Waxcreative, my web designers who specialize in author sites (and who create so many of my fun printwork I love to share with you all, like these fun bookmarks that I used for She’s Gone Country), have started a podcast series highlighting book signing tips from author-to-author, and my interview was published this week.
As most of you already know, in publishing today, an author needs to do a lot of self-promotion and I work really hard to not just market my books, but give my readers opportunities to connect with me.
Here’s a snippet of my interview transcript:
Q: What secrets can you share to help create successful book signing events?
My Answer: Successful booksignings don’t just happen. They’re created. I work hard to make every event I do a true event. But to get people out of their house requires effort and planning. You have to offer your readers something… your book, yes… but something to compete with the hectic world we’re in. Is it a girls night out? Is it a social event? Is it a small, intimate get together? Is it a discussion or a party? I focus on the type of event, and then getting folks there. I use social media, enewsletters, and mailed event invites. I try to follow up as well and I “reward” those that come with food and drink, or a fun discussion. Stuffy book events just don’t draw readers.
Head over to Waxcreative’s blog to read more of the transcript or, even better, listen to the podcast!
I have two contests in conjunction with my podcast–one for readers and one for writers and I’ll have a winner for each with wonderful prizes!
For the reader contest, I’d like to know what my readers want when you go to a book signing?
For the writer’s contest, I’d love to hear from fellow authors what are your favorite forms of promo? Or, what is your least favorite promo to do?
Contest runs through Friday night and I’ll announce the winners Saturday morning. When you share your comments with me below, be sure to say up front if you’re a reader or a writer (or like me, both! <g>)
43 Comments / Add Your Comment →
I´m a reader and what I want when I go to a book signing of yours is always a personal note in one of your books 🙂
And then it´s always so nice to talk to you as well. I love that. It´s nice to now whats going on with you, your books and your Family.
I was running out of books but I have finally found some of your Harlequins so I have another excuse to come to another book signing. So I´ll be there the next time you are in my/our area again.
I am a reader and love reading your books. At book signings I appreciate being able to talk with the writer and you certainly make everyone feel like they are special to you at your events! You visit with everyone, offering insights and listening, too. Thank you for all that you do!
I love your books and I live on the East coast so cannot make it to many of the signings that you conduct. I wanted to thank you for the recent goodies I got from you along with the water bottle and She’s Gone Country book. I pretty much stay dedicated to what you’re doing and all the great blogs and contests you do here. Everyone is so wonderful. Thanks so much for the fun Jane…you are such a great girl and alot of fun…Ruth
Hi! I’m a reader and I haven’t ever been to a book signing of yours wish i lived closer so I can attend. I’ve been to one and I liked getting like bookmarkers and he gave out bookbags for library books or whatever else. I like little things, key chains.he also gave out magnets.I love your books and I liked all the stuff you sent me, I got a water bottle and I use it when I work out and the pens, love them…your the best! Keep writing!Have fun at your book signings and one of these days I’ll get to meet you!
Jane, I have learned soooo much about how to treat my readers from you. I only WISH I could give back 1/4 of what you do. Thank you!!
Would love to attend one of your events, Jane…but too far away for now. It is obvious that you put a lot of work into your book signing events, and one of the best things I’ve heard you tell is about the time you attended the mother/daughter book club. I’m sure it was such a treat for them to have you there.
I am a children’s librarian, so I have only ever seen children’s authors, but I love that they don’t just come to our school and read from their books — there is so much effort put into making it a memorable and interactive experience for the kids that gets them excited about reading and writing!
And PS, your “She’s Gone Country” bookmark is currently holding my place in the book on my nightstand 🙂
Enjoy the rest of your week!
I am a reader, but I’ve never been to a book signing, Jane, so I have no idea what to expect. (Ours isn’t a big city in Ontario, Canada.) I honestly thought it just meant standing in line to get a book autographed, saying hi, perhaps posing for a picture with the author and book, and then moving on quickly. You make it sound sooooo much better!
Your warm personality hooked me! Your books kept me!
At events I love the intimate setting that a restaurant or patio/coffee shop provides. Not the podium/row of chairs, but a real eye-to-eye connecting which makes people feel welcome.
I’ve been to reader events where there are rules and long lines and blah blah blah. After connecting and becoming friends with you, that would be the last thing I’d want to drag myself out for…you’re exactly right. Readers are busy people for the most part. It takes a lot of coordinating. To add the personal touches keeps people feeling appreciated and connected.
Keep it coming, mama!! 🙂
Hugs from Tustin,
For me, a book signing is a “get to know YOU” opportunity. That means meeting readers in a comfortable, interesting,fun atmosphere with a relaxed feel. I love a good coffee shop, yummy smells and all,or back in an open area of a funky restaurant with comfortable chairs and a chance to talk.
