Debut Author lessons: Signing stock for bookstores

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Debut Author Lessons

I spent much of today tromping around Manhattan and heading into bookstores to sign copies of Shades of Milk and Honey. Interesting thing about selling a book: your job doesn’t stop there.

The reason I trekked over the city is that signing books at a store does a number of things:

  1. It makes it easy to meet the staff
  2. Autographed books are placed face out
  3. They tend to sell better
  4. There are typically fewer bookstore returns of signed books
  5. Let me repeat the bit about meeting the staff. They are the ones who can handsell your book to a customer.

Blake Charlton and Paolo Bacigalupi took me on a ride-along when they dropped in to sign stock in Boston.  Watching them was interesting especially since I’d no clue how to go about it.

Here are the steps as I understand them for a drop-in signing, as opposed to a pre-arranged visit.

  1. Find your book on the shelf
  2. Carry the books to the nearest information desk
  3. Introduce yourself, ask if they want you to sign them.
  4. They will say yes.
  5. Have your own pen. Be charming while signing (Blake is very good at this) and thank them.

Today I employed those steps and hit the Barnes and Nobles in town. All of the ones in Manhattan have signed copies now, except for the 86th street store which was already sold out of Shades of Milk and Honey.  (Yay!) Tomorrow, in between meetings, I’ll hit the independent stores. Or rather, I and my phone will find out which stores carry it.

Any other useful tricks?

Series NavigationDebut Author Lessons: The importance of Brick and Mortar stores >>

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: