Face to face book selling can be a bit scary at first, but very lucrative if you get the hang of it.
As an author, have you ever had trouble with face to face book selling situations? Most writers are not salesmen by nature. This is why many book signings turn into a big waste of time for self-published authors. It is embarrassing, sitting at that book signing table in a store all by yourself for an hour or more, staring at the book shelves, twiddling your thumbs, and trying to avoid looks from the sales clerks. If you want to make book signings worthwhile, you need to learn your customers.
Firstly, it’s flattering to be invited to do a book signing, but don’t book a signing in an area where your target audience doesn’t shop. For instance, if you have a book targeted for young people, why would you do a book signing in a shopping mall where senior citizens are the main demographic? Do research on an area before committing to a book signing.
Secondly, you have to come prepared with marketing materials. Don’t ever go to a book signing without bookmarks or flyers with more information about your book (preferably bookmarks because they are less cumbersome for your potential readers and they can use your bookmark no matter what book they buy that day). Also, have a professional poster designed and mounted on an 18 x 24 or 24 x 36 inch board that can be placed on an easel. Be sure the book manager has book stands available.
Thirdly, you have to call people over to your table. A good book display will bring interest, but in some cases people will just glance over your book table and keep browsing through the book store. Hand them a bookmark before they pass, smile, and ask them if they like “<insert your genre>.” You will be surprised how many people will give you a play and buy your book, just because you said hi!
To learn more about how to sell your book at booksignings, including what to say when you have someone standing at your table and the #1 thing you must do when someone walks up to your table, stay tuned for my eBook series entitled “How to Sell Books as a Self-Publisher.”