First Book Signing Recap

Happy Sunday, lovely Arrowheads! Yesterday, I was blessed to have my very first book signing at a semi-local regional library. My cousin first introduced me to the idea last month, and ever since I had been stressing, preparing, and praying for this huge milestone in my author career to go well.

So without further ado, grab a snack, find a comfortable chair, and sit back and relax as I recap this gloriously awkward adventure! ๐Ÿ˜‰


The Days Before

On Thursday, I had asked my sister, Amanda, if she could design some bookmarks for the signing. She ended up making this beauty:

Since Walgreens has same-day photo pickup, and they have a full image bookmark option, I figured I could order them Thursday night and pick them up on Friday. Unfortunately, when I went to confirm my order, it said the order wouldn’t be ready until August 2nd… the Thursday after the signing. So, first lesson learned: order bookmarks a week or two ahead of time. I was busy throughout last week, so the bookmarks were a last minute addition.

Yesterday Morning

Yesterday morning I woke up around 7:30-ish and couldn’t fall back asleep because I was a bundle of nerves. The bookmark thing was still on my mind, so I got the idea to make a makeshift black and white promo card for Speak Your Mind instead using PowerPoint. The cards were printed on some photo paper we had around the house, and I printed them off six slides per page to ensure they were a fair size for a promo card.

These were great to have when people stopped by the signing table and didn’t have enough cash on them to purchase the book. This way, even if a sale wasn’t made, I was still able to promote my author brand. After the cards were printed off, coffee was in order. This mug was quite fitting for the day’s event.

The coffee helped me get through a few proofreading edits on Speak Your Mind before getting ready!

Getting Ready

What does one wear to their first book signing? I didn’t want to dress in business casual like I do for work, so I settled on a red tank top that looks sort of dressy, my favorite pair of darkwash jeans, and painted my toenails light blue to match the cover. I picked the red shirt because it would match the red heart within the NC shape, but in turn, I unintentionally ended up dressing like Riley on the cover, minus the cowgirl boots! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Selfies and Setup

Of course, selfies were in order to capture the event!

This is my sister, Amanda. Otherwise referred to as Mander by me. ๐Ÿ˜† She had her wisdom teeth pulled out a few days ago, so that’s why her face is a little puffy. She’s also my cover designer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here we all are in the library with the table set up. The guy in the gray polo is my sweet boyfriend, Josh. I put him in charge of making change for the customers, and Amanda in charge of giving out the promo cards.

While I was obsessing over not having promotional bookmarks for the event, there was one major thing I completely forgot about: making a sign or banner for the table. I ended up making a makeshift sign by writing on a piece of plain printer paper. Second lesson learned: make an eye-catching banner to bring, because the makeshift sign was unprofessional.

The Signing

The signing itself ran from 2 to 4 pm. About fifteen minutes in, the first book was sold. The customer was very sweet and she said my spirit as an author really sold the book. The library had a bit of traffic throughout this time, and a few people stopped and talked to us at the table and viewed the book, but didn’t make a purchase. After only selling the one book by 3 o’clock, I was beginning to feel discouraged. Amanda and Josh were fun to goof around with though. Amanda kept trying to show off the book like Vanna White, which was hilarious. ๐Ÿ˜‚

The day got more exciting when a couple of my aunts and a few cousins showed up. One aunt bought a copy with the new cover, and I signed a few copies they brought. Then, a little while later, I got a huge surprise!

A month or two ago, I became online writing buddies with Penny Wood. We’ve formed a fast friendship because we’re both currently working on contemporary middle grade fiction novels. I had invited Penny to come since she lives fairly close by, and was super excited to meet her in person! It was such a joy hanging out with her for the remaining of the signing and talking about aspects of self-publishing. Penny is also a blogger! Check out her amazing blog, A Southern Belle With Stories to Tell!

P.S. I don’t know what was up with my shirt in this picture. I apologize for its wrinkled appearance! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

My aunt happened to lure a lady she knew over to the table, and she ended up purchasing a copy for her granddaughter. The library also bought a copy, which was pretty cool.

Final Thoughts

All in all, when 4 o’clock came, I had only sold four books out of the 25+ I had brought. To be honest, it was a bit discouraging, especially after all the hype the event had received on Facebook. I’m thankful for everyone who came to support me though, and this experience has served as a learning experience for future reference.

Will I ever do a book signing again? Maybe. As an introvert, I am not a salesperson by nature. It was hard for me to even say, “Hey, how are you doing!” to the people walking by the table. It’ll definitely be something I’ll think about though.

Want your own copy ofย the featured book,ย Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl? Visit its Amazon page here to check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you an author with book signing tips or experiences you’d like to share? If so, please share in the comments! ๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ–Š

Later, Arrowheads!

-Allyson ๐Ÿ˜€

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world.ย 

13 thoughts on “First Book Signing Recap

  1. I had such a great time meeting you! Thanks again for inviting me!! And congrats on the books you did sell! That means 4 lives were changed becuase of your book!! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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  2. Four books is amazing, Allyson! *hug* And for your first signing, you did fabulous!! Especially on taking that first step intivitave and gettin’ out there!
    Oh my word, it is so cool you met Penny! =D

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    1. Thanks Angela! *hugs back* Thank you for saying that, it means a lot! Yeah, Iโ€™ve been nervous to do one, but this venue was a good start! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, it was awesome to get to meet her! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  3. The key is getting your name and product recognized. Book signings — while not always as productive as we hope — are a good way to get your name out. My initial launch of “Heaven Shining Through” was successful, but subsequent efforts at libraries and festivals have been so-so — some better than others, I found my book sales were in single digits as well, but my traffic on WordPress and Facebook increased. I don’t know how that translates to sales, but we’ll see. The key is to not get discouraged! It’s a process … not an event.

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  4. In 2014 there was an event going on the Air Force base for military wives, you could set up a table for your business. At the time, I was a handcrafted soap maker. I had bought cards for like $10 (you get over a 100 or more) and I spent two or three days making 60 some soap samples. 14 different colors and scents. I had printed a set of pictures of soaps I’ve made, and I was already really knowledgable about the process as I taught myself things about essential oils, soap bases (I make melt and pour soap), and I was ready to help clear up confusion about “lye”. FYI lye is always used to make soap BUT in the curing process all of the “bad” stuff change in the chemcial reaction. Anyways, after all of that. I had many people stop by. I only had like 4 samples left at the end of the event. I did not sell anything because I do not have a license to sell, and if you are making profit you need a license to sell. I had many 10-20 people talk about getting soap orders from me, and heard back from none of them. It was disheartening.

    My display for my table was very simple. What I should have done, knowing now, is research how others have made displays, and there are a lot of cool and crafty ways to do this. Like you shared, things need to be figured out ahead of time, that was my issue too! I shared the experience because I know what it is like standing behind a table and waiting. I did meet someone that day I became close friends with though ๐Ÿ™‚ that was a blessing!

    I’m so glad you met Penny, and that you sold books!!! Some people do not sell books, this is a great start. I’m sorry about the hype on Facebook though ๐Ÿ˜ฆ again, relatable! Maybe next time see about different ways you could advertise more, if possible? Are fliers still a thing? People like free stuff, it may not get a book sale, but it might draw more people near. Like you talked about, the bookmark was a great idea!!! We live and we learn ๐Ÿ™‚

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