Book Signings – The Positives and Pitfalls

Saturday morning dawned bright with a few clouds and a slight breeze.  No, not a scene-setting line from my latest work-in-progress – it was the day of the book signing.

So with nerves jangling and hands shaking I got ready – decided to skip the eyeliner for obvious reasons.   Upon arrival I introduced myself to the owner with a dry mouth and my lips stuck to my teeth.

As the day was fine, I was positioned outside on the pavement adjacent to the shop.  Only afterwards did I realise I hadIMG_6714 been photo-bombed by a council rubbish bin in all the selfies.  I was lucky enough to meet an eclectic bunch of people, ranging from the serious book aficionado to the slightly whacky.  I sold copies of Long Shadows and gave out business cards to people who prefer to buy on-line.

Okay, I know I’m not smiling in the photo but at least I’m not gurning – excessively.

Things to consider – you will probably need to buy copies of the book from your publisher (author’s discount typically 25%) but the bookshop may expect between 25-40% of the retail price, so you have to decide if the exposure gained outweighs the outlay.  If this is the case, at best you will break even – worse case scenario, you will be out-of-pocket to the tune of 15% on each copy sold and of course you will receive no royalties.  You therefore need to decide if the ‘prestige’ of a book signing  is worth it.  Many people might think it is.

My view – it was an interesting networking exercise.  If you view it strictly as a promo marketing tool then it was useful.   However, to sell at such events isn’t cost-effective, unless the shop is prepared to order in copies on a sale or return basis from their own supplier.

As I’ve said in a previous blog, life is about taking opportunities when they arise.  On that basis,  I’m pleased to have done it, if only to decide that I’m unlikely to do it again.  Thank you to The Bookshop in East Grinstead.


About jhbooksblog

Hello - I'm Julie Haiselden, an occasional NHS med sec/practice administrator. Mother of three, wife of one, a chaotic cook and published crime/thriller novelist who blogs a bit about books, life and food. School alumna. Occasional am-dram actress/director. I enjoy walking and photography (although my enthusiasm outweighs my skill set). I've recently joined the reviewing team at Whispering Stories and can be found via the following social media sites: I also accept a few hard copy novels to review.
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2 Responses to Book Signings – The Positives and Pitfalls

  1. I’m glad it went well, if only for you to discover it’s not something you want to do again.

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