What About Signings?
Phyllis Staton Campbell
Hi campbellsworld visitors. Glad you could stop by the Author’s Corner today.
On this hot pre-fall day multi-genre author Phyllis Staton Campbell has dropped by to share some helpful advice about book signings.
She tells us how to go about setting one up, what to expect in the ways of payment and much much more.
Make sure to read all about her wonderful works and do contact her if you’ve questions, comments, or if you should wish her for an engagement of any type.
Thanks to you Phyllis for taking time out of your busy schedule to write to us this afternoon.
You and your readers are quite welcome I’m happy to do it. There’s no denying that a book signing can be useful and fun. Like most things, however a successful signing requires planning and work; it doesn’t just happen.
First of all, ask yourself what you expect from that particular signing. Did you notice that I didn’t say want. We probably all want the same thing, to sell a lot of books, but alas, this doesn’t always happen. Many things can be gained from a signing, and for me, the greatest achievement is that constantly sought thing called publicity.
A signing at a library, for instance, may not sell many books, but people leave with you and your book, tucked away in their minds, often picking up a copy later, and/or telling others, who will buy a copy either online or from a bookstore.
Make a list of potential places that might be interested in holding a signing. Know in advance, that not all places on your list will be receptive for reasons that may have nothing to do with you and your book. Accept a refusal graciously, even if you feel like yelling “why!” You might want to approach them again later, and they might say “yes” the next time.
In my experience an approach made by email or telephone works best. Even if your book is beautifully done with a striking cover, it is more likely to be turned down by a busy shop manager or librarian, if you go in person. If you can’t find an email, telephone, introducing yourself, and telling them briefly about yourself and your book, mainly about your book. Ask if they have an email address, and offer to send your sell sheet or media kit.
If they seem interested, a follow up call or email is appropriate, but don’t push. Depending on circumstances, one more contact is all right, but bombarding them will only lead to annoying them. Again remember the future.
Okay, a bookstore has agreed to a signing. If they don’t say, let them know that you know that they will take a commission, forty per cent being the standard. Libraries usually don’t charge, and clubs frequently don’t, but get that out of the way in the beginning. You will likely be sent a form with the date and rate you have discussed. Some places may charge a minimal fee at your discretion, for publicity, others won’t.
Now comes your work. Tell people, at your writing group, at church, where ever your life takes you. Announce it on your social media contacts, and of course, don’t forget friends and family. Be creative with your publicity.
If you are furnishing the books, arrive at the signing a bit early. You might want to find out in advance, how things are handled. Some stores have a display of books. The buyer pays for the book, and brings it to you for your signature. Some places have a display on the signing table, so that the buyer picks up the book from there, hands it to you for your signature, and pays up front. Others, such as churches or clubs don’t take money, and you’re paid directly. In the case of a bookstore, you’re mailed a check, unless they have ordered the books themselves, in which case you will be paid your regular royalty by your publisher.
Many things influence sales, the weather, the time of year, other events being held at the same time. Be aware of these things out of your control, and factor them into your expectations. Try to remember that sales at one signing don’t spell final success or failure. They are only a part of the whole picture. Learn from the experience, and have fun.
If you have questions contact me
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Phyllis Staton Campbell, born blind, writes about the world she knows best.
She says that she lives the lives of her characters: lives of sorrow and joy; triumph and failure; hope and despair. That she and her characters sometimes see the world in a different way, adds depth to the story. She sees color in the warmth of the sun on her face, the smell of rain, the call of a cardinal, and God, in a rainbow of love and grace.
Though born in Amherst County, Virginia, she has lived most of her life in Staunton, Virginia, where she now lives not far from the home she shared with her husband, Chuck, who waits beyond that door called death.
To see all her work including her latest release, Where Sheep May Safely Graze please visit: