I’ve been busy for the past few weeks with signings! After only doing two last year and having four this year, it’s like trying to figure it all out again. Especially after a year of zero signings in 2020. I had my whole process set up, and now I feel like I’m floundering. But…I wanted to share some pics with you of how I get things together. My books and preorders all go in a big tote box, and then I have another one with table decor, swag, and all the other little things I may need.
The fun part is getting all of this plus our clothes in the car. The last signing I went to we had to play Tetris to get all the stuff to fit because we went shopping while there. Not to mention the books we bought at the signing.
Whether this is your first signing, or you’ve been to multiple, here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
- Make a list of everything you need. I have a template set up in Notion with all that information. It has a section for packing list, books, tech, swag, preorders, table decor, & misc.
- Bring change, usually 5s & 10s. I like to have change around for those that pay with cash. Also a card reader. QR codes work well, too.
- Swag – I used to lay my swag all over the table, but with more books I have less space and started making swag packs. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. When I first started I only had bookmarks. As long as it has your website and socials on there, it will work. You want readers to be able to look you up after the event.
- Books – order everything as early as possible. Sometimes shipping takes longer than normal and it’s stressful when it’s coming down to the week of and your books haven’t arrived yet.
- Be comfortable and be yourself! I used to dress up and wear shoes that looked cute but were not meant for standing for hours on end. Now I wear my fave pair of jeans, some Converse or Vans, and a shirt for whatever series I’m working on. It’s what I’m most comfortable and confident wearing.
- Have your elevator pitch ready. I know, I know, easier said than done. It took me a while to figure out how to talk about my books. But once you get it down, it gets easier.
- Make friends! Most of writers are introverted, at least I know I am. Don’t be afraid to start up conversations with readers and other authors. I’ve made some of my best friends in both by talking to them at signings.
- And I know this isn’t all, but lastly HAVE FUN! Signings are a lot of work for everyone in involved, but have a blast while you’re there!
- Wear comfortable shoes. I know I touched on this in the author list, but seriously…your feet will thank you.
- Dress in layers. Rooms can get hot or cold depending how many people are there. Layers are important!
- Hydrate. Most signings have water stations set up, but it’s not a bad idea to bring a refillable bottle to sip on while waiting in line to meet your fave authors.
- A wagon (if allowed) or cart. These are shoulder savers! My back used to hurt so much after signings from hauling books on my shoulder. Carts make it so much easier. Just be mindful of people around you.
- A canvas or signing book. Us authors will sign anything!
- Stop by all the tables! I know we all beeline for our fave authors tables, but you might meet your next fave author at a signing.
- Make friends! Another repeat, I know. But…waiting in lines is probably the best place to chat up books you’re loving. And if you’re going alone, don’t worry, I’m positive there will be a group of readers that will bring you into their fold from the beginning.
- And have fun! Book events are my favorite. It doesn’t matter if I’m a signing author or going as a reader, I always have a blast and meet so many new people.
That’s all I have! What are some of your favorite tips for signings? Anything I should add?