The little snippet I got of Ty and Mac @ B & N in Bozeman’s children’s section was priceless! Another side of Jane’s life that I loved seeing.
Thanks for bringing them! You were warm and patient, making each and every one of us feel special.
I’m both a reader and a writer, but since I have never had my own book signing (I’m still working on the book) my answer here is as a reader. When I go to booksignings I love to hear the author talk about the writing of the particular book that we are there to talk about…like how they went about building the story. I like to hear about why they wanted to write about the topics they included in their story. I guess I enjoy a small talk along those lines before the actual signing occurs.
I am a reader and I’ve never been to a booksigning either. There aren’t any that come to the city where I live. If I could go though I’d like to be able to tell you how much I’ve always enjoyed your books and how I look forward to each and every one when they come out. Also get my book signed and maybe a bookmark as I collect them. That would be great. I realize that time is probably premium at these events because there are a lot of people waiting to see you, so a little bit of your time would be great.
I, Michelle, am a reader. Even though I have tried, God knows I have tried, writing is better left to those more talented! LOL
When I go to a book signing, I just love when the author reads a favorite chapter or section. Explain why, how, what was the driving force behind the words. I just love to be enlightened by an authors insights. I then can not wait to read the book and see how it all fits together. I feel like I have just been introduced to the behind the scenes action. That I have a deeper understanding. It just engages me! I love when an author will sign all of my books written by them. It’s just a connection thing and it’s wonderful!
I am a reader and at my favorite book signings the author shares something extra, not just a reading but a personal story about her life or the writing process.
I can read the book myself. When I go to a signing I want to learn something extra and feel like I know the author as a person.
You are great at this Jane, and your signings are always fun.
I am a reader and a past book signing planner and guest. I love both kinds, the signings in a store and the one at the restaurant. The one in the restaurant was my favorite though. It was more personal and everyone had a great time. I especially loved planning it!! It made my fall to be apart of that. It is a day that I will remember always.
I love to have my picture taken with the author so that I can put it in the book that was signed.
I am a reader. Meeting with the author is extremely meaningful and having a chance to talk is even better. This to me is what a signing is about.
I am a reader but am sorry to say I have never been to a book signing. There is just not may large book stores in my area. What I would expect would be to meet with the author and just talk for a few minutes about their books.
I am a reader. I haven’t been to any book signings. I think it would be great to intereact with the author. Learning the reasons what inspired the book and the journey to publication would make the book signing different.
Your promotion/marketing is incredible. You are the only writer that I feel a personal connection with. I enjoy the stories about your family.
As a reader I enjoy going to book signings and being able to have a few minutes to talk with the author one on one and you, Jane, are wonderful about that. You give your readers face time and we love that. I love hearing what inspires the writer to write what they do.
As a writer…well, I’m not published yet so I haven’t had the opportunity to do any book events of my own….YET!
Have a super fab weekend Jane 🙂
I’m a reader and I have never been to a book signing. Even though we are in the same state it’s a bit of a drive to head towards you. And if I have to deal with any Seattle traffic, ugh. Come to Tacoma and I am there! I would like an informal setting…coffee…just like a visit with friends.
Reader here! I like for the author to have a question and answer session and give out goodie bags. 🙂
I’m a reader and have yet to attend a book signing. I imagine I would be able to have a few minutes talking to the author about their book and have my book autographed. I’ve heard a lot about the goodie bags authors give out and those seem to be coveted.
I am a reader… and I’ve never been to a book signing. The authors I read don’t seem to come to Montreal (or Ottawa, Halifax or Toronto).
I must say that I love reading about your events… and they all seem to have exactly what you list in the blog above and that makes them very attractive to me… and makes me jealous of those who can attend!
I am a reader and I have never been to a book signing. All the ones you have posted about sound fun though, and if they were closer to me I’d go. The girls’ nights sound great that you’ve promoted before with munchies, drinks, and good conversation.
I am a reader who wants to be a writer! What I look for in a book signing–first of all, a chance to personally meet my favorite writer and say something meaningful, which I never really manage to do! Secondly, to get my picture taken with the author. Third, bonus points if there are drinks and appetizers and fun door prizes and little swag bags are a nice touch, too.
Hi, Jane! I am a reader and a determined (unpublished) author, and what I enjoy at a book-signing is a casual venue–a bookstore/restaurant where one can socialize with the author, enjoy a meal,and be surrounded by the books we so love to read! If you can find all of these things in one establishment, you have found a magical place! Giveaways are great too, but getting to know an author that you enjoy reading is one of my greatest pleasures at a book-signing.
As a reader, I think you do an awesome job connecting with your readers, considering your busy schedule. I’ve never had the good fortune of attending one of your book signings since I’m in the South, but the pictures you post are proof of your genuine desire to connect with you readers. In the past, I have been the lucky recipient of some of your blog prizes. They are always fabulous and thoughtful. You always throw in a little something extra. I love the bookmarks and the pens! And your recipes card are a nice personal touch.
