

  1. Fabulous post, have shared. I have found preparedness is the key but even with that, there are times when no one comes (I can remember my first library event, there were 2 authors (me and another guy) and 4 people in the audience. His wife, the librarian, a wannabe writer hoping for tips, and one person who came in from the cold! Humbling, but I’ve gone on to far more successful events. Kudos on all you’ve accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved all this advice! I’m a long way from needing to use it, but it seems fabulously helpful. Super logical, actionable, and for this introvert, specific tasks are critical. Congrats on your upcoming release (and hurray for LBB getting into publishing full-length books).

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    1. Hi Pamela! I hear you about the introvert part. For my first signing, I was clueless what to expect and not sure what to say. I kept reminding myself that I was an at long last published author. With that in mind and the passion that comes with reading and writing, I forgot I was an introvert! 🙂

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  3. Great advice for authors at book signings. As a “reader” I like to hear little stories about writing this book, when an author decided to become a writer, and personal favorite authors/books to recommend (other than the author’s own of course). Preparation is extremely important. I attend multiple signings each month, and it always surprises me when authors do not seem to be prepared. Sometimes – not often- I think that I could give a better presentation.

    I love your idea about the press release to the book store, but don’t forget your own social media announcement. Sometimes “Facebook friend” authors do not post their appearances except for the list at the start of a book tour and do not post for every stop.

    I’m sending you a friend request ( from Katie) just now, SO… be sure to let me know when you will be in my area, and do bring chocolate!!!!!

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    1. Hello to my latest FBF Katie! Thanks for the request and thanks very much for the visit! I appreciate your letting me know that you don’t mind social media announcement regarding author appearances. I do just that on my author page. I believe I will be in your area on June 9th at the lovely Book Carnival! I’ll be bringing mini jelly donuts to that one. They were a big hit on my last visit. Hope that works for you! 🙂

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  4. What a great post! Bookmarking this for the day I’ll (hopefully? maybe? someday?) have my own launch and signing. Shared it on FB.

    Congrats on the new book! I’ll also be at Malice, so hope to see you there 🙂

    Like

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