Book signings can be hit or miss events. The I Heart Books Event sponsored by the Florida Writers Association took place in Boca Raton on Sunday, May 21. Fifty authors of various genres set up tables of books and giveaway items at the Lakeside Terrace. Nestled between the Hilton and a lovely pond, the venue was gorgeous. The weather was perfect. Author Donna Kelly came along for moral support and to act as cashier. She gamely learned how to operate the credit card reader attached to my iPad.
During the lull between setup and the VIP lunch with readers, I received an email. North of the Killing Hand was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards in the suspense category. Yeah! Happy dance.
I’m calling the Boca Raton book signing a hit. No, I didn’t sell out the box of trade paperbacks of either book. I probably didn’t recoup the expenses of hotel, travel, food, or time. What made this event a hit was the professionalism, camaraderie, and advice shared by the more experienced authors. From Author Mary Lois Sanders–bring book awards to display with the books. *Banging head on table* My book awards sit at home in a drawer. From Author Susan Thatcher: display your books and their themes with color, props, and whatever else will attract readers to pause at the table. Her table invited people to stop. From Author Jim Meyer: buy clear plastic book stands to display the proof copies of each book. My books sat in plain ugly stacks like they were second-hand offerings. Jim said that by using the proof copies, readers can handle them, and page through them instead of new copies. From Author Suzan Johnson: be friendly and engage readers when they pause at the table. As a children’s book author, she greeted the children first, then the parents who paused at her table. She answered questions from children
with warmth and grace. This lady understands her readers!
Like Author John Hope, who brought his son Luke along, I brought along someone whose companionship made the time fly. Like many others, I had giveaway items. Window-shopping readers could pick up a key chain (whistle, compass, light) labeled with my website and a paper listing information on my books. Perhaps there will be an uptick in eBook sales from this event. Time will tell. Many authors set up banners to mark their table space. About ten had freestanding, taller-than-me banners. I had two tabletop banners showing cover art.
Authors adorned their tables with lights, electric candles, stuffed animals, baskets of candy, glitter, logo-emblazoned tablecloths, pens, stickers, sign-up lists, and books to suit their genres and themes. From pre-school reading to paranormal erotica, the variety of reading material staggered the mind. If I had not already purchased books from some of the authors at the FWA conference last October, I probably would have brought more books home than my own leftovers. My to-be-read pile already threatens to topple a bookshelf…ah, well.
Thank you, Boca Raton readers, for your support! Happy reading!
Thank you for the great tips in promotion. The most difficult thing to accomplish for a self-published author.
Thanks for the shout out. The thing I learned: make sure your swag has contact info on it for bloggers. (We really couldn’t here) stand in front of your table to greet people. And listen when Joni Fisher talks. She has cool stories.