As a writer, who is still learning the craft, I enjoy a book signing that is on a smaller scale. I would love to attend a signing where the audience was only new writers, kind of a question and answer format. The only book signing I’ve ever attended was a famous writer who sets most of his stories in NC. Although it was nice to see him in person, it was very impersonal due to the volume of people. The long line reminded me of Christmas shopping. 🙂 In my humble opinion, Jane, you are doing everything right when it comes to successful book signings. The proof is always found on your blog by the comments posted by your readers.
When I go to a booksigning I like to have a variety of your books available instead of only the one you are promoting. I like that because not only will I purchase the current read, but often find an older one I have not read.
I am a reader and love to attend author events when they are not too far away! I think the way the author interacts with and engages the readers during a signing really makes the event. The first signing I ever attended was for one of Nicholas Spark’s books. I was super nervous to meet him and he really put me at ease! He also took a break from signing every so often to talk to and answer questions from the crowd which helped time go by while in line. I have a feeling from following your blog for years you have the same ability to engage your readers and put them at ease. Of course goodies and giveaways are
always fun too! Would love for you to visit the Colmbus Ohio area sometime.
Just checked your events and noticed you are scheduled to be in Worthington Ohio in January. Will you be doing any signings locally???? I hope so Worthington is about 10 minutes from my house.
I am hoping, too, Michelle! I will see what the conference has planned, and even if there isn’t a formal signing, perhaps we can play a reader event for my readers in the area!
I’m a writer and a reader. I think there’s no substitute for the magic of a writer reading his or her own words at a signing. As a novice at self-promotion, I can’t say there’s a least favorite part but give me time, lol.
I listened to your podcast and I so agree about your luggage tags!
I’m going to cheat and say that since your book is the very best promo, my favorite form of promo is writing!
I also enjoy giving workshops at conferences.
Hi, I am a reader. I have only been to one of your book signings and I just happen to be in the right place at the right time kind of thing, I had no idea you were going to be there. I loved the fact that you made it feel personal, not like you were trying to “sell” something. You made it a genuine pleasure to meet you and feel like you truly appreciate everyone who came out. The goodies you provided were just an extra added bonus…..
PS, I want to be excluded from the contest because I just won “she’s gone country” contest…..love your contests!
Hi I’m reader who lives across the sea 🙂 i’ve never been to any book signing before. but i had read and heard good things about signing events. oh, i wish i lived nearby.
what i would wanna when i go to a book signing, talking privately with the author off course, i mean while my book is been signed, i can have a chitchat with the author.
and i love love your books !!
and extra goodies will be so very grateful *grins*
i am a reader: i have been to a few book signings. a few at the local book store, and the one in frankfort, ky where i met you. at all of them, the best part was meeting the author, and having a minute to talk to them while my books were signed. a pic with the author is a bonus, and getting a chance to have dinner with YOU was the best ever! anything an author can do to personalize the event just makes it that much more special. thanks so much.
as a reader I like the atmosphere to be casual and carefree, lighthearted.
I love having a chance to talk to the author and get a book signed. If they give away goodies I’m all for that as I collect pens, etc.
It is cool if someone else there wants to chat I’m all for that.
As you know I have been reading your books for quite a long while now.
I listened to the pod cast and now I can put a voice to the words you write.
Since I live in a rural area there are not many chances for me to attend an authors book signing.
I I were to attend one I would love for it to be like a girls night out.
I haven’t had a GNO in a long, long time I could really appreciate it and being able to actually meet someone that writes the books that I love to read every night would just be fantastic.
I like to hear what inspired the author to write the story and the research that was completed if it was done. Also, a few questions and answers from the folks are good too. And, the ability to take a picture with the author is pleasant so we can have something to treasure along with the signed book.
A smile and a few laughs are always enjoyed too. 😉
I am a reader and I like the idea of a fun get together with other readers and, of course, you can’t go wrong with food and chocolate.
I am a reader and unfortunately, I have never been to a book signing! 🙁 I would think the best book signings are the type where I would get to know the author. Casual, little get together with not too many people. I hope the next tome you visit Portland, OR I can make it to one of yours…they sound like so much fun!!
#16 Ruth, you are my reader winner! Shoot me a private email with your address, which book of mine you’d like and how you’d want it signed, and I will get your fun stuff in the mail on Tuesday!
#5 Tonya K, you are my writer winner! Shoot me your mail address and I will get your fun stuff in the mail to you, too!! ( And if there’s a boo of mine you’d like, tell me and its yours!)
Thanks everyone for your input!!
I just saw this post, listened to the POD and thought it had so much good information that I forwarded it to my RWA group.
Thank you Jane, for being such a caring person and mentor!